Democracy Fund

The Democracy Fund invests in organizations working to ensure that our political system is able to withstand new challenges and deliver on its promise to the American people.

Democracy Fund

Engaging News Project

The Engaging News Project has a single aim: to provide research-based techniques for engaging online audiences in commercially-viable and democratically-beneficial ways.

Why We Invested

The Engaging News Project tests web-based strategies for informing audiences, promoting substantive discourse, and helping citizens to understand diverse views. At the same time, it analyze business outcomes, such as clicks and time on page. Systematic testing provides valuable information about what works—and what doesn¹t. And by advancing both journalistic and business goals, the research is designed with contemporary newsrooms in mind.

Impacts and Accomplishments

Over the past year, the Engaging News Project has conducted research on solutions-focused journalism, quizzes on news websites, contemporary news engagement practices, and comment sections. We also have hosted a workshop with digital thought leaders, a practice we will continue in the coming year. The research has affected what is on news sites (check out the Respect button on, and has been featured by the Nieman Journalism Lab, PBS, and the Newspaper Association of America.

How You Can Get Involved

  1. Follow the Engaging News Project on Facebook and Twitter
  2. Write about the Project (Check out the information about the projects)
  3. Adopt a new practice based on their research. Try a slider poll on your site, see what happens when a reporter interacts in the comment section, use a Respect Button. (Do contact them as they’re happy to help you get it set up.)
  4. Sign up for their newsletter.
  5. Let them know what they can do better