In this study, we analyze 32,422 journalism and media-related grants totaling $1.8 billion distributed between 2010 and 2015 by 6,568 foundations. We not only analyzed patterns in foundation funding specific to the production and dissemination of nonprofit journalism and media by public media, national news nonprofits, local news nonprofits, and university-based journalism initiatives, but also affiliated activities such as grants to journalism museums and higher education, support for journalism research and technology development, and grants for journalist associations and professional development.

Combining large-scale data analysis with dozens of interviews, our paper identifies successes, disparities, and needs across the news nonprofit sector more comprehensively than has been done previously, helping, we hope, to facilitate discussion and planning in the post-2016 election era about the enormous challenges our democracy faces.

The data presented here are, ultimately, estimates based on raw data from the Foundation Center. Please see our sections on methods and limitations. Below, some of our key findings.

The full report can be found at the Shorenstein Center.

Table of Contents

  • Figure 2. U.S. foundation funding for nonprofit media-related activities, 2010-2015
  • Figure 3. U.S. foundation funding for public media by state, 2010-2015
  • Figure 4. U.S. foundation funding for national news nonprofits, 2010-2015
  • Figure 5. Deep vertical, subject specific foundation funding at national nonprofits, 2010-2015
  • Figure 6. U.S. foundation funding for local news nonprofits, 2010-2015
  • Figure 7. Deep vertical, subject specific foundation funding at local/state nonprofits, 2010-2015
  • Figure 8. U.S. foundation funding for local/state news nonprofits by state, 2010-2015
  • Figure 9. U.S. foundation funding for university-based journalism initiatives, 2010-2015
  • Figure 10. Funding for university-based journalism initiatives by state, 2010-2015

Data based on authors' analysis and coding of a population of relevant grants collected by the Foundation Center.