Local nonprofits and funders have been adhering to the trend of collaboration over competition for the sake of increased effectiveness and resource sharing. Media, too.
That’s why a new Lenfest Institute of Journalism fund is supporting collaboration in journalism, nonprofits and beyond: Its Philadelphia Ecosystem Collaboration Fund is giving $150,000 in “planning or prototype grants” of up to $25,000 each to collaborative projects related to information sharing in the region.
Apps, which opened in October, were open to nonprofits, for-profits and individuals, as long as their projects had something to do with local news and the information ecosystem — “things that help people know what’s going on in their communities and live their lives as active, engaged citizens in a democracy,” said Burt Herman, director of innovation programs for the nonprofit institute, which was created in 2016 by the late philanthropist Gerry Lenfest and is the owner of Philadelphia Media Network.
The fund’s six inaugural grants were announced this morning, funding the following projects:
- University of Pennsylvania Center for Public Health Initiatives’s Healthy Library Initiative — A content and training series about overdose-reversal drug naloxone
- Partners: Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Department of Public Health and the Free Library of Philadelphia
- Reentry Think Tank — Media Justice Fellowship training returning citizens to write solutions-focused articles about the criminal justice system
- Partners: Philadelphia Reentry Coalition, Village of Arts and Humanities, People’s Paper Co-op, Defender Association of Philadelphia, Community Legal Services, Resolve Philadelphia and Juvenile Law Center
- Free Press — A journalism training and mentoring program for neighborhood residents
- Partners: Germantown Info Hub, Kensington Voice, The People’s Education Center, Temple University and WHYY
- Mighty Writers — An after-school newsroom for Camden teens
- Partners: CAMDEN, NJ: A Spirit Invincible, WHYY, Center for Environmental Transformation and Rutgers Camden Office of Civic Engagement
- Media, Inequality and Change Center at University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication and Rutgers University — A public dialogue series between journalists and political advocates ahead of local elections
- Partners: Media Mobilizing Project and Inquirer’s opinion section
- Untitled Folder LLC — An open-source web application to help journalists and the public better navigate open data
- Partners: Neo4j, Technical.ly, Linode and Code for Philly
Today, Lenfest also announced the recipients of its Local News Business Model Challenge for projects around the country that are exploring new business models. The only local grantee is Generocity sister site Technical.ly, which will “create a prototype of a ‘Recruiter’s Dashboard’ that will leverage reader data to match users with relevant job postings.”
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The total of all 13 grants announced today is $475,000.-30-
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