After the 2008 economic crisis, western media companies sold their interests in the Czech Republic’s biggest media houses, radio stations and newspapers to Czech and Slovak billionaires. But the concentration of media in the hands of a few powerful owners has had an unexpected, positive impact. It has led to the emergence of smaller, independent investigative journalism sites, as well as new initiatives to fund them.
Your nonprofit board of directors can be a dynamic catalyst to bring in new major donations. People who are passionate about what your institution does and have a lifetime of connections can make the difference between “basic survival” fundraising or breaking out into the green fields of major gifts fundraising. Here are three ways to help your board shed their fears of fundraising and find their unique role in this aspect.
There is a silent crisis afflicting our democracy: the implosion of journalism as we have known it. Its most obvious symptom is the tens of thousands of journalists who have lost their jobs in the last decade. Those jobs were never refilled. Economists may call this destruction of traditional journalism “creative” but it is nothing less than a pressing matter of national security.
The Global Investigative Journalism Network is delighted to welcome to 10 new member organizations. We are particularly pleased to welcome for the first time groups from Ghana, Venezuela, Malaysia, Liberia, and New Zealand. Among the new members are award-winning reporting centers in Serbia and South Africa, online publishers in Malaysia and Venezuela, an African cross-border reporting network, and training groups based in Liberia, Germany, Mexico, and the Netherlands.
Oscar Castilla spent 12 years at El Comercio, Peru’s most important daily newspaper, honing his reporting skills with investigations of organized crime and corruption. Then in 2014, Castilla and some colleagues from the investigative unit decided to leave the paper for editorial reasons. “The editor at the time had one view of journalism and we had another,” he told me in an interview. “We wanted to do some innovative things and the organization was against it.” So they decided to launch their own news publication online, Ojo Público (Public Eye).
The literature on successful management of nonprofits, fundraising, and revenue diversification for media organizations is growing quickly, along with the nonprofit media sector. Most of the available material, however, is U.S.-specific, with little focus on the many challenges outside the States. such as smaller and often government-controlled ad markets, weak incentives for donating, and different traditions of philanthropy. GIJN is assembling a resource page of materials that can be readily adapted to diverse conditions around the world. Have an addition?
Krautreporter proved it: donation-financed journalism is possible. Not only in the United States, but also in Germany – and possibly everywhere. It started a campaign for its own online magazine for in-depth journalism with experienced writers. Within one month it raised around 1 million Euros (about US$1.1 million). But 19% of this money was gone the moment it was raised. Devoured by sales tax.
The proliferation of nonprofit newsrooms is one of the more promising developments in an industry wracked by a crumbling financial base and sweeping technological change. Since 2000, dozens of nonprofit media groups have sprouted, not only across America but worldwide. Many are deeply committed to investigative and accountability journalism, working to fill a void left by a mainstream media that either can’t or won’t do its job as social watchdogs. In April, the Knight Foundation published the third installment in a series of reports since 2011 tracking the progress of nonprofit news sites as they strive for a sustainable financial base. There are lessons here for media nonprofits worldwide.
One of the leading requests GIJN receives is for help with fundraising. With the global spread of nonprofit media, journalists are looking for new ways to raise funds and structure the “business side” of their news organizations. As a starting point, GIJN asked for advice from fundraising expert Bridget Gallagher, who helped launch the GIJN secretariat and has raised millions of dollars for nonprofits. “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” — Hockey great Wayne Gretzky
Growing your fundraising program — or getting one started — can feel like an overwhelming responsibility. The philanthropic landscape is extremely competitive; the prospect of identifying and soliciting prospective donors can seem cumbersome and intimidating.