(May 7, 2024) — Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association and Local Media Association are pleased to announce the 12 news organizations selected to participate in a first-of-its kind state fundraising lab that brings the proven training of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding to news organizations in Pennsylvania.

The 12 organizations selected represent local newsrooms big and small, serving diverse communities across the state of Pennsylvania, but united in their focus on civic journalism. The lab will help these local news organizations develop and execute strategies to fund essential local journalism via philanthropy. The four-month intensive lab runs from May through September 2024.

Here are the 12 news organizations selected:

  • Bucks County Herald
  • Eagle Printing Company
  • Indiana Gazette
  • Latrobe Bulletin
  • Philadelphia Sunday SUN
  • PublicSource
  • SPIRIT Media Group, Inc. 
  • TheBurg
  • The Daily Collegian
  • The York Dispatch
  • Times Leader Media Group
  • WITF and The Steinman Institute for Civic Engagement

“The Indiana Gazette is excited to explore how philanthropy can help our newsroom provide the community with the journalism it deserves and needs on critical issues,” said Brian Nalepa, regional vice president and publisher of the Indiana Gazette. “We look forward to learning how we can strengthen our relationship with the community and potential donors.  The Lab serves as an instrument to bridge the gap between what we are providing and what our readers see as unmet needs.”

“There is a greater need than ever for local news organizations to serve as valued community members in today’s rapidly transforming media landscape,” said Amy Simmons, associate editor of the Philadelphia Sunday SUN. “Through our participation in the Pennsylvania Lab for Journalism Funding program, the Philadelphia Sunday SUN is looking forward to building on our already well established relationships within the local African American community, which we have served for over 30 years, and learning new ways to focus on the issues that matter most to them in the 21st Century.”

“We’re thrilled to be part of the Pennsylvania Lab for Journalism Funding, eager to harness new skills that will bolster our ability to secure grants and further our mission of serving our community through impactful reporting,” said Joseph G. Wingert, publisher, Bucks County Herald.

The Pennsylvania fundraising cohort will be led by Liz White, former publisher of the Record-Journal (Meriden, Connecticut) and a graduate of the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding and LMA Advanced Fundraising Lab. Newsrooms will receive one-on-one coaching from a team of coaches, including Jennifer Preston, Joaquin Alvarado, Joanne Heyman and White. 

“The PNA Foundation looks forward to working with, and learning from, the selected newsrooms that represent a wide range of communities across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania,” said Tanya Henderson, executive director of the PNA Foundation.

“We are excited about the local journalism projects this cohort seeks to fund,” said Frank Mungeam, who leads the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding. “Their commitment to serving their communities is clear, and we are excited to share the learnings from our fundraising lab to enable them to grow and sustain their journalism.” 

Since 2020, the LMA Lab for Journalism Funding, made possible with continuing support from Google News Initiative, has helped more than 100 news organizations across the U.S. raise more than $23 million to support local journalism. 

This first-of-its-kind state version of the fundraising lab is made possible with the support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Pennsylvania’s PNA Foundation. Programmatic support, guest speakers, and case studies will also be provided by The Lenfest Institute for Journalism which has worked closely with LMA and PNA in the past.

The selected publishers will also attend LMA Fest, the annual business sustainability conference of Local Media Association, and the PNA Foundation will award $20,000 grants to three participating news organizations to support their fundraising projects at PNA’s 100th Anniversary Gala on Nov. 14. 

Local Media Association and Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association will publish case studies on publisher lessons and successes from the lab that can be applied across the news industry.