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  • 11.17.16

Nonprofit news outlets see surge in donations since Trump’s election

Donald Trump regularly slams news outlets in his Twitter jeremiads and has occasionally banned media organizations that get on his nerves. But for journalists, all that abuse comes with a positive side effect: a surge in donations and subscriptions since his election. When John Oliver called on his Last Week Tonight audience to “support actual journalism” on Sunday night, ProPublica and Mother Jones saw major bumps in contributions. 

But it’s not just those relatively large news organizations—plenty of smaller online investigative news outlets also received major contributions. 

• Steve Beatty, publisher and CEO of The Lens, a site focused on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast, says that on Thursday afternoon he sent out an appeal and soon received $4,000 in donations (some of them recurring), which represents 8 percent of his yearly budget for small donations. 

• Chrystal Walsh, development director of Pennsylvania-based PublicSource, says that it has signed up more than 50 members since the election and is on track to reach its goal of 100 members as part of its current fundraising campaign. That’s a huge improvement over a previous year, in which it had just 28 donors.

• Christina Shih, membership manager at Voice of San Diego, says that since November 9, it has raised $13,392.26 from 306 donors from November 9-16, more than quadruple what it raised in the same week last year.

• Ben Nishimoto, of Honolulu Civil Beat, says that after sending out an e-blast on the day after the election, it received four times the amount of revenue that it usually gets from such emails. And it has already been invited by foundations to submit two proposals for multi-year support of reporting projects spotlighting the impact of a Trump presidency on Hawaii.

• And Adam Schweigert, senior director of product and technology at the Institute for Nonprofit News, says that he’s heard from some people on Twitter who are “committing to give 1% of their income this year to support local journalism.” 

MB