As economic challenges and political attacks shake the news industry, local and investigative nonprofits remain a crucial source of information at both the national and local level. For the second year in a row, News Match encouraged the public to ensure that valuable journalism doesn’t go away.
The News Match 2017 campaign raised funds for 110 nonprofit news organizations across the country. At press time, newsrooms were still collecting donations so a final amount was not available. The initial matching fund was established with $1 million each from Democracy Fund, Knight Foundation and MacArthur Foundation.
Several other groups also partnered with News Match, including The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation and the News Integrity Initiative.
“Quality local news organizations are vital to building more informed and engaged communities and building trust in news. They provide information that is important to the community and advances engagement with local issues,” said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president of journalism. “They hold city governments and other institutions accountable and provide local context to national issues. As reliable news sources, they can help guard against misinformation and rebuild the trust people have in journalism.”
Preston noted that it was important to build upon the success of the Knight Foundation’s first News Match campaign in 2016, which helped 57 nonprofit news organizations raise more than $1.2 million.
“Several of the participants reported significant jumps in their annual giving campaigns because of NewsMatch and growth in their community of supporters,” she said. “Based on this success, we realized that NewsMatch was a catalyst for further engagement and were thrilled to bring on new partners this year including Democracy Fund and MacArthur Foundation.”
This year’s guidelines required that participants published original news reporting and be members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). Donors were able to contribute during the final three months of the year through the News Match website, which allows people to search for journalism outlets by geography or topic. The site will continue to be maintained by INN year-round.
Josh Stearns, associate director of the public square program at the Democracy Fund, said that he was impressed by the power of the News Match platform on #GivingNewsDay last November. Both journalists and celebrities like Mark Ruffalo, Dana Bash, Katy Tur and many others tweeted about their support and donations to nonprofit news.
At the same time, he acknowledged that the campaign was about much more than just raising money.
“News Match has spent the last six months investing in training, coaching and tech investments to build the longterm sustainability of newsrooms,” he said. “That capacity building support will make the entire nonprofit news sector stronger for years to come.”
Update 2/15/18: Josh Sterns reported NewsMatch raised more than $4.8 million from individual donors and and a coalition of foundations.