New business model will focus on community support for journalism and fiscal sponsorships

(March 3, 2021) — Journalism funded by philanthropy is one of four key pillars in the 2020/2021 strategic plan for Local Media Association. Today LMA furthers its commitment to this emerging opportunity by hiring an experienced fundraiser to lead a new effort focused on fiscal sponsorships and community support for journalism.


Terese Kartholl brings donor stewardship, fundraising and prospect development experience to the LMA team. She recently served as senior associate director of donor relations for Northwestern Pritzker School of Law, where she was involved in fundraising campaigns that generated more than $250 million. Kartholl has consulted for numerous clients over the past two years, including LMA. Starting March 8, she will be LMA’s director of journalism funding initiatives.

“I am excited to join the talented team at Local Media Association,” said Kartholl. “I look forward to contributing to LMA’s innovative and expanding efforts to leverage philanthropic funding in support of journalism projects.”

Kartholl will work with LMA staff and board members to develop a business plan around the opportunity for community contributions to support journalism projects, in addition to serving as a fiscal sponsor for interested local media companies.

“Our COVID-19 Local News Fund generated $1.74 million for 200 media companies last year,” said Nancy Lane, LMA chief executive officer. “Now those companies and others are asking ‘what’s next?’ We believe there is a huge opportunity here and we want to seize it. The hiring of Terese will make that possible.”

LMA’s other major investments in this space include:

  • The Lab for Journalism Funding (16 publishers well on their way to raising $2.25 million collectively for journalism projects)
  • NewsFuel, a platform that matches funders with journalism projects
  • The Fund for Local Journalism, which awards investigative reporting stipends to a wide mix of local media companies to support work that otherwise would not be possible

For many LMA members, this represents a new business model that is just as important as reader revenue. “We’ve learned so much from the LMA philanthropy lab that we realize this has to be one of our major pillars to support journalism,” said P.J. Browning, publisher, The Post and Courier, and LMA board director. “We put together a comprehensive plan … and went public in a big way letting readers know exactly how much this type of journalism costs, where advertising revenues were headed and to keep this type of journalism, we needed their help. The response has been overwhelming.”

The goal is to launch a community-supported campaign sometime this spring. Interested media partners can contact Lindsey Estes ( to be added to the list to receive updates. The plan for an industrywide fiscal sponsorship program should also be announced in the coming months.

For more information about the work of Local Media Association and Local Media Foundation, download the 2020 Impact Report.