In the summer of 2019, NewsMatch engaged Mission Partners to develop the messaging and strategy for its fourth annual campaign, which runs from November through December. In the wake of “fake news” and powerful politicians’ attacks on the free press, NewsMatch has supported unbiased and independent journalism through a national matching-gift campaign designed to grow fundraising capacity in nonprofit newsrooms and promote journalism as a philanthropic cause. As the media industry continues to evolve, the support NewsMatch provides is more important than ever.
To begin, Mission Partners conducted a comprehensive peer set audit, and then guided NewsMatch and its partner funders through creating a message framework to help align 2019’s campaign. After in-depth interviews with NewsMatch’s newsroom participants and partners, Mission Partners also created the theme of the campaign. Along with messaging, media relations, training webinars, toolkits, and the creation of talking points, Mission Partners updated NewsMatch’s visual brand and created customizable digital and social graphics for newsrooms across the country to utilize. The paid social media strategy was further enhanced by a PSA video Mission Partners worked alongside a third party to create.
The 2019 NewsMatch campaign saw its best-ever #GivingTuesday returns, and of the 198 participating newsrooms, 187 customized or implemented materials provided to them.
For the second year in support of NewsMatch, Mission Partners worked alongside this fundraising campaign for community-based and nonprofit newsrooms to help participating news organizations reach new and dedicated donors, while also advocating for the benefits of nonprofit news on a broader scale. We developed research-tested messaging, a promotional video, and a comprehensive communications strategy, while providing strategic counsel once the campaign officially kicked off. While the pandemic made fundraising even more challenging for the independent news sector, NewsMatch had its most successful year yet in 2020, with more than $47 million raised for nonprofit news organizations.