The Chicago Independent Media Alliance is a collaboration of 69 independent Chicago media outlets representing more than 80 titles. In spring 2020, during the early weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, CIMA created an emergency joint fundraising campaign for its members. It repeated the campaign again in 2021.
The CIMA collaborative fundraiser is unique because donors could choose to donate to a particular organization, multiple outlets at the same time, or have their donation split among the participating outlets. During the 2021 campaign, two-thirds of donors chose to have their donation shared among all the partners. CIMA’s shared messaging focused on the value of independent local media and how outlets are serving communities across the city. It helped individuals across the city learn about the breadth and diversity of the media in Chicago. Together, the outlets raised more than $330,000 during both fundraising campaigns.
On Friday July 29, 2022 at 1 p.m. EDT, leaders from the Chicago Reader, which organized the joint fundraising campaign, joined the News Philanthropy Network for a discussion on how they organized the campaign. They shared insights into how they managed the messaging, coordinated between dozens of different partners, leveraged matching funds to amplify the work, and more.
The talk included Chicago Reader Publisher and President Tracy Baim, Media Collaborations Manager Yazmin Dominguez, and CIMA Manager Savannah Hugueley.