For the second straight year, the Rochester Beacon raised more than $20,000 from contributors in November and December, surpassing its goal for NewsMatch, the nation’s largest grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit news. The 2020 campaign ended Dec. 31.
Nearly 160 donors contributed to the Beacon during the NewsMatch campaign. Of the total contributions, $12,500 is eligible to be matched dollar for dollar. In addition, by reaching the match cap, the Beacon will be eligible for a $2,500 bonus from the Google News Initiative, bringing the total raised to more than $35,000.
“We are deeply grateful for our community of donors,” said Alex Zapesochny, publisher of the Rochester Beacon. “Their generous support is critical to maintaining and enhancing our journalistic activities in 2021 and beyond.”
Added Executive Editor Paul Ericson: “The success of the 2020 NewsMatch campaign represents another big step toward our goal of building a sustainable business model for high-quality local journalism. With the funds generously donated during the campaign, we will be able to provide the news and in-depth analysis our readers want throughout the coming year.”
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. Over the last 12 months, the Beacon has posted nearly 300 articles by its writers and community contributors. Access to all content is free.
Launched five years ago, NewsMatch is a matching-gift campaign that has helped nonprofit newsrooms across the country raise more than $100 million. The campaign pools gifts from local and national funders to match small-dollar donations by individuals to participating organizations.
The 2020 campaign was the second time the Beacon took part in NewsMatch. In 2019, the Beacon also reached its campaign goal of $20,000.
The Beacon was one of more than 260 participating news organizations in NewsMatch 2020—up 35 percent from a year earlier. All 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. In addition, 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 Facebook Journalism Project, the Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust, the Inasmuch Foundation, the Independence Public Media Foundation, the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Natasha and Dirk Ziff, the Present Progressive Fund at Schwab Charitable, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Wyncote Foundation, along with supporting partners across the U.S. The Miami Foundation is the fiscal sponsor. INN and the News Revenue Hub are nonprofit partners.