JFF #029 – How community foundations think about journalism

[Cross-posted from JFF.]

In this, the April edition of the JFF newsletter, we’re looking at the relationship between community foundations and journalism. 

But before we dive into that, a reminder that there are mechanisms for supporting Ukraine’s journalists and media:

By signing and sharing the Perugia Declaration for Ukraine
– which is also in ItalianFrenchUkrainianBelarusian and Russian.
– And watch the panels addressing Ukraine at the Perugia International Journalism Festival earlier this month.

By supporting Ukraine’s independent media: 
– through this campaign coordinated by The Fix, Are We Europe, Jnomics & the Media Development Foundation, you can find various ways to help in a variety of currencies;
– and this media fund set up by Gazeta Wyborcza in partnership with a range of Nordic media organisations and associations

By supporting exile media:
– through the new JX Fund launched to support journalists in exile, from RSF Germany, the Schoepflin Stiftung & the Rudolf Augstein Stiftung, and with new support from the German Government
– here’s Krautreporter’s Sebastian Esser on how they supported Russian exile media Meduza through a crowdfunder
– and there’s plenty of background (mainly in German) at the Körber Stiftung’s microsite for past editions of the Exile Media Forum

Broader philanthropic efforts to support Ukraine: please visit the Philanthropy For Ukraine and the NGOs for Ukraine online platforms, which were launched little over a week ago, and which both also include sections on journalism and disinformation.

Today’s edition: 

We promised you many months ago an interview with James Magowan of the European Community Foundation Initiative. Well, today is the day, and it’s worth the wait. James has plenty to say about how local journalism is of immense importance to the community foundation sector.

This week I am at the Ariadne Great Reconnect conference in Lille, France – and this time next month I’ll be at the DataHarvest conference in Mechelen, Belgium – please do let me know if you’ll be there.

One bit of clarification which might be disappointing to some – JFF is a pitching-free zone – we never permit pitches for funding in our webinars, events or other activities. We’ve had a couple of emailed pitches for support recently, and we just wanted to clear up any misunderstandings.

And as ever do send us your feedback at info@journalismfundersforum.com or by using the social buttons below.

And please keep sharing the subscribe link, to help new readers find us.

–Sameer Padania


Interview: James Magowan, European Community Foundation Initiative (UK/EU)

We’re thrilled to bring the JFF community into conversation with the community foundation sector, a key part of the philanthropic landscape. Dr James Magowan of the European Community Foundation Initiative helped us understand better what community foundations are, what role they play, what the European sector looks like, and how and why community foundations support journalism.

Here are 5 key quotes, but you’ll find the link to read the full interview below…:

  1. When you’ve seen one community foundation, you’ve seen one community foundation,” says James – they’re so diverse in form and function that it’s hard to generalise about the sector.
  2. “Lockdown made us have this sense of place because we were locked into place, and people started to re-engage a bit more with their communities. Community foundations played the role of encouraging and supporting people to better understand the quality of the environment within which they live and act.”
  3. “Community foundations encourage and promote a sense of place, and identity associated with place, and, critically, transcend the other differences that exist in terms of economic and social status, and wellbeing and the diversity that exists within that place. Community foundations are key because they address this intersectionality as it affects people’s lives in their locality.”
  4. While community foundations in some places might look very much like traditional philanthropic institutions, “in Central and Eastern Europe you see a completely different type of operation, driven by young people, activists, from the community – really diverse and engaged.
  5. Information and journalism are fundamental to community foundations, says James, but “the community foundation needs a critical mass itself in order to have the authority to be able to convene or engage with media.”

To read the full interview with James Magowan of ECFI, head over here

For more, here’s an interview with James on the Giving Thought podcast, and here’s ECFI’s latest State of the Field report (the 2022 edition will be out soon on ECFI’s Knowledge Centre).


That’s all for this month – we’ll be back soon.


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