Record-breaking year for individual giving to nonprofit newsrooms in 2017
Washington, D.C. — NewsMatch 2017 raised more than $4.8 million from individual donors and a coalition of foundations to support more than 100 local and investigative nonprofit news organizations. This makes NewsMatch 2017 the largest-ever grassroots fundraising campaign to support local nonprofit and investigative news, during a record-breaking year overall for charitable giving to journalism.
Data from NewsMatch also reveals the growing strength of news nonprofits’ year-end fundraising campaigns, a critical indicator of financial success. More people than ever before stepped up to donate to nonprofit journalism, investing in trustworthy local news from coast to coast.
Year-End Giving by the Numbers:
Year-end giving numbers include all gifts from individual donors to NewsMatch participating organizations, not just those eligible for matching funds.
- In total, more than 202,000 individual donors contributed $33 million to nonprofit news in October, November and December
- The average year-end donor gave $163
- 43,000 donors gave to a nonprofit news organization for the first time in Q4 2017
- 25 local and national foundations and donors offered year-end matching grants
“With the support of NewsMatch we had a record setting year, more than doubling the donations we received in past years,” said Lauren Fuhrmann of the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism. “NewsMatch provided the roadmap, tech support and national exposure that we needed to have our most successful year-end fundraising drive ever.”
The NewsMatch campaign equipped nonprofit newsrooms with professional fundraising tools, technology and training to cultivate new donors through the Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub. Additionally, a national marketing campaign educated the public on the importance of nonprofit journalism becoming a core part of charitable year-end giving. NewsMatch’s impact will be felt throughout the year by communities who rely on these newly resilient, critical news organizations.
“A robust, independent press is essential to fostering an informed and engaged public and vital for a healthy democracy,” said Josh Stearns of Democracy Fund. “By working collaboratively with newsrooms and philanthropic partners, NewsMatch was an innovative local-to-national campaign that brought thousands of new donors into supporting local and investigative journalism.”
“The growth of NewsMatch is a testament to the critical role of local news and investigative journalism in our country right now,” said Jennifer Preston, vice president for journalism at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Knight launched the first NewsMatch in 2016, helping 57 nonprofit news organizations raise more than $1.2 million in match donations.
NewsMatch 2017 involved more than 25 funders around the country. It was established as a partnership between the Democracy Fund, Knight Foundation and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and managed by The Miami Foundation. Over the course of the fall, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, the News Integrity Initiative, the Wyncote Foundation, The Gates Family Foundation, and the Rita Allen Foundation all joined NewsMatch as partners creating double and triple matches for some organizations. Finally, local newsrooms worked with donors and local funders to set up parallel matching campaigns in their communities.
NewsMatch elevated nonprofit news through #GivingNewsDay which saw journalists, celebrities and politicians on both sides of the aisle talking about the importance of donating to nonprofit news. Mark Ruffalo, Michael Kelly, Cara Mund (Miss America), Greta Van Susteren and others joined the effort. Facebook donated $100,000 in free advertising to publicize NewsMatch and drive donors to local and investigative newsrooms.
“One of the most important things we can do is increase awareness about the need for and benefits of nonprofit journalism. That is, to add to the usual American philanthropic checklist of schools, hospitals, churches and cultural institutions the possibility of donating to journalism. NewsMatch helped enormously in that effort,” said Richard Tofel, president of Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit news organization ProPublica.
“We are so grateful to NewsMatch for its support of local media. NewsMatch.org provided a very rich donor experience and it was a great way for us to start our end-of-year fundraising campaign,” said Phayvanh Luekhamhan of VTDigger. “Thanks to NewsMatch we were able to raise over $350,000 from October through December. This means that in the coming year we can continue to grow our revenue streams, hire reporters and publish the kind of in-depth and daily reporting that Vermonters need.”
All news organizations participating in NewsMatch are members in good standing of the Institute for Nonprofit News. Visit newsmatch.org for more information.
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About the Institute for Nonprofit News:
The Institute for Nonprofit News is an incubator and support network for nonprofit newsrooms, strengthening the sources of independent, public service information and investigative journalism for thousands of communities across the U.S. INN is the only organization in the U.S. specifically focused on supporting the emerging nonprofit news sector. For more, visit INN.org.
About Democracy Fund:
The Democracy Fund is a bipartisan foundation established by eBay founder and philanthropist Pierre Omidyar to help ensure that our political system can withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people. Since 2011, Democracy Fund has invested more than $60 million in support of effective governance, modern elections, and a vibrant public square. For more, visit democracyfund.org.
About the News Revenue Hub:
The News Revenue Hub helps news organizations build the trust and financial support of their audiences by providing customized technology tools and proven strategies to create and sustain successful digital membership programs. For more, visit fundjournalism.org.
About the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation:
Founded by Edith Kinney Gaylord, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation’s mission is to invest in the future of journalism by building the ethics, skills and opportunities needed to advance principled, probing news and information. For more, visit journalismfoundation.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:
Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more, visit knightfoundation.org.
About the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation:
The MacArthur Foundation supports creative people, effective institutions, and influential networks building a more just, verdant, and peaceful world. MacArthur is placing a few big bets that truly significant progress is possible on some of the world’s most pressing social challenges, including over-incarceration, global climate change, nuclear risk, and significantly increasing financial capital for the social sector. In addition to the MacArthur Fellows Program, the Foundation continues its historic commitments to the role of journalism in a responsible and responsive democracy, as well as the strength and vitality of our headquarters city, Chicago. More information is available at macfound.org.
About The Miami Foundation:
Since 1967, The Miami Foundation has used civic leadership, community investment and philanthropy to improve the quality of life for everyone who calls Greater Miami home. We partner with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 1,000 personalized, philanthropic Funds. Thanks to them, we have awarded over $250 million in grants and currently manage more than $300 million in assets to build a better Miami. As the Foundation marks our 50th anniversary, we are celebrating great Miamians who have championed what matters to them, encouraging all residents to share their Miami stories and unite around the causes they care about. For more, visit miamifoundation.org.