Community Foundation of New Jersey

Evaluating the Nonprofit News Model

November 5, 2013

We’ve long been fans of the nonprofit news model, especially amidst the decline of newspapers and other forms of journalism in the United States. It’s why we helped launch NJ Spotlight, an online news website where “issues matter.” Here’s how we described the site when it was first launched:

Because there is a lack of relevant and timely information about state-wide and local issues that affect all residents of New Jersey, the Community Foundation of NJ partnered with former Newark Star-Ledger reporters to create an interactive website that features high-quality, in-depth journalism that encourages civic and community participation and provides an understanding of the vital issues affecting our state today in education, the environment, and public finance.

The challenge, of course, with nonprofit news is sustainability. How can a nonprofit news website continue generating enough investigative or compelling content – and even more importantly, revenue – to keep up with the larger media outlets? It’s a challenge we’ve spent a lot of time thinking about, which is why we were particularly pleased to review the Knight Foundation’s latest report, Finding a Foothold: How NonProfit News Ventures Seek Sustainability.


To support nonprofit journalism and the work of NJ Spotlight, contact the Community Foundation at 973-267-5533.