General | Nonprofits | Funders

General FAQ

What is NewsMatch?

NewsMatch is a national matching-gift campaign to grow fundraising capacity in nonprofit newsrooms and promote giving to journalism among U.S. donors. It is supported through an open collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation and offers a simple, turnkey platform for foundations of all sizes to support quality news.

When is NewsMatch?

NewsMatch 2020 runs from November through December.

Who is behind NewsMatch?

NewsMatch is supported by Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Inasmuch Foundation, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, the Dirk and Natasha Ziff Family Foundation, and the Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable, along with supporting partners across the U.S. The Miami Foundation is the fiscal sponsor.

The Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub are nonprofit partners.

What is NewsMatch.org?

NewsMatch.org makes it easy to find and support nonprofit journalism. Use the search tool to find a trusted nonprofit news organization in your community or in an area you care deeply about.

Nonprofit FAQ

Who can participate?

NewsMatch 2020 is open to nonprofit news organizations that are full members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN). The deadline to apply for INN membership in time to join NewsMatch 2020 is July 31.

To make it easier for organizations who want to participate in NewsMatch, the deadline for INN members to apply to NewsMatch 2020 is now Monday, August 17, 2020. News organizations that are not already members of INN planning to participate in NewsMatch 2020 are still required to submit their INN membership application by Friday, July 2020.

If you have any questions or feedback, please contact the NewsMatch team at hello@newsmatch.org.

How does NewsMatch work?

NewsMatch pools gifts from local and national funders to match small-dollar donations to nonprofit newsrooms across the country. Local and national foundations provide gifts to the Fund for Nonprofit News, hosted at The Miami Foundation. The Fund then matches every dollar that newsrooms raise from donors during the year-end NewsMatch campaign, up to a predetermined cap.

As a participating newsroom, you will promote your participation in the campaign as you raise money toward your goal. A series of trainings and a customizable campaign toolkit created by NewsMatch will help you in your effort. When the match ends, you will submit a report of donations received, which will then be verified by The Miami Foundation and your matching award will be distributed.

In 2019, NewsMatch helped raise more than $43 million for nonprofit news in the program's most successful year yet.

How do I apply for INN membership?

NewsMatch is only open to INN members. For more information on applying for membership, see INN’s “Become a Member” or email info@inn.org.

What are the requirements and expectations for participants?

If you choose to participate, we expect you will include NewsMatch in your year-end fundraising strategy, draw on the training and campaign toolkit that NewsMatch offers, and enthusiastically promote NewsMatch in your community and on social media.

After NewsMatch, we will ask you to participate in an evaluation to help measure and track the effectiveness of the program.

A. The Fine Print about the Match (Read Carefully!)

How much will be matched?

NewsMatch will match up to $1,000 per donor to participating organizations. The maximum amount you can receive from the match pool is capped based on the size of the NewsMatch fund and the number of participating organizations. In 2019, the match cap was $20,000.

How does the new member bonus work?

All participants are eligible for the new member bonus, which makes new recurring donations started during NewsMatch eligible to be matched at their full-year value. For example, a new $10/month donation that starts in December 2020 will be eligible for a $120 match. Existing recurring donations received during NewsMatch are eligible for the match but will not be matched at a full-year value.

How do the goal-based bonuses work?

These goals are designed to create new opportunities to engage individual donors and to support organizations in the early stages of growing an individual giving program. Details about the bonuses for 2020 will be shared with participants in August.

What is the eligible donation time period for the match?

Donations received during the campaign period in November and December are eligible for the match. Unfulfilled pledges and donations dated after Dec. 31 are not eligible.

What determines the date of donation?

Either the date on the check or the date of the online donation as time-stamped by your system.

If someone makes a donation larger than $1,000, can we can count the first $1,000 toward NewsMatch?


What donations count?

NewsMatch will match any donation from an individual up to $1,000 to a participating organization.

Do donations made by individuals through a business, foundation or donor advised fund count?

This is a campaign focused on gifts from individuals. We understand that individuals sometimes want to give through a business, family foundation, donor advised funds or other vehicle. These donations will be eligible for the match if they can reasonably be seen as coming from individuals supporting your work.

We ask that you use your best judgment. A gift from a family foundation where the family is directing the gift — as opposed to staff —would be eligible, for example. A gift from an individual who chooses to make their donation through their business would likewise be eligible. Gifts from donor advised funds are eligible.

Do admission fees for an event count as a donation?

The portion of an event admission fee that can be considered tax deductible is eligible for the match. The money must be received during the match period. Pre-event ticket sales are eligible for the match as long as the event takes place during the match period.

Do subscriptions count as a donation?

The portion of a subscription that can be considered tax deductible is eligible for the match. The money must be received during the match period.

Do donations received through Facebook count?

Donations received through Facebook's fundraising tools are eligible to be matched. This includes fundraising campaigns you manage and fundraising campaigns by your supporters in your name. You can get donor names and donation data by downloading your Transaction Report from Facebook.

B. Training Opportunities

Where can I register for NewsMatch training and view recorded training webinars?

Training webinars are available on the internal Campaign HQ site available to participants.

C. Reporting Requirements

What documentation is required to receive the match?

After NewsMatch ends, participants will submit a report and supporting documentation for all donations for which a match is requested. For each donation, the supporting documentation must show the donor name and amount of the gift. Examples of acceptable documentation include deposited checks, bank statements, an export from your CRM or online donation processor, or credit card records that list the donor name and amount. Documentation will be submitted to The Miami Foundation, which is validating donations for NewsMatch, via an online form.

Can we submit a CSV file downloaded from GiveGab as documentation for NewsMatch.org donations?

Yes, the CSV file from GiveGab is sufficient. List each donation made via GiveGab on your cover sheet with the total eligible amount and then provide the GiveGab export as backup. The full amount charged by GiveGab to donors is eligible to be matched.

What other information will I need to report?

Along with your match documentation, we will ask for some basic information about your fundraising results in 2020 and invite you to fill out an evaluation survey about your experience with NewsMatch. This information will help us to evaluate the success of the NewsMatch program and better support nonprofit news going forward.

D. Using NewsMatch.org

What is NewsMatch.org?

NewsMatch.org is the landing page for the NewsMatch national campaign and an easy way for new donors to find and support nonprofit news organizations participating in NewsMatch. For most of you, this will be a secondary fundraising channel to reach donors who learn about NewsMatch from the national campaign. We generally recommend your own website be your primary fundraising channel. NewsMatch.org is powered by GiveGab, an online giving platform that helps nonprofits raise money, engage donors, and manage volunteers quickly and efficiently.

How do I get listed on NewsMatch.org?

Instructions on how to create or update your profile on NewsMatch.org are available in the Campaign HQ site available to participants.

Where can I get help setting up my NewsMatch.org profile?

The best way to get help is through the blue GiveGab chat bubble in the bottom-right corner of NewsMatch.org. GiveGab will respond within 2 hours during business hours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday to Friday). Questions received outside of business hours will be addressed first thing in the morning of the next business day. You can also email questions to customersuccess@givegab.com.

Can more than one person be an admin for our NewsMatch.org profile?

Yes, you may add multiple administrators.

How much of each donation we receive on NewsMatch.org will go to our organization?

GiveGab retains a 2% fee and credit card processing fees are an additional 2.2% + $0.30. Donors are given the option to cover the fees and many will. If donors cover the fees, 100% of their online charitable gift will go to your organization. 100% of all donations are tax-deductible for the donor. All donations will be officially acknowledged for tax purposes by GiveGab on behalf of NewsMatch.

When will we receive funds donated on NewsMatch.org?

Organizations will receive all donations, less any fees, within 3 business days via direct deposit once your bank routing and account information has been verified. GiveGab uses a PCI Level I compliant payment service to ensure that all financial data is secure.

How does an organization know who has donated and how much? Can I download a donations report?

You can access and download a CSV file of donations you receive on NewsMatch.org via your admin dashboard. The report is updated in real time and will include the donation payout date for bank account reconciliation, donation information (including a breakdown of the fees), and the donor's name and contact information.

We have a policy against accepting anonymous donations but received one through NewsMatch.org. What do we do?

We suggest you contact the donor to explain your policy and ask them to consider being named. If they decline, you can work with GiveGab to refund the donation according to your organization's guidelines. If this situation arises and you have questions, please contact Sue Cross at sue@inn.org.

Funder FAQ

How does NewsMatch work?

NewsMatch pools gifts from local and national funders to match small-dollar donations to nonprofit newsrooms across the country. Local and national foundations provide gifts to the Fund for Nonprofit News, hosted at the Miami Foundation. The Fund then matches every dollar that newsrooms raise from donors during the year-end NewsMatch campaign, up to a predetermined cap. For funder partners at the local or national level, we can also offer small, specialized funds or facilitate direct match opportunities that meet your specific interest and priorities. For more details on how you can support NewsMatch, see below.

In 2019, NewsMatch built on its legacy as the largest-ever grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit news, helping to raise $43.5 million during in the campaign's best year yet. Now we are inviting you to join the NewsMatch 2020 national matching fund, or to partner with us to set up matches for the places and issues that align with your giving priorities.

We have a team that identifies and vets grantees and manages the grant making and evaluation process; so whether you are a longtime journalism funder or just getting interested in supporting journalism and media, NewsMatch makes it easy to contribute to strengthening the field of nonprofit news. Through NewsMatch, we can make 2020 another record-setting year for donations to quality journalism!

How can you get involved?

There are three main ways for interested funders to participate in NewsMatch 2020. Across all options NewsMatch is focused on making it easy for you to participate by managing the administration, due diligence and grants process:

  1. Contribute to the national matching fund: Donors interested in strengthening nonprofit journalism across the country can make a gift to the national Fund for Nonprofit News at The Miami Foundation. The larger the fund grows, the greater the match and performance incentives the fund can provide to all participating news organizations. There is a 3 percent fee on deposit for administration and a minimum gift size of $50,000.
  2. Set up an issue-based or regional matching campaign: We can help you identify and set up a match for nonprofit news organizations that align with your funding priorities, such as science reporting, investigative journalism, or nonprofit news in a certain geographic area. Once approved, The Miami Foundation will set up a unique fund that will only make awards to participating news organizations you choose. A custom award letter will be created and The Miami Foundation will process grants to those organizations. There is a 4 percent fee on deposit for administration.
  3. Create a direct match opportunity with specific local news organizations: We can help you identify nonprofit news organizations that align with your funding priorities. Once the match period is complete, The Miami Foundation will report how much the selected organizations raised and will help facilitate a payment directly from you to the nonprofit news organization. There is no fee for this option. You will make grant awards to directly to organization(s) of your choice based on the information provided to you by The Miami Foundation.

How can family, community and place-based foundations triple the impact of your own giving to local journalism?

NewsMatch can help community and place-based foundations strengthen local reporting by doubling your match to nonprofit newsrooms in your communities to local news rooms in your area — effectively tripling your own investment. This 2:1 match can be highly effective in mobilizing fundraising efforts and bringing new donors to nonprofit journalism.

As a local NewsMatch partner you may manage your own grants and structure your matching dollars any way you want, such as capping your commitment at a certain level or asking for additional reporting from organizations receiving the matching funds.

We can help you identify eligible newsrooms in your area; and when the match is complete, we can report how much the selected organizations raised and help facilitate a payment directly from you to the nonprofit news organization.

What outcomes will NewsMatch achieve?

NewsMatch supported 195 nonprofit newsrooms in 2019 and will be supporting even more organizations this year. Every dollar raised will help support critical local news organizations, investigative reporting and beat coverage of issues of pressing public concern. It will make it possible for newsrooms to produce more coverage, hire more staff and support innovative approaches to reporting. But most importantly, NewsMatch will focus on long-term capacity building for nonprofit news, expanding the donor base and diversifying the revenue streams.

Which nonprofit organizations are eligible for NewsMatch?

Any nonprofit news organization who is an actively publishing, full member of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), in good standing, is eligible to participate. INN represents more than 200 nonprofit news organizations across the U.S. and provides services to strengthen the nonprofit news sector. All participating organizations are a 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3), follow best practices in financial transparency, and publish original, high-quality reporting that is investigative or public service by nature.

How is the fund governed?

The Miami Foundation has formed a “Principals Group” made up of the key donors to the fund (donors of $500,000 and above). This group provides recommendations to The Miami Foundation with respect to governance and grantmaking. Final decisions on matching grants are made by The Miami Foundation, in consultation with the Principals Group, based on a set of predetermined criteria (proof of nonprofit status, verified evidence of donations during the time period, etc.). The Miami Foundation conducts diligence on the applications, verifies match documentation, and issues an award letter and a lump-sum payment.

How is the fund evaluated?

The Miami Foundation prepares and delivers annual and quarterly financial reports to the Principals Group during the life of the fund. Further evaluation (including but not limited to pre-and post surveys, case studies, etc.) is conducted by evaluation and learning staff at Democracy Fund and Knight Foundation with consultants retained by them. The Principals Group will prepare a report in early 2020 that will be distributed to NewsMatch donors and partners so you can see the impact of your contribution. Previous evaluations are available to donors and partners.

What marketing materials are available to partners?

The NewsMatch toolkit includes digital assets and messaging you can use to talk about nonprofit journalism in your community. The campaign will be supported with a national marketing effort, paid ads, and NewsMatch.org, where donors can find and support all participating organizations.

How to Get Involved

NewsMatch makes it simple for foundations of all sizes to support quality news. We are still inviting partners to join the 2020 campaign. Contact us for more information.

Josh Stearns, Democracy Fund

Lindsey Linzer, The Miami Foundation