May 3, 2022 — Local Media Association is pleased to announce the launch of its Advanced Fundraising Lab, which will support a cohort of local news organizations as they turn early funding wins into a long-term, sustainable strategy for supporting essential journalism through philanthropy.

The advanced lab will build on the lessons and success of 36 newsrooms that have been through two cohorts of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding, raising collectively more than $7.5 million since September 2020 to fund local journalism projects. LMA published a free 42-page industry report, Pathways to Philanthropy, to capture and share these learnings.

As more communities appreciate the critical role played by local media, and as funders discover the ways the core strengths of local journalism align with civic health and the goals of philanthropy, a new model has emerged for supporting journalism. Between 2009 and 2021, community foundations alone invested $124 million in journalism, news and information, according to a report by Media Impact Funders. Add longtime, national-scale funders like Knight Foundation, plus the growth in community-level donations, and philanthropy has emerged as an essential part of an overall strategy for sustaining essential local reporting.

For the Advanced Fundraising Lab, an initial cohort of up to 10 publishers with a track record of both community service journalism and fundraising success will be invited to be part of the three-month group-learning experience. News organizations will receive training and one-on-one coaching from category experts in sustainable philanthropy strategy, and share learnings with each other. Frank Mungeam, LMA chief innovation officer who leads the Lab for Journalism Funding, will also lead the Advanced Fundraising Lab.

“We are at a tipping point where communities are appreciating the importance of trustworthy local information sources,” Mungeam said. “We’re excited to use this powerful cohort learning format to help publishers who’ve had initial fundraising success develop and mature their strategies for sustaining journalism essential to their communities.”

The LMA Advanced Fundraising Lab is free to publishers, thanks to continued support from the Google News Initiative. As with the Lab for Journalism Funding, LMA will publish an industry report from the Advanced Fundraising Lab to share and scale the lessons learned by this cohort.

Applications are open now and participants will be accepted on a rolling basis until the lab is full, or by June 1. To be considered for the lab, please complete this application: