Introducing the Generocity Journalism Fund: An expanded membership program to support our newsroom - Generocity Philly

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Oct. 3, 2019 11:00 am

Introducing the Generocity Journalism Fund: An expanded membership program to support our newsroom

A year and a half after first trialing an individual membership program, we’ve updated the offering and included a way for organizations to contribute.

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Many of us want storytellers, trend spotters and truth pursuers. But the centuries-old model we had for employing most of them shattered with the rise of digital advertising.

Now one of modern society’s thorniest problems is how to keep local communities informed with professional credibility. We sustain Generocity in a novel way, by aiming to be a professional development platform for nonprofit professionals like you—with events, services and storytelling we want you and your organizations to find valuable enough to pay for.

(Relevantly, I recently wrote an essay on the importance of what I call “journalism thinking.”)

That allows us to sustain our operation, no small feat in this nuclear winter of local news. But one natural (and encouraged) outcome from Generocity’s success — we’re on pace for the fourth consecutive best-read year of the publication’s history — is ever-rising expectations of quality.

In early 2018, Generocity piloted an individual membership program, as part of a collaboration with several Philadelphia newsrooms, thanks to a grant from the Lenfest Institute. In the last year and a half, we have routinely spoken to those members, and others (both readers and should-be readers), to learn what they find most valuable, and how we might help improve philanthropy and impact in Philadelphia and beyond.

The clearest signal has been to expand and deepen our acts of journalism. This can mean written articles about important trends and thorny local issues, and it can also mean conversations, interventions and, well, maybe a quiz or two.

To better do that, today we are announcing an updated membership program called the Generocity Journalism Fund, the dollars of which go directly to underwrite our full-time newsroom and freelance contributions. (Simply put: the Generocity Journalism Fund is our membership program)

I’m thrilled to give our celebrated Generocity editor Sabrina Vourvoulias more direct control and insight into the pathway to sustain and expand her newsroom capabilities.

There are three ways to contribute: as an individual (with a clearer value proposition from our existing membership model); as an organization, or as a match campaign funder.

From our Partners

You can find the details here, but these are the basics:

Individual Fund Contributor

  • Invited to quarterly Newsroom Happy Hours, with special surprises
  • Offered lowest price and special access to the new annual Generocity smarter-impact conference Advance (this year featuring a keynote by Kickstarter cofounder and former CEO Yancey Strickler)
  • Receive a monthly newsletter from Generocity Editor Sabrina Vourvoulias, with insight and perks
  • Investment: $100 per year, or $10 monthly

Organization Fund Contributor

  • Five Individual Fund Contributor “seats”
  • Logo Inclusion on Generocity Journalism Fund Page, which is linked to from each Generocity piece of larger journalism (approximately monthly)
  • Generocity Directory page
  • Investment: $1,500 per year

Match Campaign Funder

  • Organization Fund Contributor
  • Generocity.org post announcing Match Campaign, which we’ll use to challenge new contributions
  • Investment: $10,000 to $25,000 per year

There’s one important, relevant belief that we’ve always held at Technically Media, our little, 20-person independent media company that publishes both Generocity and sister site Technical.ly, while also producing the annual Philly Tech Week. That belief is the gift the web has given us is the opportunity for more quality, freely accessible information than ever before, in the entirety of human history. Generocity reporting is intended to be freely open and available.

The trick is establishing now the norms of funding that work. We’re doing that in many ways, to support the journalism part of that work. The Generocity Journalism Fund is our strategy.

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Readers who complete this survey by midnight Monday, Oct. 21, 2019 become contributors to Generocity’s Journalism Fund (formerly, Generocity Membership), with access to all contributor benefits, through October 2020.

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