All local media companies are invited to apply to join the second cohort of LMA’s Lab for Journalism Funding to learn how to develop reporting projects that can be funded through philanthropy.

Applications are open and will be accepted until August 8. Up to 20 media companies will be invited to participate in the four-month program that will run from September through December 2021. Click here to apply.

The curriculum is based on the highly successful first cohort launched in September 2020, in which 16 publishers raised $4.5 million to fund local journalism projects. The second cohort will once again be led by Frank Mungeam, chief innovation officer at Local Media Association; and Joaquin Alvarado, who has been instrumental in the development of philanthropic funding at The Seattle Times and other local newsrooms.

We are pleased to announce that The Lenfest Institute for Journalism will join us as a new partner and supporter, providing both funding and expertise to the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding. Lenfest will help fund the expansion of the lab coaching staff so that the lab can serve more news organizations. Lenfest will also provide financial support for each participating news organization to conduct comprehensive listening tours and research as they determine how best to serve their community’s needs. All lab graduates will be invited to join the Lenfest News Philanthropy Network, the country’s largest professional community of practice for journalism fundraising and advancement officers, with access to ongoing training, classes and advisory services from the Lenfest Network.

“LMA’s work has been both high-Impact and exceptionally efficient in building new sources of revenue for important local news,” said Jim Friedlich, Lenfest Institute executive director and CEO. “We are delighted to support the expansion of this work and to provide the services, community and partnership of the Lenfest News Philanthropy Network.”

“We are thrilled to receive new support from The Lenfest Institute for this important industry lab,” said Nancy Lane, chief executive officer of LMA. “We are also grateful to Google News Initiative for their continued funding. The results from the first lab exceeded all expectations, proving that this emerging business model is an essential strategy for news organizations of all sizes.”

Each publisher in the second cohort of the lab will set a fundraising goal in consultation with the coaches that is in line with markets their size. Collectively the group will aim to raise at least $5 million by June 30, 2022. Case studies and an industry playbook will be published, sharing best practices and lessons learned.

The lab will consist of a diverse mix of media companies including newspapers, broadcasters, media organizations serving communities of color and digital news sites.

Preference will be given to media organizations that:

  • Have strong local leadership with deep ties to the community
  • Are focused on high-quality local journalism
  • Have CEO-level buy-in to participate in this lab and make the time/resource commitment
  • Value staff and board diversity

To learn you can more about lessons from LMA’s first cohort of the Lab for Journalism Funding download the lab report Pathways to Philanthropy.

For more information, please contact Lindsey Estes at [email protected].

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