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Multi-Donor Initiative to Award More than $500 Million to Revitalize Local News

The Heising-Simons Foundation is joining a coalition of 21 other donors to create Press Forward, a new national grantmaking initiative with the goal to strengthen local news and information with a combined more than a half-billion dollars over the next five years.

Press Forward will re-center local news as a force for community cohesion; support new models and solutions that are ready to scale; and close longstanding inequities in journalism coverage and practice.

The Heising-Simons Foundation will participate as part of the Foundation’s journalism initiative, which recognizes and supports journalism as a critical element of a healthy and multicultural democracy.

One-fifth of Americans live in communities with limited access to trustworthy and credible news sources, while tens of millions more live in places at risk of losing their last reliable local news resource. The steady and significant decline in the availability of dependable local news is connected to growing threats to democracy, increased polarization, and the spread of mis- and dis-information. While philanthropic support for journalism has grown over the past decade, overall giving to local news falls short of what is needed.

The Press Forward initiative marks a significant moment in time where multiple, leading funders are coming together to support the revitalization of local news, and hopefully inspire others to join.

Read the full announcement here.

Initial Press Forward partners are The Archewell Foundation, Carnegie Corporation of New York, Community Foundation for the Land of Lincoln, Democracy Fund, Ford Foundation, Mary W. Graham, Glen Nelson Center at American Public Media Group, Heising-Simons Foundation, Henry Luce Foundation, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Joyce Foundation, KFF, Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, Lumina Foundation, McKnight Foundation, Outrider Foundation, Rita Allen Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Skyline Foundation, and Alfred P. Sloan Foundation.

The Miami Foundation will serve as the fiscal sponsor for Press Forward and will manage a pooled fund and coordinate aligned grantmaking on behalf of participating funders. It will hire a small staff who will focus on growing and supporting funder engagement and learning and help advance the goals of the initiative. Some funders are expected to make exemplary aligned grants before the end of the year, while most will begin grantmaking in 2024. Donors will make grants from the pooled fund in 2024.

Organizations interested in Press Forward can learn more about applying for grants and seeking additional guidance. Press Forward welcomes and continues to invite additional funders to enhance nonprofit, public, and for-profit news and information.

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