NewsMatch opens with 4+ million in funds and more nonprofit newsrooms than ever

The Institute for Nonprofit News, in partnership with News Revenue Hub and The Miami Foundation, today announced that 267 nonprofit newsrooms will participate in the fifth annual NewsMatch fundraising campaign — a 35% increase over last year. NewsMatch has already raised $4.03 million from local and national funders to support this year’s campaign. To be eligible for a match, participating newsrooms will conduct their own fundraising efforts from November 1 - December 31.

This year’s NewsMatch theme, “news for the people, with the people” reflects the increased public awareness of the essential need for credible news in this crisis-ridden year as well as Americans’ willingness to support news as a public good. While many nonprofit news outlets get their start with foundation funding, the balance of support is shifting, with more than one-third of the revenue at nonprofit newsrooms nationwide coming from individual giving (see INN Index 2020).

Each participating organization will receive support and resources to help them attract donations from their audiences. In past years, some newsrooms have leveraged NewsMatch to inspire local businesses or philanthropists to engage donors in a matching challenge. In 2019, NewsMatch turned an initial pool of $3.37 million into a $43.5 million payout — a nearly 1,200 percent return on philanthropic investment that infused much-needed cash into news organizations at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The need for fact-based reporting about what is happening in our communities and across our country is a universal, nonpartisan issue,” said Sue Cross, executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit News. “Nonprofit journalists are members of their communities. They collect and share information about the economy and public health and social protests for all of us. NewsMatch is a way to help them help you.”

How it works
NewsMatch has a unique operating model, existing as a collaborative partnership between more than a dozen national and local funders and nonprofit partners. The NewsMatch annual matching gift campaign is designed to strengthen the fundraising capacity of nonprofit newsrooms and promote giving to journalism in the U.S. During November and December, nonprofit news organizations around the country launch a year-end fundraising campaign and donations made by individuals during this period of time are matched by a national collaborative of funders.

NewsMatch is generously supported by Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, the Inasmuch Foundation, the Independence Public Media Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation. Dozens of local and issue-based funders are also secured by newsrooms themselves, increasing the pool of match funds during their year-end campaign.

NewsMatch participants are required to be active members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), a membership organization that supports and advances independent, nonprofit news organizations that do original, fact-based reporting.

INN and News Revenue Hub, an organization that specializes in financial sustainability strategies and implementation for nonprofit news, provide hundreds of hours of training resources and support in order to expand fundraising capacity and capabilities at participating news organizations. This helps ensure that the impact of NewsMatch is felt long into the future by fostering a more robust and resilient journalism landscape in America.

NewsMatch is supported through the Fund for Nonprofit News, an open collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation. The Foundation oversees the fiscal administration of NewsMatch funds. The fund is still accepting contributions from foundations and donors who want a simple and powerful way to support local news and investigative journalism.

Watch this 1-minute video to see how NewsMatch leverages the fundraising efforts of participating newsrooms.

More about the participating newsrooms
The field for nonprofit news is growing: the Institute for Nonprofit News has accepted 60 new publishing members so far this year — a 25 percent increase over last year — bringing the total membership to 300. The INN network of more than 2,300 journalists now provides a reporting footprint on par with that of NPR and its affiliates. In many cases, these younger news organizations are filling in reporting gaps left as long-standing local and regional newspapers have closed.

As the field expands, it is also becoming more diverse: about one-fifth of INN member newsrooms are led by people of color and more than 40 percent cover communities of color. Nearly all content produced by INN members is free to the public — and free to republish.

Newsrooms plan to use their NewsMatch grants in different ways, for example:

  • Increase the diversity of coverage by hiring a reporter dedicated to writing about poverty, hunger, and education deficiencies.
  • Examine proposed changes and reforms to local police and public safety policies.
  • Host a series of live events to discuss issues they cover like tribal nations and voting rights, gendered violence and incarceration, and demographics of rural America.
  • Stabilize the organization after a decrease in advertising and donor revenue as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • Increase the percentage of operating revenue that is funded by reader revenue in order to strengthen fundraising appeals to major donors.

View the state-by-state listing of NewsMatch 2020 participants.

About the partners
The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. Our vision is a world in which all people in every community have access to trustworthy news. INN programs help these news organizations develop revenue and business models to support strong reporting, collaborate on editorial and business innovation, share services and advance the diverse leaders who are forging a new future for news.

The Miami Foundation partners with donors to champion their causes and improve local quality of life. Since 1967, we’ve done this by taking leadership on civic issues, investing in our community and nurturing philanthropy. Thanks to our more than 1,000 donors, we manage more than $350 million in assets and have made over $400 million in grants that create opportunities for residents, make Miami-Dade County more resilient and foster home-grown creativity.

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 information about the funders and partners, read the History of NewsMatch fact sheet.