ITHACA, N.Y. — Thanks to the generosity of its readers and supporters, The Ithaca Voice has met its $20,000 NewsMatch fundraising goal for 2019 and qualified for an additional $20,000 in matching funds. The November-December fundraising campaign brought in more than $21,000 in individual donations and new recurring donations qualifying for matching funds.
The Voice was selected to participate in NewsMatch, a program that matches individual one-time donations of up to $1,000, or in the case of recurring monthly donations, matches 12 times the monthly amount, the equivalent of a full year’s donation, with a cap of $20,000.
The fundraising effort was championed by a group of former Ithaca Journal/Gannett employees who see The Ithaca Voice as representing the future of journalism in Ithaca in the wake of Gannett’s withdrawal of resources from local reporting.
“We feel that The Voice is starting to do the aggressive, important reporting that The Journal used to be known for,” said Philip Lerman, former city editor of the Ithaca Journal. “This kind of reporting is vital to a community like Ithaca, and we want to help them in any way we can.”
Members of the Ithaca Journal group contributed $5,217 — a quarter of the total funds raised.
“We lived through the glory years of great local reporting in Ithaca,” Lerman said. “There were more than 25 reporters, photographers, and editors when we started at the Journal. We were saddened to see reports that the Gannett Company had cut the Journal staff down to one or two reporters. We felt that we had to do something.”
The Voice received 259 donations, averaging $78 each.
Support from NewsMatch will allow The Voice to expand its already-strong coverage to include more in-depth reporting on the environment, education, government and other issues that the community cares most about.
“To see my community come together and support the organization I work for has been overwhelming,” Thomas Giery Pudney, The Ithaca Voice’s new managing editor, said. “At a time when most news gathering organizations are getting smaller, we are growing, and that’s a very exciting thing to be a part of. We have big plans for 2020 and beyond and it means a lot to us that the Ithaca and Tompkins County communities value the service we provide so much.”
The Ithaca Voice was formed in 2014 by Jeff Stein, a Cornell University alumnus who is now a policy reporter for The Washington Post. On The Voice‘s first day of publication, Stein wrote, “We are going to dramatically expand the amount and quality of civic and political information in the region. And we’re going to have some fun doing it.”
The Ithaca Voice is nonprofit and 100% community funded. It is a 501(c)(3) organization, and contributions is tax-deductible to the full extent allowed by law.