Public service

Foundations and individuals support public service journalism

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

“We are proud to be one of 275 nonprofit news organizations across the country who were able to participate in the year-end NewsMatch program, hosted by the Institute for Nonprofit News,” said Emily Rushing. , President of the Board of Directors of the IIAJ. “Individual supporters gave gifts ranging from $5 to $5,000 and including two local games, which allowed us to maximize the national game.”

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

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

INN reported that organizations with operating expenses of less than $1 million, including AIJ, accounted for 76% of participants. The AIIJ and other members of this group enjoyed an overall 84% increase in local matches, illustrating continued charitable investment 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 commitment to factual news coverage. In 2021, INN worked with 17 financial partners to provide nearly $4.8 million in matching gifts and goal-based bonuses through NewsMatch.

“We are thrilled to be able to provide members with the tools they need to establish sources of funding within the communities they serve,” said Courtney Hurtt, growth programs manager at INN. Since NewsMatch was launched by Knight Foundation in 2016, the program has helped bring approximately 300,000 new donors to INN Network newsrooms.

View the full list of individual donors and foundations to AIIJ/BirminghamWatch here. Visit our DONATE page to join them.