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.

How LebTown’s fundraising strategy led to more watchdog reporting

For many news organizations, philanthropy has become an emerging and sustaining source of revenue. But many readers don’t understand the value journalism can have when effectively covering local governments. That’s why the local news site LebTown in Pennsylvania started a fundraising campaign called the Civic Impact Reporting Project. We asked Davis Shaver, the editor/publisher of […]

What 19 newsrooms did right funding journalism with philanthropy

In October, 19 newsrooms in the RFA/LMA Sustainability Lab had the opportunity to present to a panel of funder judges their plans to fund essential local journalism through philanthropy. What those newsrooms did right, according to the funder judges, offers a set of best practices that can be applied by any news organization. The panel […]

News outlets selected for third cohort of LMA Lab for Journalism Funding

(October 27, 2022) — Local Media Association is pleased to announce the news organizations that will participate in the third cohort of its Lab for Journalism Funding. The lab will help these local news organizations develop and execute strategies to fund essential local journalism via philanthropy. The six-month immersive lab runs from November 2022 through April […]

How The Spokesman-Review tapped into locals’ love of books to raise $1 million

When Rob Curley set out to host events as a fundraiser for the The Spokesman-Review in Spokane, Washington, he wasn’t aiming to raise money from ticket sales. The events, he said, were “built around the idea that you were going to show the community what it was like to actually come together and talk about […]

How the Manchester Ink Link raised $16,000 from 148 supporters to support local news

For many news organizations, philanthropy has become an emerging and sustaining source of revenue. But how does a news organization start that work of asking their community for donations? In this Q&A we talk with Carol Robidoux, the editor/publisher of Manchester Ink Link, about the Manchester Ink Link’s Manchester Rising Reporting Fund. Robidoux used videos […]

How family-owned newspaper The Columbian raised more than $1 million through local philanthropy

For many news organizations, philanthropy has become an emerging and sustaining source of revenue. But how does a news organization start that work of asking for funders and partnering with local philanthropic organizations? In this Q&A, we share some helpful tips from Will Campbell, the innovation editor and reporter at The Columbian, on how the […]

LMA announces cohort for Advanced Fundraising Lab

Local Media Association has named the nine news organizations that will participate in its Advanced Fundraising Lab, launching in September. These nine newsrooms have distinguished themselves by their combination of prior success at fundraising and their track record of journalism on behalf of the communities they serve.

Aerial view of South Florida buildings

Miami Herald expanding climate coverage with help of local funders

When Jane Wooldridge, senior director for journalism sustainability and partnerships at the Miami Herald, reached out to local stakeholders to learn what topics they felt needed more coverage, she wasn’t surprised that climate change was at the top of the list. “I don’t really have to explain why — I live in Miami,” she said. […]

How Keene Sentinel turned to local support to fund new health reporting lab

When Terry Williams, president and CEO of The Keene Sentinel in southwest New Hampshire, began asking people in the community about their most pressing issues, health care access was immediately a top concern. “We talk about the fact that there are really two things that are very difficult to get in Cheshire County,” Williams said. […]

Local Media Association launches Advanced Fundraising Lab

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 […]

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