Why Funders See Bolstering Local News as a Key to Rebuilding Public Trust in the Media

Why Funders See Bolstering Local News as a Key to Rebuilding Public Trust in the Media

A five-year, $300 million commitment from the Knight Foundation underscores the growing consensus among funders that a vibrant local news ecosystem is the best option available to reverse years of declining trust, and to “make democracy work.”

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Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?

Litigating for Democracy: Who’s Backing the Lawyers Defending U.S. Electoral Institutions?

The Campaign Legal Center calls itself “democracy’s nonpartisan watchdog.” That’s a hard role to fill these days, but with plenty of concerned funders in its corner, the D.C.-based organization is determined to safeguard the electoral process in the courts.

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“A Very Different Era.” Why a Tech Donor is Stepping up for Journalism Ethics

“A Very Different Era.” Why a Tech Donor is Stepping up for Journalism Ethics

Amid a sea change in media, Craig Newmark recently gave $15 million to Columbia Journalism School and the Poynter Institute. We look at how this gift came about and the goals behind one of the biggest investments in journalism ethics in years.

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Enfranchised: How a Collaborative Fund Advances Voting Rights and Protections

Enfranchised: How a Collaborative Fund Advances Voting Rights and Protections

For the State Infrastructure Fund, the 2018 elections were a step in the right direction. But the fund’s long campaign to protect voting right and bolster civic engagement still has plenty of ground to cover in the run-up to 2020.

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Next Act: A Big Gift to Kickstart a Historic Fundraising Campaign From Outgoing NPR Chief

Next Act: A Big Gift to Kickstart a Historic Fundraising Campaign From Outgoing NPR Chief

After helping turn around NPR during his five-year tenure, CEO and philanthropist Jarl Mohn is stepping down in June, but not before giving the station $10 million toward its upcoming $200 million fundraising drive, which he'll help oversee.

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“The Fight of Our Lives.” How a Funder Collaborative Backs Civic Participation

“The Fight of Our Lives.” How a Funder Collaborative Backs Civic Participation

The Defending the Dream Fund is among the new rapid-response efforts that have popped up since the 2016 election. It recently made its third round of grants—its biggest yet. Who’s behind the fund, and where’s the money going?

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How a Podcast and the Funders Behind it Are Shaking up Climate Communication

How a Podcast and the Funders Behind it Are Shaking up Climate Communication

A new show that spotlights women on the frontlines of the climate fight has drawn growing grant support. It’s a case study of how foundations can back experiments in storytelling and elevate the voices of outsiders.

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What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

What It Takes: From Philadelphia, Lessons About Philanthropy and Civic Engagement

With backing from Knight and other funders, Philadelphia has been engaged in a unique experiment to strengthen the city’s civic engagement ecosystem. This initiative has had to overcome a number of challenges.

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Can Venture Philanthropy Save Local News? This Ambitious Initiative Aims to Find Out

Can Venture Philanthropy Save Local News? This Ambitious Initiative Aims to Find Out

A new group is looking to raise big money and create sustainable local news ecosystems. Such a funding approach has succeeded in aggregating large-scale philanthropic capital for other causes. Can it also rescue American journalism?

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Philanthropist Turned Governor: What Can J.B. Pritzker do to Expand Opportunity in Illinois?

Philanthropist Turned Governor: What Can J.B. Pritzker do to Expand Opportunity in Illinois?

After years of ramping up his giving to help poor children in Illinois and beyond, billionaire heir J.B. Pritzker spent $171 million to get himself elected governor. What could Pritzker’s win mean for public-private partnerships in the state?

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These Billionaire Philanthropists Also Spent Big to Influence This Year's Mid-Term Election

These Billionaire Philanthropists Also Spent Big to Influence This Year's Mid-Term Election

Donald Trump may be a billionaire, but no recent president has inspired fiercer opposition within the far upper class. Many top philanthropists are among those who’ve given record sums in the most expensive mid-term election in U.S. history.

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Betting on Demographics: Behind a New Push to Engage Young Voters

Betting on Demographics: Behind a New Push to Engage Young Voters

If more young people made it to the polls, so the story goes, politics would look a whole lot different. This piece from last year looked at giving by a trio of funders aiming to engage young Americans in new ways—starting with the 2018 mid-terms. 

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Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Building Power: A Foundation Sees Voter Mobilization as a Pathway to Racial Justice

Lots of grant money has been flowing lately for movement building. The Akonadi Foundation is among those funders now looking to translate that energy into gains at the ballot box, as we explored in an article first published in May.

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Heading into the Mid-terms, Who’s Paying Attention to Cybersecurity?

Heading into the Mid-terms, Who’s Paying Attention to Cybersecurity?

The 2016 election demonstrated the vulnerability of American democracy to manipulation by outside actors. In this article first published in April, we looked at the funders working to bolster election security for the mid-terms.

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"A Fraught Moment." Donors Get Behind a Campus Initiative to Strengthen Democracy

"A Fraught Moment." Donors Get Behind a Campus Initiative to Strengthen Democracy

It’s not just foundations that are channelling new funds to democracy work. Rising anxiety about the future of American civic life is also sparking university giving in this space—including recent donations to UVA.

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A Tech Billionaire Takes on... Tech. What's His Larger Game Plan for Giving?

A Tech Billionaire Takes on... Tech. What's His Larger Game Plan for Giving?

Billionaire Craig Newmark may have made his fortune in tech, but he’s also worried about that industry’s outsized power. We talk to Newark about his latest big gift—and where his growing philanthropy is heading next.

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