The Rochester Beacon raised more than $20,000 from individual contributors over the last two months, surpassing its goal for NewsMatch, the nation’s largest grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit news. The 2019 campaign ended Dec. 31.
Nearly 125 donors contributed to the Beacon during its inaugural NewsMatch campaign. Their contributions are eligible to be matched dollar for dollar, bringing the total to $40,000.
“In 2019, local journalism continued to undergo immense changes and financial pressures across the country,” said Alex Zapesochny, Rochester Beacon publisher. “We are extremely grateful for the widespread and growing support we have received to help stem that tide in our region.”
Readership of articles posted to RochesterBeacon.com and delivered each Thursday in the Rochester Beacon Weekly Review email has grown steadily since the Beacon’s launch in October 2018. Access to all content is free.
“The funds generously donated during the NewsMatch campaign will help us publish more news and in-depth analysis this year,” Executive Editor Paul Ericson said. “Equally important, the success of this first-time effort is a significant step toward our goal of a sustainable business model for high-quality local journalism.”
NewsMatch is a matching-gift campaign that since its start four years ago has helped nonprofit newsrooms across the country raise more than $14 million. It pools gifts from local and national funders to match donations by individuals to participating organizations. The campaign matches, dollar for dollar, up to $1,000 per individual donor.
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 individual donors during the NewsMatch campaign, up to a cap of $20,000 per participating nonprofit news organization.
The Rochester Beacon is one of more than 150 participating news organizations; all are full members of the Institute for Nonprofit News. NewsMatch is supported by Democracy Fund, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, 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. INN and the News Revenue Hub are nonprofit partners.