This is #newsCOneeds: 25 Colorado Newsrooms Selected for Matching Grants to Raise a Quarter-Million for Local Journalism - Gates Family Foundation

Colorado’s local newsrooms took center stage in 2020, demonstrating their civic value as an essential public service — providing potentially life-saving information on the COVID public health crisis, fact-checking online misinformation, holding a mirror to our communities, and holding the powerful to account.

That’s why we’re so excited to be a part of the Colorado Media Project’s 2020 #newsCOneeds Matching Grant Challenge. This year, 25 locally-owned and nonprofit news organizations have been selected for the challenge — and with your support, we’re poised to raise a quarter-million dollars for trustworthy local news in a single month.

The annual year-end fundraiser is part of the #newsCOneeds public awareness campaign — which this year is growing into an audience-building opportunity for all qualified Colorado newsrooms statewide to spotlight the positive impacts they are making in their communities, and to build trust in and support for local public-service journalism.

The window for the matching challenge will officially launch on Giving Newsday (a.k.a. Giving Tuesday, December 1) and the 25 Colorado newsrooms selected to receive a matching grant will have until Dec. 31 to raise at least $5,000 from individual supporters (in gifts of $1,000 or less) in order to meet the Colorado Media Project match.

The 2020 #newsCOneeds matching fund of $125,000 is made possible through operating grants to Colorado Media Project from Gates, Delta Dental of Colorado Foundation, Bohemian Foundation, and Democracy Fund. CMP’s fiscal sponsor, Rose Community Foundation, is providing oversight and administration for the funds.

The 25 grantees come from all regions of the state, represent different business models, and cover a variety of communities and subject matter:

CMP grantees are working with Colorado News Collaborative (COLab) and News Revenue Hub to co-create #newsCOneeds messages and graphics in coordination with the national NewsMatch campaign. The grantees also receive training and one-on-one coaching on best practices for executing successful year-end subscription, donation, and membership campaigns.

The #newsCOneeds matching grant opportunity was open to nonprofit or locally-owned Colorado journalism outlets that are planning to execute a philanthropic giving, membership, or subscription campaign during the 2020 year-end giving season. Outlets must be actively publishing high-quality, fact-based, public service journalism primarily for local Colorado audiences.

Initially, CMP had allocated $100,000 to the program. But in light of the essential services that newsrooms have provided during the COVID-19 crisis and 2020 election season, CMP leaders and funding partners increased the fund allocation to accommodate all 25 grantees who qualified for full participation in the matching challenge.

“Both the grant opportunity and the public awareness campaign will give these newsrooms year-round fundraising tools and more sustainability to serve as essential public service for their communities,” said Melissa Milios Davis, Colorado Media Project Acting Director. “The tagline for the campaign is ‘This is news Colorado needs’, because these outlets are providing vital news and information on pressing local issues of public health and economic stability, education, local politics and other critical issues of our time.”

Do you know a Colorado newsroom that should join the #newsCOneeds public awareness campaign?