Journalism funded by philanthropy is one of our four strategic pillars. LMA’s Lab for Journalism Funding, launched in September 2020 with support from Google, guided participating publishers through a six-month curriculum developed by a team from The Seattle Times led by Joaquin Alvarado. Through July 2021, the 16 publishers had combined to raise more than $3.5 million, an average of more than $200,000 per publisher. The success of these publishers is strong evidence that philanthropy can be one pillar for sustainably funding local journalism focused on civic good.

Here are recent articles about our own efforts and other industry initiatives to develop philanthropic funding for journalism.

Press Forward philanthropy initiative launched to drive local news sustainability

Major philanthropy organizations, led by the MacArthur Foundation and the Knight Foundation, will invest at least $500 million in local news over the next five years through the new Press Forward initiative. The details of Press Forward were formally announced on Sept. 7 in news releases from Knight Foundation and from Press Forward. Leaders at […]

Do the ‘right things’ and funding will follow

Liz White is the publisher and fifth-generation family owner of the 156-year-old RJ Media Group in central Connecticut, which includes one five-day-a-week newspaper, eight weekly newspapers, two websites and a digital agency. $0. When we graduated as a participant in the first cohort of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding in April 2021, we had […]

Getting to ‘yes’: How NOLA expanded its investigative reporting with philanthropic funding

Every good media salesperson knows: Overcoming a client’s objections is key to getting to “yes.” The same is true when seeking to fund essential local journalism via philanthropy. Since 2020, The Times-Picayune | The Advocate | has raised more than $2 million in philanthropy, dramatically expanding its investigative reporting to better serve the entire […]

What funders want: Accelerate Local How-To conversation with Jennifer Preston

For news organizations considering supporting their reporting in part through philanthropy, everyone asks one question: What do funders want? It would be hard to find someone better to ask than Jennifer Preston. Her vast experience includes her roots in local New York journalism to her time at The New York Times, her longtime role as […]

Funders offer tips: How to secure an invitation to apply

At a recent Grant Professionals Association Conference in Chicago, program officers from the Polk Bros. Foundation and Lloyd A. Fry Foundation joined grant writing professionals to discuss successful strategies for securing an invitation to apply for funding. Here are some of the takeaways: Email outreach as the first contact is preferred This is the best […]

Pitch day winners show what it takes to earn philanthropic support for journalism

Newsrooms that seek to earn philanthropic support for their journalism must identify a meaningful problem facing their community, create a plan to address that issue through journalism — including resources needed — and have a track record of driving impact. Those were the top takeaways from the fifth edition of “Pitch Day,” where news outlets […]

Q&A with board member Emily Barr about the Maine Journalism Foundation

Last week, retired Portland Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz announced in a column that he and other media leaders in the state had formed the Maine Journalism Foundation. The nonprofit organization was formed to “sustain and nurture Maine’s reputation as a bastion for independent local news.” The foundation’s first goal is to acquire the Portland […]

5 questions with Judi Terzotis, The Times-Picayune

Judi Terzotis is the president and publisher of The Times-Picayune | Advocate | She joined Georges Media Group in 2018 from Gannett Co., Inc., where she spent the majority of her 30-year career in the media business. She rose from the ranks from a sales consultant to regional publisher overseeing eight markets in Louisiana, […]

LMA + LMF 2022 Impact Report

At an industry gathering last year, Larry Lee, publisher of The Sacramento Observer (a Black newspaper founded 60 years ago by his father), shared that his organization went from fewer than four full-time employees to 14 in just 16 months. The gathering, hosted by the Knight Foundation, was focused on sustainability. Attendees stood and clapped. […]


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