Philanthropies Promise $500 Million to Help Local News Across U.S.

Print More

Andrew Cunningham/Franklin Pierce University

Bob Charest, board chairman of the NH Center for Public Interest Journalism, is pictured with founder Nancy West at a media summit in Manchester in 2018.

Editor’s Note: Here is a link to the new web page for Press Forward, an initiative from the MacArthur Foundation and other national funders:

Here is the New York Times story about it: Philanthropies Pledge $500 Million to Address Crisis in Local News

Here is the website of the new Alliance of Nonprofit News Outlets spearheaded by Jason Pramas and 16 other nonprofit news outlets across the country including’s Nancy West:

Our earlier reporting on Alliance of Nonprofit News:

Dear Friends and Supporters of,

I hope you are as excited as I am about this incredible half a billion dollar initiative the MacArthur Foundation called “Press Forward” is leading to truly help local news grow and become sustainable. has already signed up to get more information about applying for these grants that are likely to start flowing next year.

And has helped create a new national organization of small news outlets with 17 initial members. We think this will help all funders, our readers and the general public know what is happening here on the ground. Our new organization is called the Alliance of Nonprofit News Organizations (ANNO).

Spearheaded by Jason Pramas, co-founder and executive director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism, ANNO is comprised of small news outlets across the country who are passionate that more of the charity dollars are spent on reporting important news and less on creating new bureaucracies.

In the meantime, we hope the New Hampshire philanthropists and foundations will help us as well. The timing couldn’t be better. The need remains great and we are participating again in NewsMatch through the Institute for Nonprofit News and we need co-matchers from New Hampshire to maximize how much we can raise through NewsMatch in November and December.

NewsMatch hasn’t yet announced how much they will match, but the local co-matches will help us match more than whatever they are able to do.

Please remember the money we raise will be used to continue our reporting and build our business section. We need to hire the people who bring in the money to non-profit news – ad salespeople, event planners, and director of development.

We have the most amazing volunteers Bev Stoddard and Bob Charest who help to do so much to keep us going and reporters like Garry Rayno, Paula Tracy and Damien Fisher who work as contract workers for much less than most newspapers pay.

Our columnists and podcasters work for peanuts and do amazing work.

Of course there is no guarantee we will get grants from the MacArthur Foundation project, but I believe the work we have done in the last 8 years and continue to do is the kind of ethical unbiased journalism that needs to be supported.

You our readers have been our biggest supporters and I hope you will continue as well. Without you and a handful of New Hampshire philanthropists we wouldn’t be where we are today reporting news that matters with some of the best most experienced journalists in the state.

I believe this major national effort by MacArthur Foundation and others will also spur New Hampshire philanthropists and foundations because stories like the one in the New York Times yesterday about Press Forward show the enormous need we are feeling, especially at We are very careful where we accept money from to guarantee we are ethical in all of our dealings. We are just as careful spending it.

This major MacArthur Foundation initiative is making the nation and New Hampshire aware of the urgency of our task in helping to save democracy. has been working at local New Hampshire news since 2015 with the best reporters and columnists to carry on the tradition of ethical, unbiased news reporting without fear or favor because we are passionate.  We are at a place where we really need to get the word out about what we need and how you can help.

I get many notes from you, our readers, saying how much you appreciate the work we do.

They always make my day. Thanks for everything.

Nancy West

Comments are closed.