Foundations, Individuals Support Public Service Journalism

The Alabama Initiative for Independent Journalism started 2022 with support from individual donors, matched by the national campaign NewsMatch 2021, and grants from three Alabama foundations.

“We are proud to be one of 275 nonprofit news organizations across the country that were able to participate in the year-end NewsMatch program, organized by the Institute for Nonprofit News,” said Emily Rushing, AIIJ board president. “Individual supporters stepped up with gifts ranging from $5 to $5,000 and including two local matches, allowing us to maximize the national match.”

Also in late 2021 and early 2022, AIIJ has received grants from the Mike and Gillian Goodrich Foundation, The Caring Foundation and the Alabama Civil Justice Foundation. These grants support the high-quality, non-partisan reporting of BirminghamWatch on issues important to the community of greater Birmingham.

“We work hard to provide the information our readers need to make informed decisions,” said News Editor Virginia Martin.  “This was vital throughout the pandemic and is particularly true during this year’s election season.”

INN reported that organizations with operating expenses under $1 million, including AIIJ, made up 76% of participants. AIIJ and others in this group benefited from an overall 84% increase in local matches, illustrating continued charitable investments in public service journalism.

The Institute for Nonprofit News, of which AIIJ has been a member since its founding in 2015, is a national organization that sets standards for editorial independence, financial transparency and a commitment to fact-based news coverage. In 2021, INN worked with 17 funding partners to provide nearly $4.8 million in matching gifts and goal-based bonuses through NewsMatch.

“We are excited to be able to provide members with the tools they need to establish funding sources within the communities they serve,” said Courtney Hurtt, chief of growth programs at INN. Since the launch of NewsMatch by Knight Foundation in 2016, the program has helped attract about 300,000 first-time donors to newsrooms across the INN Network.

Check here for a full list of individual and foundation donors to AIIJ/BirminghamWatch. Go to our DONATE page to join them.