SCPA invites members to apply for Community News Fund

Posted Sept. 28, 2021

In recent years, philanthropic support for journalism has emerged as a promising solution to sustainability for media organizations. In an effort to advance newspapers interested in producing public service journalism supported by their community, the S.C. Press Association invites its members to apply to participate in the Community News Fund. 

The program, made possible through a partnership with the Wisconsin Newspaper Association Foundation, will offer for-profit news organizations the opportunity to receive tax-deductible contributions to fund local, community journalism.

Participants will receive ongoing training on how to develop and implement philanthropic campaigns, an extensive fundraising toolkit and guidance on donor policies and best practices.

As advertising and event revenue continues to decline, the ability of local newspapers to provide their communities with critical information is increasingly at risk. The Community News Fund aims to help ensure these organizations can continue fulfilling their critical mission of providing consistent, fact-based information to the public.

Participants will receive:

  • A customized fundraising campaign page on the donation platform Givebutter. (Newspapers with existing platforms will have the option to continue using their current donation method with adjustments.)
  • Guidance on structuring your giving campaign and defining reporting projects that will be supported by philanthropy.
  • Marketing and engagement assets, including graphic elements, appeal templates and suggested timelines.
  • Continued coaching regarding ongoing best practices

Fiscal sponsorship through the WNA Foundation that will allow participants to solicit and accept tax-deductible donations.

Each participant will be asked to return a completed fiscal sponsorship agreement, define specific fundraising goals, assign a dedicated staff member as a liaison and administrator of the Community News Fund and participate in monthly meetings (held remotely).

All contributions will be managed and distributed by the WNA Foundation. Participating news outlets will be required to submit quarterly reports on how funds are spent. While there is no upfront cost to participate in the program, the Community News Fund charges a 7% administrative fee as a percentage of total contributions received through the program.

Applications can be submitted online and will be accepted until Oct. 22. 

Please reach out to Jen Madden or Randall Savely if you have any questions.