Nigeria has a stubborn legacy of corruption that dates back decades. The MacArthur Foundation is investing some $67 million in investigative journalism, transparency, and good governance in the country — an ambitious experiment that could serve as a model for other states plagued by corruption.
Charitable and nonprofit organizations have a lot to gain from adopting certain aspects of successful business models, and they should start with treating stakeholders as customers, argues Philip Piletic of CustomerThink.
Interest by the philanthropic community in supporting public-interest media is not new. Donor-supported nonprofit magazines like National Geographic and Mother Jones have been around for decades. The original Fund for Investigative Journalism dates back to 1969, while America’s National Public Radio began in 1971. Following the end of the Cold War, Western governments and foundations pumped billions of dollars abroad, as part of an emerging “media development” field to establish independent news outlets in former Communist states and developing countries. Over the past few years, however, with the Internet-fueled spread of disinformation and a growing global backlash against free expression, donors are taking renewed interest in funding independent journalism.
Donors and prospective donors encounter not only difficult strategic choices, but also questions about how to measure the impact of their investments. These recent reports collected by GIJN delve into the social value of such philanthropy, assess programmatic options and provide measurement tools.
What started out in 2013 as a small donor-funded health journalism center situated inside a legacy newspaper in South Africa has transformed into a staff of 10, and 15 regular contributors across the continent. Today, Bhekisisa consistently produces impactful reports which help to influence policy and decision making, set agendas and define conversations.