Knight Foundation to match gifts to nonprofit news and public media outlets

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The Knight Foundation announced Monday that it will match up to $1.5 million in donations for 57 nonprofit news and public media organizations.

The idea arose earlier this month during Newsgeist, an annual gathering of journalists, technologists, Knight Foundation grantees and others who share ideas and consider the future of journalism, said Jennifer Preston, VP of journalism at the foundation. Nonprofit news and public media leaders said they were seeing an uptick in donations and an increase in public awareness about the importance of journalism amid concerns about fake news.

“There’s no better way to battle misinformation and false information than with really good reporting,” Preston said.

At a subsequent board meeting, Knight asked board members to authorize the matching incentive. Seeing the need to move quickly amid end-of-year giving campaigns, the board approved the request last week. The initiative will continue through Jan. 19 “because we know some people get pledges, and you need to turn those pledges in to donations,” Preston said.

The 57 organizations, eligible for matches up to $25,000, are current and former Knight grantees. Grantee WKSU in Kent, Ohio was contacted by Knight, which said the station met the criteria to participate, according to Mark Syroney, senior director of external affairs. The news came after WKSU started its end-of-year giving campaign, but the station will include the opportunity in its current strategy and hopes to use the match to draw new members and donors.

WKSU is trying to be sensitive to the fact that prompting gifts in the new year will be more difficult, Syroney said. So the station will ask for smaller donations in January, such as $10 or $20 gifts. “This is the time people are giving the most, but after the holidays, nobody wants to give,” he said.

Here’s a list of the organizations receiving the Knight match.