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.

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 […]

19 newsrooms selected for RFA/LMA Sustainability Lab

Twenty newsrooms have been selected to be part of the RFA/LMA Sustainability Lab, a new partnership between Report for America, Local Media Association and Meta Journalism Project to catalyze philanthropic and business model innovation for local newsrooms.

LMA/LMF 2021 Impact Report

LMA + LMF 2021 Impact Report

2021 was a transformational year in our organization’s history. The global pandemic forced us to engage in new and different ways, and we learned a lot in the process. From transforming our own business through new funding sources to helping local media companies with their long-term sustainability goals, it was a year of great progress […]

Chicago Reader’s new hub will bring racial justice to the forefront

The Chicago Reader, which began as an alt-weekly newspaper in 1971, has always told surprising stories that mainstream publications ignored. That coverage has included overlooked injustices, perhaps most notably in John Conroy’s House of Screams, a 17-year, 23-article series about a police commander’s predilection for torture that ran from 1990 to 2007. But Karen Hawkins, […]

5 questions with Tom Shaw, board chair of Local Media Foundation

The new Local Media Foundation board chair, Tom Shaw, is vice president and chief product officer of Shaw Media. Before Shaw Media, Tom worked in local radio and television advertising sales. He has a journalism degree from Colorado State University, and a Masters of Business Administration from University of Colorado at Denver. We caught up […]

Unity of purpose: where journalism and philanthropy align

Local news organizations bring to a funding partnership their ability to reach audiences as a trusted messenger and a track record of community service — three strengths that matter to funders seeking impact.

Creating a local journalism ecosystem ‘so juicy no one would want to resist’ — Q&A with Alicia Bell, director of the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund at Borealis Philanthropy

Alicia Bell was hired to lead the Racial Equity in Journalism Fund at Borealis Philanthropy in October 2021, with a goal to distribute resources, lead with compassion, and help build a fairer media industry that serves audiences made up of people of color. Prior to joining Borealis Philanthropy, Bell worked at the intersection of media […]


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