Templates & Tips: Securing match funds from your community
While growth in individual giving has been a central marker of success for the program, we also noticed something bigger was happening. NewsMatch also provides a way to secure large contributions from major donors, foundations, and small businesses in the form of community (or “local”) match funds.
Community (or “local” match funds) are donations or pledges that newsrooms secure on their own to increase the total amount of dollars matched by individuals during your NewsMatch campaign. Below is a list of curated templates and materials to help you make your case.
Guide: Community (or "local") match donor cycle
Take a step back and look at the big picture in the NewsMatch's Community Match Guide. This guide walks through a simplified fundraising model to help you secure larger gifts. It all begins with identifying your donor the learning more about them in the cultivating stage. Afterward, you make an ask and be sure to stay engaged through stewardship.
Email language to cultivate prospects
When an email is appropriate, use it. Here is sample language for you or your board members to use when cultivating with potential community match partners.
As you're going in to meet with funders, it's great to attach a brief document to tell them about your organization and NewsMatch. We've got two one-pager templates for you to build off of:
- Topic area case making (i.e. education, criminal justice, etc.)
- Geographic case making (i.e. your city, state, or region).
Feel free to plug-in-play or build off of the copy in these templates to create your own version in your newsroom's style and voice.
Pledge Form Template
A pledge form is used to document a donor's intent to make a contribution to your organization. They are particularly helpful when asking supporters to commit matching gifts. A pledge (or letter of intent) to match donations is typically signed before the campaign ends, while funds are generally disbursed after the campaign when the intended goal has been successfully achieved.
Articles to cite
- Knight Foundation: How Philanthropy Became a Growing Revenue Stream for Local News (August 19, 2021)
- Institute for Nonprofit News: NewsMatch 2020 broke records: more newsrooms, donors, dollars and local matches (March 22, 2021)
- Featured in New York Times' The Morning Newsletter: Ideas for Giving Tuesday (December 1, 2020)
- Institute for Nonprofit News: How finding and supporting real news is like voting (November 3, 2020)
- Democracy Fund: NewsMatch: A unique program to fund news “for the people, with the people” (December 4, 2020)
Ways to message community matches to your audience
- Scripts: Looking for ways to message an additional match to your audience? Here are a few scripts based on the type of additional match you have secured.
- Screenshots: View these screenshots of how newsrooms have messaged local matches and partner funds during past campaigns.
Lessons learned from the field
- Sahan Journal: Check out this case study on how Sahan Journal, a news startup for and about immigrants and people of color, leveraged NewsMatch to increase donations year-round. Skip to page 11 to read what lessons they learned.
- The Honolulu Civil Beat, The GroundTruth Project, and Montana Free Press: During our summer webinar series in 2020, we heard tips from The Honolulu Civil Beat, The GroundTruth Project, and Montana Free Press about how to triple support for your NewsMatch campaign by securing local matches (or an additional match funder). Check out the recording from this webinar to get some ideas on how you could approach potential funders.
- East Lansing Info: East Lansing Info's Alice Dreger and Jodi Spicer have developed a creative and innovative way to maintain the momentum of their year-end campaign by building a community of "core donors" whose gifts are leveraged to increase the total campaign match fund. They have generously put together a helpful guide to help others implement this plan in their own newsroom.