The Fund for Local Journalism supports local reporting projects, in-depth investigative accountability, and solutions journalism efforts that provide an important public service in communities across North America.
Why we launched The Fund for Local Journalism
Scale, immediacy and grassroots impact
Investigative reporting is a vital part of a healthy and robust local media environment, and serves to inform and engage citizens, empowering critical change in communities.
This kind of dogged journalism is time-intensive and expensive to produce. The news media industry has been hard-hit financially by steep advertising declines, coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic, resulting in layoffs and a dramatic reduction in original reporting.
Local news organizations need support now to offset these devastating and widespread economic impacts. Our micro-payment model strategically delivers stipends to as many local news organizations as possible, as quickly as possible. This democratizes support.
We offer donors two ways to support the work of local journalists via The Fund for Local Journalism.
Contribute to the general Fund, which will support local news organizations in their mission to inform the communities they serve. Funding investigative journalism requires significant resources and significant investment. Now is the time to ensure our communities are informed by deep research and education provided by journalists covering and uncovering the vital information our citizens need to make choices about their families, communities and businesses. You have an opportunity to support the important work by local news organizations across the country by supporting their mission.
Mark your contributions specifically to support the work of publishers of color via the Fund. The impact of COVID-19 has been especially devastating for communities of color. In order to provide additional support to these audiences, the LMF has created a separate opportunity to support publishers serving communities of color. These publishers need resources to serve their readers, users, and viewers and continue their commitment to informing and educating their audiences. Your donations will help fund investigative reporting that will shine a light on issues and topics that are of unique interest to audiences of color.
A mutual fund for local news support
Individual donors might want to support local journalism on a wider scale than a subscription to their community news organization. Foundation funders might want to have wider impact with grassroots local news outlets, but don’t have the infrastructure to execute small grantmaking. The Fund for Local Journalism can be an outlet for both, pooling giving to support hundreds of local journalism organizations across North America.
Infrastructure and fiscal sponsorship
With more than 3,000 members and participants in the local newspaper, broadcast and digital space — and services that span even further — Local Media Association has the reach and relationships to facilitate support for local journalism quickly and extensively. Local Media Foundation provided fiscal sponsorship to independent local news organizations for a fundraising program tied to COVID-19 coverage. That program has raised more than $1.4 million from 15,000 donors in all 50 states over two months. LMA also helped manage a Facebook COVID-19 grant program that judged 2,000 applications and distributed $10.5 million to local news organizations in less than five weeks.
Our approach to grantmaking
General donations and undesignated corporate and institutional giving to The Fund For Local Journalism will support a rolling general fund program that issues micro-grants — up to $10,000 — to local news organizations based in the U.S. and Canada, including print, broadcast, digital, nonprofit or for-profit.
In addition to the strength of the proposed reporting project, priority will be given based on financial need and impact, and the news organization’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. News organizations do not have to be members of Local Media Association to apply for and receive funding from The Fund for Local Journalism, and LMA membership is not a factor in the award of grants.
In addition to its general fund, the Fund for Local Journalism will host and facilitate donor-advised grant programs that may be limited to a specific topic, type of outlet, region of the country, and have a time-limited, vs. rolling, duration.
Local Media Foundation is a 501(c)(3) charitable trust affiliated with the Local Media Association, one of the largest local media trade associations in North America. More than 3,000 local newspapers, TV and radio stations, digital news sites, and industry R&D partners are involved with the work of LMA.
For institutional and philanthropic donors:
In addition to the online donation methods, foundations, philanthropists, and corporate donors interested in supporting The Fund for Local Journalism are welcome to donate by check or bank transfer. Please contact us to discuss these payment options: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Fund For Local Journalism is a program administered by Local Media Foundation, tax ID #36‐4427750, a Section 501(c)(3) charitable trust affiliated with Local Media Association. LMF is raising funds for local investigative reporting programs that will educate and inform the public in communities across North America. Donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Please consult your tax advisor for details.