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.

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. […]

Funding wins fuel local journalism initiatives

Three recent funding announcements demonstrate the role that philanthropy can play as one pillar for sustaining essential local journalism. These investments in local news also highlight the essential connection between journalism and informed, engaged communities. Local newsrooms looking to serve their audiences better can take a lesson from the types of reporting projects that earn […]

Why impact is the secret sauce of journalism’s value

The old joke goes, “Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” I feel the same way these days about many conversations regarding “sustainable business models for news.” We talk a lot about audience funnels, engagement strategies, distribution, subscription and other monetization strategies – as we should. But it seems to me […]

It’s time to give journalists the table: Erica Smith, LMF board chair

Erica Smith has worked in local news media for more than 20 years, and now oversees digital content strategy and products at the Times Union in Albany, New York, after working in print and digital media in Virginia, Missouri, Indiana and Washington.  She earned her master’s degree in entrepreneurial technology in 2018. That same year, […]

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 […]


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