What is Giving Compass?
We connect donors to learning resources and ways to support community-led solutions. Learn more about us.
Giving Compass' Take:
• In this Medium post, Elizabeth Green, co-founder, CEO and editor at Chalkbeat, talks about the importance of supporting local news organizations and the model to pay for it.
• Green describes the missing $1 billion (what she calculates the cost would be to finance dedicated local reporting nationwide) and local news should explore the social enterprise model. What roles would nonprofits and funders play?
I cheer every time a friend shares that she’s subscribed to her local newspaper. But we can do even better than throwing life preservers. We can rebuild the local news in the way our democracy deserves.
The way I’ve personally committed to doing that is by forming, with John [Thornton], the American Journalism Project, or AJP. Our big goal is to generate, as quickly as possible, the missing $1 billion required to safeguard our democracy with strong and sustainable local news.
We’re doing that through a proven tool for developing and growing social enterprises in other fields: the “venture philanthropy” fund. I know, to a journalist, it sounds kind of awful, like something we should probably investigate. But these things work, catalyzing major investments in public-interest sectors from health to education.
Like for-profit venture capital funds, the philanthropic kind give sizable amounts of money to promising organizations that are poised to fill an important market need. Then, also like a traditional VC, they invest time and support to helping the organizations they fund thrive.
Finally, in a departure from traditional VCs, venture philanthropy funds, by their very existence, play an important evangelizing function for their specialty cause. In local news, by supporting the most promising community news organizations, we can catalyze more support — both philanthropic and commercial — that the Community News Organizations (CNOs) themselves will recruit. We can also create a cool-kids community among the donors who support the fund that more and more people will want to join over time.
Read the full article about what everyone should know about local news by Elizabeth Green at medium.com