The MIF Newsletter

October 2021

Our annual meeting of journalism funders has come to a close, but the work is far from over (Here’s looking at you, anti-disinformation defenders and news equity warriors). 

We were reminded by visionaries like Malkia Devich-Cyril that “what’s good for the people at the margins is mostly good for everyone.” We were challenged by nonprofit news organizations like Resolve Philly to imagine journalism as a "care industry." Where could that reimagination take us? And we were urged by strategists like Silvia Rivera to fund for the long-game, and recognize that investments in media are also investments in public health, workforce development, social justice, and democracy.

We know the challenges facing journalism are heady—and at times overwhelming—though we hope our speakers inspired you to meet these times with a sense of innovation and hope. And, perhaps most importantly, a renewed mandate to “get it right”: to rebuild journalism with equity at its core; to rebuild journalism that truly serves communities and ultimately democracy.

We hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to what some of our speakers had to say. We’ll be continuing these conversations throughout the year through regular check-ins and programming with the Journalism Funders Network.

As spoken word poet Hannah Hasan reminded, truly being “in community” means being there for each other when times are both good and, well, less than good, and we’re thankful for you, our MIF community.

Let's get to work.
Watch the 2021 Journalism Funders Gathering

Upcoming Events

J-Funders Network Check-ins
Our next network call:
Monday, Nov. 15 | 2-3 p.m. ET

We are hosting calls throughout the year for funders who currently support or who are interested in supporting journalism. 

These conversations are meant to serve as an opportunity for you to share your organization's strategies, learn about collaborative efforts from your peers, and stay connected to what’s happening in the field. If you’d like to share an update on your work or want to bounce an idea off your colleagues, let us know. Email MIF program consultant Roshni Melia at
Register here
This is a funders-only event.
Philly D.A.: Advancing Criminal Justice Reform From the Inside Out—Clips and Conversation
Wednesday, Nov. 17
12:30-1:45 p.m. ET

As part of our collaborative film series, please join our partners, Philanthropy New York, the Justice Reform Working Group and PACE to a special clips and conversation on the PBS POV series "Philly D.A."

“Philly D.A.” tracks the reform efforts of Larry Krasner, a civil rights lawyer turned district attorney in Philadelphia. The vérité-style account of one man’s takeover of an institution that he had been fighting for over 30 years raises interesting questions about criminal justice reform.

During the session, we’ll watch several clips and engage in a conversation with one of the filmmakers and others about the impact of the series, the growing criminal justice reform movement, and the role of grantmaking in that space.

Register here
This is a funders-only event.

Did you miss an event? We record all of our discussions to make it easier for you to stay connected, at a time that's convenient for you.

Watch our events

MIF News

MIF welcomes new director of communications

Hello, MIF community!

My name is Lauren Bohn and I'm thrilled to join the incredible team at MIF. I couldn't imagine a more important time to advance and catalyze the work of a diverse range of funders committed to media that informs, engages and inspires. From reporting on youth unemployment in Nigeria and gender inequity in Afghanistan, to exploring the scarred legacy of apartheid in South Africa or the refugee crisis on our southern border, philanthropy has made almost all my journalism possible. For that I'm not only grateful but also fiercely committed to helping create more of it.

Read more.


ICYMI: Our most recent report reveals the scope of community foundation funding to media and journalism

  "Community Foundations & Media: Funding Data from 2009-2021" provides a detailed look at community foundation support for media in the U.S., including top funders and recipients, comparisons of funding across regions, and examples of grants across a range of media subjects. According to Candid data, out of $19.6 billion in media grants made by U.S. foundations since 2009, $1.1 billion came from community foundations, the report shows. Of that figure, $124 million was directed toward Journalism, News and Information. The report, produced with support from John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, shows that while the bulk of giving across many media types is concentrated to just a handful of community foundations, the scope of giving today is an encouraging sign that community foundations are recognizing the importance of supporting media as part of a larger strategy to build and sustain healthy communities. Read the report.

Partner with us at UPF's 2022 Annual Conference?


United Philanthropy Forum invites the submission of proposals for their 2022 Annual Conference that will take place July 17-22, 2022, in Seattle, Washington. The Forum is accepting submissions from primarily Forum members, however, proposals from professional consultants/experts will be accepted only if in partnership with a member PSO.

This convening is the largest annual gathering of regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs).  United Philanthropy Forum is seeking engaging and highly interactive session designs that include, but are not limited to, expert presentations, panel discussions, and breakout group discussions. If you would like to submit a session proposal in partnership with Media Impact Funders or another UPF member PSO that you are involved in, click here for more information and feel free to reach out to our team. Proposals are due no later than Thursday October 28th by 11:59 pm. 


MIF member spotlight: Wichita Community Foundation

This summer, the Wichita Community Foundation—a new member of MIF—made its single largest grant, more than $1 million, to launch The Wichita Beacon, a nonprofit news organization dedicated to public service journalism.

We talked to Courtney Bengtson, WCF's Director of Strategic Initiatives, about how media fits into the organization's overall goals and the importance of journalism for healthy communities. Read the Q&A.

New MIF members!

We're thrilled to welcome Africa No FilterAl Día Media Educational FoundationCalifornia HumanitiesCatapult Film Fund, and Kettering Foundation as members. See our full member list.


News from the Field

  • We know that nonprofit news is a vital sector of the broader digital media industry, and we’re glad to see it getting the recognition it deserves. Three of the four 2021 Online Journalism Awards for general excellence in digital journalism went to Institute for Nonprofit News members: PublicSource, Grist and ProPublica. (ONA)
  • Also on the INN front, after the News Leaders Association expressed disappointment in how few news organizations were willing to report diversity of their staff in an employment practices survey, INN’s CEO Sue Cross and Research Director Emily Roseman revisited INN’s diversity study—which had a 94% response rate. They wrote about how the cultural difference in nonprofit news vs. commercial media companies plays out in efforts to improve on and track diversity. (INN)
  • Breaking Up the Philanthropy ‘Boys Club’; This year there has been a surge of charitable giving toward gender equality. Will it stick? (NYT
  • Registration is open for The Lenfest Institute's inaugural News Philanthropy Summit, a new free conference dedicated solely to fundraising to support journalism. The Summit will be held virtually Nov. 3-5 and will feature inspiring keynote speakers, interactive workshops, and networking opportunities. (Lenfest)
  • Inside the big Facebook leak: In a time of mega-leaks, journalists’ sources have become power players. Frances Haugen, the former Facebook executive who shared company documents, led a meticulous media rollout. (NYT)
  • Dream job alert! Join our board member Kaitlin Yarnall's incredible team at National Geographic, working on supporting the world's best storytellers and creating storytelling programs for impact. [NatGeo]
    • We plan on adding a jobs listing to our bimonthly general newsletter. Want us to plug an opening at your organization? Email Lauren

Some inspiration

During our first plenary at J-Funders, Roxann Stafford introduced us to these words by Toni Morrison and we can't think of a better way to approach not only the challenges, but the great opportunities to reimagine journalism. Onwards.
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