The Lenfest News Philanthropy Network
The Lenfest News Philanthropy Network is a community of practice designed to support and build capacity for fundraising and development professionals in journalism.
Participation in the Network is free, and open to publishers of all sizes and business models — nonprofit, for profit, legacy, start up, digital, broadcast and print — with a singular and deep focus on supporting and fostering a cohesive, collaborative, and growing cohort of development professionals who are serving a vital need for news organizations by creating contributed revenue streams.
Driving Equitable Culture from the Inside Out
News audiences and donors are media savvy and can identify inauthenticity. As publishers think about reaching younger and more diverse audiences, their internal cultures, editorial output, and fundraising messaging need to truly reflect their communities.
In order to successfully create diverse and equitable fundraising strategies, news organizations must first build diverse and equitable teams and cultures to support this essential work.
Join the News Philanthropy Network on Tuesday, May 23 at 4:00 p.m. EDT / 1:00 p.m. PDT for a workshop with leaders from Public Media for All, a coalition of public media workers that is working with organizations throughout the public media system to build more inclusive organizations.
Relationship to Money and Making the Ask
Because of our sometimes complicated relationship with money, we may struggle to find the right words while asking people to support our organization. This workshop will focus on how to structure your ask so it’s compelling to the donor and comfortable for you.
In this free 90-minute virtual training, participants will explore the ways in which their personal relationship to money deeply affects their feelings about wealth and their approach to asking donors to give.
Led by Baldwin Coaching, this workshop will be held on Tuesday, June 27, 2023 at 2:30 p.m. EDT / 11:30 a.m. PDT and can accommodate a limited number of participants.
Deepening Funder Relationships: Lessons from EdNC
Nation Hahn and Mebane Rash from EdNC explain how they’ve developed an iterative “learn as you go” program to engage funders and other leaders across the state.
The EdNC team provided insight into the relationships that developed from them, and offered tips to news organizations that want to try similar strategies.
Corporate Giving Workshops
News organizations are increasingly turning to corporations and businesses as part of their fundraising strategies. By tapping into both corporate marketing budgets and social responsibility or foundation programs, there’s an opportunity for publishers to grow their revenue.
This three-part series of workshops covered the essentials of corporate fundraising and key strategies for how to build relationships with businesses in your community.
Smart Strategies for Restricted Funding
Funders want to support specific projects or coverage areas, but newsrooms aren’t always sure if that’s an area where they want to commit resources.
This virtual workshop aims to strengthen publisher-funder relationships. Josh Mandell, grants manager at The Forward, Mandell guided participants through strategies for pursuing grants and gifts from funders, without overcommitting to new projects in the process.
2023 Lenfest News Philanthropy Summit
The 2023 Lenfest News Philanthropy Summit took place on Tuesday, January 31 and Wednesday, February 1, 2023.
The theme of the 2023 Summit was Transformation. Through hands-on workshops, inspiring keynotes, and peer sharing, we explored how we can transform the ways we sustain news organizations through philanthropic support, how to deepen relationships between development professionals and donors, how to re-imagine the role of institutional funders within the journalism space, and much more.
Stewardship Deep Dives
To help news fundraisers advance their stewardship practices, the Lenfest News Philanthropy Network is introducing a series of peer-sharing sessions focused on stewardship strategy and tactics.
This three-part series, taking place on October 24, October 31, and November 14 from 1:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. EDT, will allow organizations to “show and tell” their challenges and successes with donor stewardship to offer real-world learnings and an opportunity to engage in conversation around top-of-mind questions.
Lessons learned from the New Hampshire News Philanthropy Summit
On Tuesday July 19, 2022 at 1 p.m. EDT, the team that organized the NH News Philanthropy Summit joined the News Philanthropy Network for a behind-the-scenes conversation about their planning process, what they learned from the event, and how they’ve continued the conversation with funders in the state.
Chicago Independent Media Alliance’s insights on collaborative fundraising
On Friday July 29, 2022 at 1 p.m. EDT, leaders from the Chicago Reader, which organized CIMA’s joint fundraising campaign, joined the News Philanthropy Network to share insights into how they managed the messaging, coordinated between dozens of different partners, leveraged matching funds to amplify the work, and more.
Community Chat: Fundraising during election season
Election season provides a unique opportunity for news organizations to not only build their audiences through their coverage, but also to engage with donors. Members of the News Philanthropy Network joined us on Tuesday Aug. 16 at 3:30 p.m. EDT for our Community Chat focused on fundraising around the upcoming U.S. midterm elections.
Community Chat: End-of-year fundraising
Because approximately 30% of all annual giving takes place in December, year-end campaigns are one of the most important fundraising efforts for organizations — and it’s never too early to start preparing. On Sept. 8, Network members participated in a Community Chat focused on strategies and tactics for end-of-year fundraising.
Intro to Grant Writing for News Organizations
This training will equip new grant writers with both skills and confidence to meet the unique challenges of raising money for news organizations. In this five-week course you will work with experts in the field and small peer-groups to learn the science and the art of crafting competitive grant proposals.
Led by Penn Creative Strategies, the course met once a week from Monday April 25, 2021 to Monday May 23, 2022 at 3 p.m. EDT/Noon PDT. Applications are now closed.
Newsletters for Fundraising workshop
The Lenfest News Philanthropy Network met on Tuesday March 1, 2022 at 3pm EST/noon PST for “Newsletters for Fundraising,” a free one-hour workshop on how to best utilize email newsletters for fundraising and stewardship. You can find the recording here:
Fundraising Fundamentals course
This introductory Fundraising Fundamentals course is designed for journalists or media professionals who are new to fundraising. The course will meet every other week for one or two hour sessions beginning January 13, 2022. The deadline to apply for the course was Monday December 6, 2021 at 11:59 p.m. EST. Learn more here.
Catch-up on the inaugural News Philanthropy Summit
The Summit was fully virtual this year, and it featured three days of learning and networking from November 3-5, 2021. Like all News Philanthropy Network events, the Summit was free to attend and is open to all — regardless of where you live and whether you work for a nonprofit or for-profit news organization.
Learn more and catch up on session recordings here.
Fall 2021 Workshops
Catch up on these free workshops from The Lenfest News Philanthropy Network in partnership with The Inclusion Firm
Is there a ‘new’ normal in philanthropy?
The session draws on leading reports documenting transformative gifts focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Ethical storytelling to honor communities
This workshop embraces ethical storytelling and explore a human-centered approach to curating social impact.
Applications are now closed for the following News Philanthropy Network programming. Learn more about the free courses:
Introduction to prospect research
This four-week course led by Prasad Consulting & Research will provide participants with practical fundraising skills needed for news organizations and introduce them to assorted research screening tools, websites, databases, and targeted research strategies.
Donor stewardship for news organizations
This two-part workshop series led by Schultz & Williams will focus on how news organizations can build relationships with their communities and will teach participants how to thank, recognize, and build relationships with donors in between asking for gifts.
Fundraising Fundamentals: Launching a Successful Development Program
This four-week introductory course is designed for journalists or media professionals who are new to fundraising. Anna Barber, President and Principal Consultant of Barber & Associates, will lead the course.
Deepening Major Donor Relationships with RevLab at The Texas Tribune
This training is designed for media executives and development staff with experience cultivating major gifts, who want to optimize their programs and tailor their approach for newsroom funding.
Together with RevLab at The Texas Tribune, The Membership Puzzle Project, and other partners, The Lenfest News Philanthropy Network recently offered the following programs. You can view recordings and access slides or other resources below:
Building a Major Gift Pipeline
During this four-week course, participants worked with experienced fundraising professionals who will helped teach the key building blocks to building relationships and developing a pipeline of major gift donors. Key lessons include:
- Developing a case for support
- Building the major gift pipeline
- Effective listening and observing techniques
- Moves management
- The art of the ask
In order to foster an interactive learning environment, participation was limited to 30 people.
Led by Schultz & Williams, the course will met once every other week for two-hour sessions on Wednesdays between May 12 and June 23, 2021.
We are no longer accepting applications, but we will share resources from the course upon its completion.
These one-time sessions last one or two hours and are focused on highly practical skills. Participation in Fundraising Fundamentals and Mid-Level Donor Strategies is open to all. We will update this page with upcoming Workshops, but please feel free to access information from recent Workshops below:
Lenfest News Philanthropy Network Community Chats are unstructured small group conversations designed to bring together groups of professionals who are interested in similar topics and facing similar challenges. Each group will have a moderator to help guide the conversation, but ultimately the scope and range of the conversation will be up to participants. These sessions are an opportunity to network and deepen community.
Join our mailing list to get notified when we open registrations for the next Community Chat