Since its start in October 2018 with an all-volunteer staff, the Rochester Beacon has become firmly established as an independent, nonprofit source of local news and fact-based commentary on key issues facing the Rochester region.
Now, the Beacon hopes to take an important next step to expand its news coverage: hire a full-time reporter. To help make this possible, it is launching the Beacon Community News Fund campaign.
Slated to run June 1-17, the campaign will raise funds with an aim to building a small core staff of full-time journalists, starting with a reporter.
Unlike NewsMatch, the annual campaign in November and December that for the last three years has been the single largest source of funds for general operations, the Beacon Community News Fund is focused solely on raising money to pay editorial staffers. And while NewsMatch is a national campaign that provides matching dollars from major U.S. foundations, the Beacon Community News Fund is strictly community-based.
In addition, while NewsMatch is limited to donations from individuals, the Beacon Community News Fund will accept financial contributions from businesses and local foundations as well.
“Our skilled and dedicated contributing writers will continue to play a vital role with the Beacon, but a full-time reporter would enable us to significantly expand our news coverage and bring us closer to our goal of ensuring that the Beacon becomes an enduring community resource,” Executive Editor Paul Ericson says.
“We are grateful for our readers and their generosity. It is through their largesse that we have been able to continue our work for the last few years,” Managing Editor Smriti Jacob says.
The Beacon is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, so donations are fully deductible. Starting June 1, donations can be made here.