News Match kicks off with $3 million for nonprofit newsrooms

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For the second consecutive year, nonprofit news organizations have an opportunity to participate in a year-end fundraising match.

The Democracy Fund, the Knight Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation are collaborating to match $3 million in contributions to nonprofit news organizations through the end of the year. More than 100 participating organizations are eligible to receive $28,000 each in matching funds for individual donations of up to $1,000. Fundraising kicked off Sunday. (Disclaimer: Current is participating in the News Match.)

The match expands on the Knight News Match, a similar program the Knight Foundation launched last year through which dozens of nonprofit and public media organizations raised more than $1.2 million.

The Democracy Fund and Knight Foundation announced over the summer that they would pledge $2 million to the campaign, plus $750,000 to help nonprofit organizations become sustainable. The Institute for Nonprofit News and the News Revenue Hub are also partners, supporting local and regional foundations that want to match donations to newsrooms in their region, according to a press release. The Miami Foundation is also a fiscal sponsor for the fund.

This year’s news match is launching more than two months earlier. The timing of last year’s forced organizations to plan for a match around existing year-end fundraising campaigns.

The number of participating organizations has expanded from 57 to more than 100. Last year, the pool was limited to nonprofits that had worked with Knight in recent years. This year’s guidelines require only that participants publish original news reporting and be full INN members in good standing as of Sept. 15 to be eligible.

Participants are also required to participate in the American Society of News Editors’ annual survey of newsroom diversity staffing, which drew low participation from INN members last year.

“The accountability and investigative function of journalism is essential for our democracy and it has been under-resourced for many years,” Kathy Im, director of journalism and media at MacArthur, said in a statement. “News Match endeavors to strengthen a free and independent press and help restore Americans’ faith in the news media.”