Dive into research on giving motivations of wealthy contributors to help formulate your major donor strategy.
Foundation and donor supportSubscribe to Updates Nonprofit news organizations typically lean — at least partially — on the support of foundations and major individual donors to accomplish their work and achieve financial sustainability, and a growing number of for-profit institutions are taking donations for specific work. This application of nonprofit structures to media and a changing dynamic for for-profit news offers important philanthropic opportunities but also creates some tricky ethical and operational questions.
Big Picture A primer on philanthropic support for news
Financial support from philanthropic sources offers all sorts of new opportunities for funding journalism and sustainability. It also raises some ethical questions that can potentially challenge reader trust.
Plan Strategic considerations around foundation and grant support
The burgeoning nonprofit news industry requires further work to set operational and editorial work on consistent, ethical footings.
The moment of tension between the GOP and the press after the 2016 election fueled unprecedented donation and subscription revenue for news organizations, demonstrating that context matters for journalism that’s perceived as a public good and its ability to raise outside funds.
Donors have the power to influence coverage, implicitly and explicitly, and this piece unpacks why that’s happening and how media organizations can protect their independence.
Do Tips and tactics around philanthropic support for news
Democracy Fund’s Local New Lab embodies the transparency it advocates for among funders in this accessible summary of how to build relationships with funders, steer clear of the pitfalls, and understand what’s beyond a grantee’s control.
This rundown of funders who back individual reporting projects and industry-changing innovation in local journalism is a helpful leg up for non-profit and for-profit news organizations exploring foundation support. It also includes links out to comprehensive resources for exploring foundation funding.
Matches are a powerful incentive for news orgs to recruit donors and engage existing supporters. These case studies show how local news organizations capitalized on the ground-breaking NewsMatch campaigns to fund their work with donor dollars.
Partnerships with trusted community philanthropic bodies can boost foundation and donor fundraising, as The Seattle Times proves with its latest project-specific fund in partnership with the Seattle Community Fund. The structure and tactics they use are adaptable to funding other local reporting efforts.
College newspapers at UNC and Duke University turned their storied basketball rivalry into a successful fundraising campaign by aiming at new donors, creating urgency, and collaborating to expand their capacity.
End-of-year fundraising campaigns with foundation matches are both an art and a science, as an examination of ProPublica’s strategy reveals. Email, direct asks, and a campaign mindset helped the organization bring in more than one-third of its small dollar revenue during its December campaign.
A high-dollar donor shares how they like to be approached.
A quick overview of tactics to improve prospecting for donors.
MinnPost’s crowdfunded, beat-specific blogs are a model for donor-supported journalism on critical topics.
Learn more about how journalism grant-writing requires clear arguments and research to bring in the money.
ProPublica’s president shares a new take on old journalism ethics about advertisers as they apply to new forms of support from donors and foundations.
The Texas Tribune’s donor page is a searchable, public database of gifts to the publication over time.
Among INN’s resources is this downloadable, boilerplate document for donor transparency.