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Lesson 3 of 6
Build a fundraising strategy
Start building your revenue model
Determine your revenue model (10:37)
Build your tech stack (9:21)
Build news products (5:05)
Select a CMS for your news organization (4:56)
Evaluate your financial sustainability (7:05)
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5 minutes to complete

Build a fundraising strategy


Choose the right sources to fund your journalism


Who should fund your journalism?


When looking to fund your news organization, you can raise money from:

  • Yourself
  • Friends and family
  • Crowdfunding
  • Foundations
  • Angel investing
  • Venture capital

66 percent of news entrepreneurs self-fund their news organizations. While risky, self-funding lets you

  • Get started quickly
  • Avoid spending time pitching to funders
  • Give ownership shares to outside investors

💡Best practice: Assess which organizations might be most interested in funding you based on their mission, geography, and previous grantees.


Craft your pitch


Create a 10 slide presentation (or shorter) that explains:

  • Who you will serve
  • What problem(s) you will solve for them
  • How you will make money

💡Best practices for crafting your pitch

  • Introduce yourself, what you’re doing, and why it matters
  • Keep your pitch to a maximum of 10 slides and 20 minutes
  • Use a pitch deck template
  • Record and watch your pitch to find ways to improve

What is crowdfunding?


Crowdfunding is when you ask a large audience to help fund your idea, and often relies on community support.

Many news organizations use:

💡Best practices for crowdfunding

  • Record a short video explaining what your news organization does and its mission
  • Establish credibility by sharing how you plan to publish
  • Focus on engaging with as many people as possible, rather than focusing on the amount raised
  • Create rewards for larger donations to entice and reward donors with the means

What is foundation funding?


According to our research, 25% of local news organizations receive philanthropic funding, either through foundation grants or major donations.

Foundation funding

  • Can help you launch a product and grow an organization quickly
  • Can come with constraints, like how funding can be used

💡Best practices when applying for foundation funding

  • Look at organizations similar to yours and apply to their funders
  • Research a foundation’s values to see if they align with yours
  • Research if a foundation helps develop your team’s skills, like coaching
  • Target local foundations before approaching national foundations

What are venture capital and angel investors?


Outside investment can come from venture capital and angel investors.

Outside investors

  • Offer funding in exchange for ownership
  • May want to be involved in day-to-day decisions
  • Do not usually have to be paid back
  • Can be a source of additional funding if you’re growing

How do outside investors vary?

Venture capital and angel investors both take shares in ownership. Angel investors typically do not get involved in day-to-day operations.

💡Best practice: Approach venture capital firms that have previously funded products like yours.

Keep your focus narrow to start and resist the temptation to grow too quickly to justify large investments.

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