The Rochester Beacon once again surpassed its goal for NewsMatch, the nation’s largest grassroots fundraising campaign for nonprofit news. From Nov. 1 through Dec. 31, the Beacon raised nearly $25,000 from individual contributors—$5,000 more than its goal.
This is the fifth year in a row the Beacon has topped its NewsMatch goal, and the second straight year it has raised almost $25,000 from contributors.
Nearly 180 donors—up from 130 the year before—contributed to the Beacon during the NewsMatch campaign. Of the total contributions, $15,000 is eligible to be matched dollar for dollar by national funders.
In addition, the Glover Crask Charitable Trust will match $10,000 of the funds raised during the 2023 NewsMatch campaign, bringing the total raised to roughly $50,000—a 25 percent increase in donations and matching funds.
“The expanding reach of the Rochester Beacon is a testament to the dedication of our team and the support of our community,” says Beacon publisher Alex Zapesochny. “This growth reflects not only an increase in our readership but also a deepening trust in our nonprofit digital journalism model, driven by our commitment to providing insightful and impactful coverage.”
“For nonprofit local journalism to survive and thrive, strong financial support from individual contributors is essential,” says Executive Editor Paul Ericson, who notes that the Beacon receives no government funding. “We also think it’s important for us to provide in-depth news coverage and commentary that everyone can access for free, which is possible only with a solid base of donations.”
Articles are posted to RochesterBeacon.com each weekday and delivered to subscribers every Thursday in the Rochester Beacon Weekly Review email. In addition, the Beacon presents in-person and online events focused on key issues facing the Rochester community.
Since its launch eight years ago, NewsMatch has been backed by a consortium of funders and supported through the Fund for Nonprofit News, an open collaborative fund at the Miami Foundation, which oversees the fiscal administration of NewsMatch funds. The campaign is managed by the Institute for Nonprofit News, a nationwide network of more than 400 independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan news organizations.
Each year gifts from national and local funders are pooled to match small-dollar donations by individuals to participating organizations, all of which have operating budgets below $1 million.
All NewsMatch participants are 501(c)(3) organizations 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 INN.
Key funders to NewsMatch have included the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Democracy Fund, Google News Initiative, Meta, Vere Initiatives, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Jonathan Logan Family Foundation, Inasmuch Foundation, Walton Family Foundation, and several other family and private foundations.
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