ProPublica receives $1M grant from MacArthur Foundation

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ProPublica will receive a $1 million Award for Creative and Effective Institutions from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the funder announced Thursday. The nonprofit is the only news organization among the seven recipients selected.

ProPublica “has kept what is important about traditional journalism — accuracy, fairness, verification — and applied new technologies and tools to amplify and disseminate its reporting,” the foundation said in the release. MacArthur has backed ProPublica throughout the newsroom’s six-year existence.

The New York–based outlet will add the money to its reserve fund, bringing it to more than $4.5 million. “It makes a very big difference,” said President Dick Tofel of the grant. Reserve funds are “a very important part of building a successful sustainable nonprofit,” he said.

The news organization is expanding now that it has a larger cushion to fall back on. It announced Feb. 12 the hire of two new reporters to cover criminal justice and K-12 education. The organization will also hire a design director and one or two more reporters.

ProPublica has collaborated on investigations with PBS’s Frontline and Public Radio International’s This American Life, both of which MacArthur cited as standout projects.

The six other grantees are the Campaign Legal Center, the National Housing Trust, NatureServe, the Citizen Lab, the University of Chicago Crime Lab and the Women’s Rights Advancement and Protection Alternative.

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