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Lenfest Local News Infrastructure Fund

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The Lenfest Local News Infrastructure Fund was created in January 2024 to make critical technology infrastructure and services more accessible to local news publishers across the United States. The Fund is intended to accelerate the growth of high-value, affordable digital technology, marketing, and other services that local news organizations need to create digital products, build audiences, and grow sustainably.

The Fund is made possible by a three-year, $7.25 million investment from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Philanthropists interested in making additional tools and services available to more local news publishers are welcome to join the Fund. 

The Infrastructure Fund is initially to be used by the following services:

  • Newspack, an all-in-one publishing, monetization, and analytics platform that serves over 250 independent local news publishers. It is built by Automattic, the commercial arm of WordPress. The Fund will subsidize a portion of the costs for news organizations switching to Newspack and support hands-on consulting for the use of the tools for revenue and audience growth. 
  • BlueLena works with publishers to drive audience growth and monetization through technology management and professional services. The company helps align news brands, newsroom resources, and content strategy with audience needs, building and managing reader revenue programs, campaign management and audience growth plans.. With the Infrastructure Fund’s support, BlueLena will work with publishers to grow reader revenue and audience engagement.

The Fund provides funding to BlueLena, Newspack, and any future infrastructure services to underwrite their costs of building and maintaining their services at below market costs. Local publishers interested in working with either organization can contact Newspack or BlueLena ([email protected] or by scheduling a call here) directly.

The Infrastructure Fund aims to scale the market served by Newspack, BlueLena, and other tools and services. The Infrastructure Fund will track the impact of the expanded market opportunity to understand how they can achieve fiscal sustainability from client revenue. 

An Advisory Board composed of representatives of The Lenfest Institute, Knight Foundation, and local news publishers will help guide the Infrastructure Fund by providing input into programming, recommending the addition or discontinuation of vendors, and evaluating progress in achieving the Fund’s goals. 

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The Lenfest Institute provides free tools and resources for local journalism leaders to develop sustainable strategies to serve their communities.

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