Detroit public broadcasting, journalism earn major gifts

Detroit public broadcasting get help with major gifts.
Date Published
12/05/2013

Many nonprofit organizations have developed relationships with foundations in an effort to diversify their fundraising pool. Foundations and larger philanthropic entities frequently have the resources to generate large grants and help nonprofit groups achieve major gifts benchmarks established in specific campaigns. By managing these strategic relationships, organizations can better ensure a sound financial future.

At the same time, public broadcasters are commonly overlooked in their importance to the community. While social services are more visible, public television and radio are equally crucial resource for people from a variety of backgrounds. However, recent donations from the Knight and Ford Foundations showcase the necessity of public broadcasting. Both of these organizations announced an investment of $250,000 in support of nonprofit journalism efforts in the Detroit region.

The efforts of the Knight Foundation
From the Knight Foundation, the funds will go toward creating the Detroit Journalism Cooperative, according to the nonprofit’s website. The result is collaboration between five nonprofit media organizations, including the “think and do tank” Center for Michigan’s Bridge Magazine, the public radio station WDET-FM, Michigan Radio, Detroit Public Television and the minority-centered new network New Michigan Media , explained Current. The foundation targeted Detroit chiefly because the city has been hit hard by financial difficulties – recently filing for bankruptcy.

With the grant, the coalition of nonprofit and for-profit news sources will focus on providing “data-driven, solutions-based journalism,” which will speak to the difficulties the city is facing. Instead of simply covering the issues, the cooperative will work to bring citizens into the conversation and process of addressing the challenges they face by offering a path forward through investigative journalism. The Knight Foundation reminded readers of its efforts to support local media with the New Jersey News Commons after Hurricane Sandy hit the region. In the same way, the foundation hopes news and information will help with the rebuilding effort in Detroit after much of the infrastructure and social support structures have failed city residents.

The Ford Foundation providing support
Meanwhile, the Ford Foundation’s grant will fund the Michigan Reporting Initiative. Instead of focusing mainly on Detroit, this service is a collaboration of Renaissance Journalism and the social consulting organization Zero Divide that will focus on the entire state. Zero Divide works toward alleviating issues stemming from health and economic opportunities in at-risk communities, while Renaissance Journalism – a program of the San Francisco State University Department of Journalism – helps news organizations with approaching journalism from an alternative perspective.

As Detroit’s public media and nonprofit organizations benefit from these major gifts, donors can recognize the importance of these kinds of initiatives and how far their contributions will go to helping a community in need.

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