The Google News Initiative and Abrams Foundation are investing a combined $1 million in the 2020 NewsMatch fund, bringing the program’s total investment in nonprofit news organizations to more than $5 million this year.
The Google News Initiative’s $750,000 contribution will provide added support to the participating 266 newsrooms: every organization that raises $11,500 from its audience will receive an equal matching gift from NewsMatch and a $2,500 “GNI Bonus” totalling $14,000. GNI funding will also enable an award to newsrooms that bring on 100 first-time donors during the campaign cycle, from November 1 to December 31. As part of the GNI partnership with NewsMatch, all participating newsrooms will receive coaching and personalized support across GNI tools and training, including News Consumer Insights and the GNI Digital Growth Program.
“The Google News Initiative has been focused on critical investment areas required for a healthy news ecosystem, including cultivating a new class of digital news startups and growing subscriptions and contributions for quality journalism,” explained Ben Monnie, the director for Global Partnerships Solutions at Google. “NewsMatch advances both of these topics. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership and the impact it will have on all participating news organizations.”
The participation of Abrams Foundation — a family foundation based in Boston – reflects growing interest among regional funders and a sense of urgency around shoring up reliable sources of news as the funding model for media changes. Abrams Foundation’s $250,000 investment will be divided evenly among the nonprofit newsrooms that meet the fundraising target.
The Google News Initiative and Abrams Foundation join more than 17 funders supporting NewsMatch this year. Among them is Facebook Journalism Project, which has been involved in the program since 2018 and this year is awarding a portion of its contribution to newsrooms led by and serving people of color.
Jonathan Logan, President and CEO of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, based in Berkeley, CA, explained why the foundation is contributing to NewsMatch for the third year.
“We are pleased to continue our support of NewsMatch in this critically important year for local journalism,” said Logan. “NewsMatch is a force-multiplier. The program allows us to support an entire sector that is a priority for our foundation, in a way that we do not have the operational capacity to do on our own, while at the same time offering both an incentive and wraparound assistance to newsrooms to leverage our contribution in meaningful ways.”
The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation’s $250,000 donation supports both the main matching fund, as well as a special fund for selected investigative newsrooms primarily in the South and Puerto Rico.
In the years since it was founded NewsMatch has grown to be a vital on-ramp for more and more funders who want to support nonprofit news at scale. From dedicated funds focused on education coverage to local funds supporting reporting around Philadelphia, NewsMatch is helping donors expand access to trustworthy news and information where we need it most.
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the largest funder of NewsMatch with a $1.25 million contribution this year, launched the program with 57 nonprofit newsrooms in 2016 to help boost an uptick in giving for journalism in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential campaign. It grew the following year with the support of Democracy Fund, Inasmuch Foundation, McArthur Foundation, News Integrity Initiative, and Rita Allen Foundation and now includes Abrams Foundation, Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative, Independence Public Media Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and Wyncote Foundation.
For the first time this year, NewsMatch is accepting individual donations for the collective fund through December 31 — meaning the payout to newsrooms could still increase. Tax-deductible donations can now be made directly online to the fund at NewsMatch.org.