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Guardian announces launch of US non-profit

The Guardian yesterday announced the public launch of theguardian.org, a new non-profit to support “quality independent journalism around some of the most pressing issues of our time”.

Author: News Desk

Posted on: 29 August 2017 07:07

Guardian announces launch of US non-profit

Rachel White: "The creation of theguardian.org makes it possible for us to forge key strategic partnerships."

Set up by the Scott Trust, theguardian.org will raise funds from individuals and foundations and direct them towards projects that advance public discourse and citizen participation around issues such as climate change, human rights, global development and inequality.

In its first months of operation, theguardian.org has secured more than $1m in grants which include:

• Skoll Foundation funding for a solutions-oriented series on climate change in America;

• Support from Humanity United to allow the Guardian to continue its in-depth look at modern day slavery; and

• A grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation to support compelling journalism on the subject of early childhood development.

In addition to providing grants to support powerful story-telling and independent journalism, says the Guardian, the new organization will work to advance freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and explore opportunities for partnerships across academia, think tanks, non-profits, and other organizations.

The creation of theguardian.org, which has tax-exempt status and is overseen by an independent board, builds on the Guardian’s long-standing tradition of partnering with like-minded philanthropic organizations in order to produce impactful, editorially-independent journalism. The Guardian currently maintains 12 partnerships supporting journalism and in the last 12 months have added $6m in multi-year funding commitments.

The Guardian’s longest-standing philanthropic partners include:

• Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding for the Global Development site;

• Ford Foundation support for reporting on women’s rights and inequality;

• Rockefeller Foundation support for the Guardian’s Cities site, which focuses on building resilient cities

theguardian.org is chaired by John Paton, founder and former CEO of Digital First Media and a member of the GMG Board of Directors. John is joined on the board by two independent members, Asha Curran and Lenny Mendonca.

It is run by Rachel White, president of theguardian.org, who is also the Guardian’s global EVP of philanthropic and strategic partnerships.

Rachel White said: “The connection between powerful story-telling and social cause has never been more vital. Across the past six years, philanthropy has played an increasingly significant role in supporting Guardian journalism on issues that critically inform the public--climate change, inequality, women’s rights, and more. The creation of theguardian.org makes it possible for us to forge key strategic partnerships, and engage a wider range of individuals and philanthropic organizations in supporting our global ground-breaking storytelling and reporting.”

Lee Glendinning, editor, Guardian US, said: “Deep reporting and innovation transpires in our newsroom with important projects supported through philanthropic partnerships. Because of the Guardian’s unique mission and perspective, support from likeminded organizations can form a small but important part of funding our journalism.”

In 2016 Guardian Media Group set out a strategy which placed increased focus on reader revenues, amidst shifts in the advertising market. Philanthropy and other partnerships have an important role to play in this strategy, says the Guardian.

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