Here’s How We’ve Funded Free And Independent Shasta County News This Year

We publish our news free, as a public service, but that doesn’t mean it’s free to produce.
Two of the notes we received last week from local donors. Your words of encouragement and your financial support are evidence of the impact of our work and mean the world to us. Thank you for your trust.

In mid-2021, we launched Shasta Scout for the people, not for profit or power. We’re working to build a trustworthy news service that provides critically important information, encourages deep engagement between the people and those in power, and empowers each of us to advocate for and build the community we want to live, work, and play in. 

To do so, we’re focusing on developing paths towards long-term funding that keep the news free for all while building collaborative win-win partnerships within our local economy. Our strong early revenue development of $125,000 so far this year indicates that we are successfully moving towards sustainability, but only if we can continue to grow the revenue we bring in from predictable sources, including business sponsorships, grants and reader donations.

We’re so grateful for each and every partner who chose to invest in our news service in 2022 – from readers giving $5/month to major donors providing tens of thousands. Together we’re working to rebuild local news.

2022 Funding Sources:

  • Major Funders: $82,000

Major funders this year included the Google News Initiative, Indiegraf, The Miami Foundation (NewsMatch) and LION Publishers. Successful nonprofit news organizations use early investments by major donors to build more sustainable revenue sources over the first 3-5 years of operations. We expect to see major funding sources remain constant or decline in 2023 because these are ususally early investments designed to be utilized towards systems that provide long-term funding.

  • Grants: $15,500

We received dedicated grant funds from the United Way of Northern California and the North State Equity Fund. Grants are an ongoing source of sustainable funding for nonprofit news. We expect to see our revenue from grant funding grow in 2023 and beyond with the focused attention of a new full-time revenue development manager. 

  • Reader Donations: $14,000

So far in 2022, our readers have given $14,000, mostly as small recurring donations averaging just $13/month. Individually, monthly gifts may seem small, but the multiplication effect of many small recurring gifts by a whole community of readers is huge. Reader donations represent a pivotal sustainable revenue stream that we must continue to maintain and grow in 2023. If you’ve benefited from our reporting, we’d love to see you become a member and invest a small monthly amount in our work. 

  • Business and Nonprofit Sponsorships: $10,785

Our very first business sponsor was local Redding bar, The Dip! Thank you! We also exchanged advertising services as gifts-in-kind with KIXE PBS and KKRN Community Radio. Continued partnership with local businesses and nonprofit organizations is essential to our sustainability over time. We expect to see our revenue from business sponsorships grow significantly in 2023 and beyond with the focused attention of a full-time revenue development manager. 

  • Collaborations: $4,500

We partnered with the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Rural News Collaborative on our first nationally republished story about rural healthcare. We also participated in a research project with Trusting News, an organization dedicated to helping newsrooms build trust across ideological divides through strong editorial practices. We hope to continue to leverage the power of collaboration in 2023 to increase the quality of our news service, amplify our local work, and provide additional revenue.

Transparency matters, not just in local government, but also in local media. We know that trust in the media is at an all-time-low. Providing transparent access to our funding sources is one of the many ways we’re working to rebuild your trust in local news.

We’re about to launch our end of year giving campaign asking you, our readers, to commit to a one-time or small recurring monthly donation over the next year. Just like last year, NewsMatch is partnering with us to match reader donations (both one-time and the annual value of monthly recurring donations) up to a total of $19,000. That’s an opportunity for us to earn at least $38,000 in the next month to support expanded coverage of critical Shasta County news next year.

Are you ready to become a part of rebuilding local news from the ground up, one source at a time? Donate here.

Coming next week: how we spent our 2022 funds so far and our 2023 spending plan designed to expand our news coverage, deepen our community engagement, and build our long-term sustainability.

Have a question or comment about funding, spending, or something else? Email me, [email protected]

As a reader-funded outlet, we rely on donations to fund our work and keep our content paywall free. Do you support free online news in Shasta County?

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