There is a bright side to the story of journalism in America today.

NewsMatch is a national matching-gift campaign to promote giving to journalism among U.S. donors and build the capacity of nonprofit newsrooms. Since 2016, NewsMatch has helped to raise more than $150 million for newsrooms as tens of thousands of new donors have made journalism a core part of their charitable giving.

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Sharene Azimi

Communications Director, Institute for Nonprofit News

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Campaign for nonprofit news raises record-breaking $47M

Fifth year of NewsMatch program attracted more dollars from more individuals for more nonprofit news organizations than ever before

MARCH 22, 2021 — LOS ANGELES — The fifth annual NewsMatch campaign was the most successful ever with a record-breaking $47 million raised by nonprofit newsrooms across the country. In November and December 2020 -- at a time when the health and economic impacts of the COVID pandemic and elections made access to reliable news absolutely essential -- matching gifts from funders, philanthropists, and local businesses were leveraged to generate this groundswell of support from individual donors.

NewsMatch is a collaborative fundraising initiative that benefits members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) — a nationwide network of 300+ independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations. NewsMatch brings together national and community foundations, corporate partners, and small businesses, providing them with multiple opportunities to support independent journalism:

  • Contributing to the main NewsMatch fund that matches donations earned by nonprofit newsroom
  • Creating special funds for a cohort of newsrooms that meet specific criteria (e.g., diversity, education)
  • Setting up a local matching grant
  • Donating directly to an individual newsroom.

Over the past several years, as many communities have lost their local news sources due to consolidation and closure of daily and weekly newspapers, NewsMatch’s collaborative fundraising model has been one solution toward building enduring and resilient sources of independent news. 

Here are some highlights from the 2020 campaign:

More dollars: newsrooms leveraged a pool of $6.7 million in matching funds to attract more than $47 million from individual donors (compared with $43.5 million in 2019) -- the largest amount to date.

More newsrooms: 260 organizations participated in NewsMatch -- a 33 percent increase in comparison to 2019. This signals growth in the nonprofit journalism field and reflects INN Index data showing that newsrooms increasingly rely on individual giving as a main revenue source. 

More donors: More than 430,000 people made more than 1 million donations during the NewsMatch campaign -- about 65 percent more people than donated last year. These donors will contribute to the ongoing sustainability and growth of participating news organizations.

More local matches: More than 350 local supporters, including community foundations, philanthropists, and small businesses contributed $3.1 million in match funds -- double the amount in comparison to 2019.

“NewsMatch has become a powerful and simple way for foundations to support local journalism at scale,” said Josh Stearns, director of Public Square program, Democracy Fund, which funds NewsMatch. “The past year has shown that quality news and trustworthy information is vital to the communities and causes foundations care about — from healthcare, to racial justice, to fair and safe elections. Democracy Fund is proud to partner with so many other foundations to build the movement for nonprofit news across the country.”

In addition to financial support, NewsMatch also builds the fundraising capacity of participating news organizations with training from INN and its partner, News Revenue Hub. From tips on digital tools like setting up donation pages and running newsletter campaigns to guidance on identifying and engaging with major donors — NewsMatch puts organizations in a stronger position to increase their sustainability year after year.

“The visual resources NewsMatch offered saved us a ton of time during the busiest portion of the fundraising year, and the thorough guides and webinars offered were helpful as we planned our campaign,” said Alyia Paulding, membership and development coordinator for PublicSource, an INN member based in Pittsburgh. “Working with our local supporters to put together a local match pool which built on the financial support offered by NewsMatch was highly rewarding and deepened our relationship with them. Donors at all giving levels were really energized by the opportunity to double their impact.”

NewsMatch is supported through the Fund for Nonprofit News, an open collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation. NewsMatch funders include Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative, the Abrams Foundation, the Inasmuch Foundation, Independence Public Media Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, the Rita Allen Foundation, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, and the Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable, the Walton Family Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Wyncote Foundation, along with individual supporters across the U.S.

NewsMatch fund for nonprofit news increases to more than $5 million with investments from Google News Initiative, Abrams Foundation

Google News Initiative and Abrams Foundation invest a combined $1 million in nonprofit newsrooms

December 21, 2020 – Los Angeles – The Google News Initiative and Abrams Foundation are investing a combined $1 million in the 2020 NewsMatch fund, bringing the program’s total investment in nonprofit news organizations to more than $5 million this year.
The Google News Initiative’s $750,000 contribution will provide added support to the participating 266 newsrooms: every organization that raises $11,500 from its audience will receive an equal matching gift from NewsMatch and a $2,500 “GNI Bonus” totaling $14,000. GNI funding will also enable an award to newsrooms that bring on 100 first-time donors during the campaign cycle, from November 1 to December 31. As part of the GNI partnership with NewsMatch, all participating newsrooms will receive coaching and personalized support across GNI tools and training, including News Consumer Insights and the GNI Digital Growth Program.
“The Google News Initiative has been focused on critical investment areas required for a healthy news ecosystem, including cultivating a new class of digital news startups and growing subscriptions and contributions for quality journalism,” explained Ben Monnie, the director for Global Partnerships Solutions at Google. “NewsMatch advances both of these topics. We couldn’t be more excited about this partnership and the impact it will have on all participating news organizations.”
The participation of Abrams Foundation — a family foundation based in Boston – reflects growing interest among regional funders and a sense of urgency around shoring up reliable sources of news as the funding model for media changes. Abrams Foundation’s $250,000 investment will be divided evenly among the nonprofit newsrooms that meet the fundraising target.  

The Google News Initiative and Abrams Foundation join more than 17 funders supporting NewsMatch this year. Among them is Facebook Journalism Project, which has been involved in the program since 2018 and this year is awarding a portion of its contribution to newsrooms led by and serving people of color. 

Jonathan Logan, President and CEO of the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, based in Berkeley, CA, explained why the foundation is contributing to NewsMatch for the third year.

“We are pleased to continue our support of NewsMatch in this critically important year for local journalism,” said Logan. “NewsMatch is a force-multiplier. The program allows us to support an entire sector that is a priority for our foundation, in a way that we do not have the operational capacity to do on our own, while at the same time offering both an incentive and wraparound assistance to newsrooms to leverage our contribution in meaningful ways.”

The Jonathan Logan Family Foundation’s $250,000 donation supports both the main matching fund, as well as a special fund for selected investigative newsrooms primarily in the South and Puerto Rico.  

In the years since it was founded NewsMatch has grown to be a vital on-ramp for more and more funders who want to support nonprofit news at scale. From dedicated funds focused on education coverage to local funds supporting reporting around Philadelphia, NewsMatch is helping donors expand access to trustworthy news and information where we need it most.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the largest funder of NewsMatch with a $1.25 million contribution this year, launched the program with 57 nonprofit newsrooms in 2016 to help boost an uptick in giving for journalism in the aftermath of the 2016 presidential campaign. It grew the following year with the support of Democracy Fund, Inasmuch Foundation, McArthur Foundation, News Integrity Initiative, and Rita Allen Foundation and now includes Abrams Foundation, Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, Facebook Journalism Project, Google News Initiative, Independence Public Media Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable,  S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation and Wyncote Foundation.
For the first time this year, NewsMatch is accepting individual donations for the collective fund through December 31 — meaning the payout to newsrooms could still increase. Tax-deductible donations can now be made directly online to the fund at
About NewsMatch
NewsMatch brings together individual donors, foundations, and corporate philanthropists to build fundraising capabilities and inspire giving to members of the Institute for Nonprofit News: a growing network of independent newsrooms that are nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. Between November 1 and December 31, donations made to select nonprofit newsrooms in the U.S. will be matched by a coalition of funders. Since 2016, the campaign has helped raise over $100 million for nonprofit journalism, helping jumpstart small, emerging newsrooms, supporting newsrooms that serve or are led by underrepresented communities, and strengthening mission-based journalism.
NewsMatch participants are required to be active members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), which vets prospective members for independence and ethics and a primary focus on producing original news content.

INN and News Revenue Hub, an organization that specializes in financial sustainability strategies and implementation for nonprofit news, provide hundreds of hours of training resources and support in order to expand fundraising capacity and capabilities at participating news organizations.

NewsMatch is supported through the Fund for Nonprofit News, an open collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation, 501(c)(3). The Foundation oversees the fiscal administration of NewsMatch funds.

NewsMatch opens with 4+ million in funds and more nonprofit newsrooms than ever 

Fifth annual grassroots campaign will support news organizations nationwide

October 21, 2020 — LOS ANGELES, Calif. — The Institute for Nonprofit News, in partnership with News Revenue Hub and The Miami Foundation, today announced that 267 nonprofit newsrooms will participate in the fifth annual NewsMatch fundraising campaign — a 35% increase over last year. NewsMatch has already raised $4.03 million from local and national funders to support this year’s campaign. To be eligible for a match, participating newsrooms will conduct their own fundraising efforts from November 1 - December 31.

This year’s NewsMatch theme, “news for the people, with the people” reflects the increased public awareness of the essential need for credible news in this crisis-ridden year as well as Americans’ willingness to support news as a public good. While many nonprofit news outlets get their start with foundation funding, the balance of support is shifting, with more than one-third of the revenue at nonprofit newsrooms nationwide coming from individual giving (see INN Index 2020). 

Each participating organization will receive support and resources to help them attract donations from their audiences. In past years, some newsrooms have leveraged NewsMatch to inspire local businesses or philanthropists to engage donors in a matching challenge. In 2019, NewsMatch turned an initial pool of $3.37 million into a $43.5 million payout — a nearly 1,200 percent return on philanthropic investment that infused much-needed cash into news organizations at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.

“The need for fact-based reporting about what is happening in our communities and across our country is a universal, nonpartisan issue,” said Sue Cross, executive director of the Institute for Nonprofit News. “Nonprofit journalists are members of their communities. They collect and share information about the economy and public health and social protests for all of us. NewsMatch is a way to help them help you.”

How it works

NewsMatch has a unique operating model, existing as a collaborative partnership between more than a dozen national and local funders and nonprofit partners. The NewsMatch annual matching gift campaign is designed to strengthen the fundraising capacity of nonprofit newsrooms and promote giving to journalism in the U.S. During November and December, nonprofit news organizations around the country launch a year-end fundraising campaign and donations made by individuals during this period of time are matched by a national collaborative of funders. 

NewsMatch is generously supported by Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Facebook Journalism Project, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, the Inasmuch Foundation, the Independence Public Media Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation. Dozens of local and issue-based funders are also secured by newsrooms themselves, increasing the pool of match funds during their year-end campaign.

NewsMatch participants are required to be active members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), a membership organization that supports and advances independent, nonprofit news organizations that do original, fact-based reporting. 

INN and News Revenue Hub, an organization that specializes in financial sustainability strategies and implementation for nonprofit news, provide hundreds of hours of training resources and support in order to expand fundraising capacity and capabilities at participating news organizations. This helps ensure that the impact of NewsMatch is felt long into the future by fostering a more robust and resilient journalism landscape in America. 

NewsMatch is supported through the Fund for Nonprofit News, an open collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation. The Foundation oversees the fiscal administration of NewsMatch funds. The fund is still accepting contributions from foundations and donors who want a simple and powerful way to support local news and investigative journalism.

Watch this 1-minute video to see how NewsMatch leverages the fundraising efforts of participating newsrooms.

More about the participating newsrooms

The field for nonprofit news is growing: the Institute for Nonprofit News has accepted 60 new publishing members so far this year — a 25 percent increase over last year — bringing the total membership to 300. The INN network of more than 2,300 journalists now provides a reporting footprint on par with that of NPR and its affiliates. In many cases, these younger news organizations are filling in reporting gaps left as long standing local and regional newspapers have closed.

As the field expands, it is also becoming more diverse: about one-fifth of INN member newsrooms are led by people of color and more than 40 percent cover communities of color. Nearly all content produced by INN members is free to the public — and free to republish.

Newsrooms plan to use their NewsMatch grants in different ways, for example:

  • Increase the diversity of coverage by hiring a reporter dedicated to writing about poverty, hunger, and education deficiencies.
  • Examine proposed changes and reforms to local police and public safety policies.
  • Host a series of live events to discuss issues they cover like tribal nations and voting rights, gendered violence and incarceration, and demographics of rural America.
  • Stabilize the organization after a decrease in advertising and donor revenue as a result of the economic impacts of COVID-19.
  • Increase the percentage of operating revenue that is funded by reader revenue in order to strengthen fundraising appeals to major donors.

View the state-by-state listing of NewsMatch 2020 participants.

About the partners

The Institute for Nonprofit News strengthens and supports 300 independent news organizations in a new kind of media network: nonprofit, nonpartisan and dedicated to public service. From local news to in-depth reporting on pressing global issues, INN’s members tell stories that otherwise would go untold – connecting communities, holding the powerful accountable and strengthening democracy. Our vision is a world in which all people in every community have access to trustworthy news. INN programs help these news organizations develop revenue and business models to support strong reporting, collaborate on editorial and business innovation, share services and advance the diverse leaders who are forging a new future for news.

The Miami Foundation partners with donors to champion their causes and improve local quality of life. Since 1967, we’ve done this by taking leadership on civic issues, investing in our community and nurturing philanthropy. Thanks to our more than 1,000 donors, we manage more than $350 million in assets and have made over $400 million in grants that create opportunities for residents, make Miami-Dade County more resilient and foster home-grown creativity. See:

The News Revenue Hub helps news organizations build the trust and financial support of their audiences by providing customized technology tools and proven strategies to create and sustain successful digital membership programs. See:

For more information about the funders and partners, read the History of NewsMatch fact sheet.

Download high-resolution images of NewsMatch newsrooms.

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