With one month left, NewsMatch grows with new funders and new momentum

On the verge of #GivingNewsDay NewsMatch is growing to meet the needs of local news and investigative journalism around the country.

Josh Stearns
4 min readDec 2, 2019


Photo courtesy of Borderzine

NewsMatch 2019 launched one month ago with more newsrooms and journalists participating than ever before. The end-of-year campaign doubles donations to trusted nonprofit news organizations in nearly every state across America. Every year NewsMatch gets bigger, and every year it seems its mission to support and expand local news and investigative journalism is more urgent.

As we count down to the end of the year the momentum around NewsMatch is growing. This week we are announcing six new funders who have joined NewsMatch 2019. NewsMatch has become a powerful platform for foundations and donors who want to support journalism that strengthens our democracy, maximizing the impact of every dollars and helping build the long term sustainability of journalism.

November was a very bad month for newspapers in America with new mergers, possible bankruptcies, and private equity tightening its grip. While the erosion of local news has been going on for some time, these most recent threats come on the verge of a critical election year which promises to be awash in misinformation and attempts to deceive. Trustworthy civic information will be critical.

All of this adds to the urgency of NewsMatch 2019. Looking out at the reporting happening at the nearly 200 newsrooms participating in NewsMatch, it is clear that this news can’t wait.

NewsMatch 2019 is a call to action and we are thrilled that these six new funders have answered that call:

The Bernard and Anne Spitzer Charitable Trust has joined the national NewsMatch campaign, providing two years of support out of a deep concern for the health of American democracy and the central role journalism plays in protecting it. Its grant will enable NewsMatch to match donations for more newsrooms and invest in vital capacity building and training to help newsrooms expand individual giving and build more sustainable business models.

Wyncote Foundation has joined NewsMatch with a local partner fund designed to provide an additional match to a collection of newsrooms in Pennsylvania and New Jersey as well as Current Magazine, which covers the public broadcasting community. This is Wyncote’s third year as a NewsMatch partner and their support allows local newsrooms to greatly expand their impact in the region.

Rita Allen Foundation has joined NewsMatch with a partner fund dedicated to providing additional matching dollars for science reporting. The foundation has chosen a group of newsrooms whose reporting advance the public’s understanding around critical issues including health and the environment. This is Rita Allen’s third year supporting science reporting through NewsMatch.

The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation joined NewsMatch for the first time this year. They set up a partner fund to support education reporting in local newsrooms around the country. Their contribution will help ensure communities have access to meaningful coverage of schools and how teaching and learning is changing.

The Colorado Media Project has pooled resources from the Gates Family Foundation, Bohemian Foundation, and Rose Community Foundation to create a local matching challenge involving 18 newsrooms across Colorado. Building on NewsMatch they are launching #newsCOneeds which includes additional technical support and local branding to promote local news in the state and increase collaboration among locally owned nonprofit and for-profit community newsrooms.

The Independence Public Media Foundation is a new foundation based in Philadelphia and joining NewsMatch for the first time. The foundation has chosen to support neighborhood, community, ethnic, and grassroots media organizations and outlets connecting with their communities in the Philadelphia region through a partner match.

Thanks to these foundations newsrooms around the country will be able to double, triple, even in some cases quadruple donations their receive. The impact of this matching approach can be profound. In two months last year 240,000 people gave to nonprofit news, 52,000 of them were first time donors. Across the entire nonprofit sector individual giving was only up by 1.5% last year, but NewsMatch participants saw an 11% boost in individual giving.

There is still time to get involved with NewsMatch before the end of the year:

  1. Donate: Go to NewsMatch.org and search for newsrooms that cover issues and communities you care about and give what you can. That is the only way newsrooms can unlock these matching dollars.
  2. Partner: If you work at a foundation and want to support quality nonprofit journalism we are here to help. There is still time to join as a NewsMatch partner for 2019 and we are already starting to build the fund for 2020.
  3. Spread the Word: Help us spread the word about NewsMatch. Ask your family and friends to give. Share the reporting that has had an impact on you. Follow NewsMatch on Twitter and Facebook.

No matter what issue you care about, no matter where you live, nonprofit newsrooms are working for you and the stories they are covering can’t wait. Neither should you. Donate today to have your gift matched by NewsMatch.

Josh Stearns is the Director of the Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund. A journalist, community builder, and civic strategist, Josh joined the Democracy Fund from the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, where he served as the Director of Journalism and Sustainability and worked to support and expand community-driven local news. Josh was a co-founder of First Draft News and the Freedom of the Press Foundation. Follow him on Twitter at @jcstearns.



Josh Stearns

Senior Director, Public Square Program at the Democracy Fund. Journalism and democracy of, by and for the people. Formerly: @grdodge @freepress