Forty-seven independent Chicago-area media outlets, all members of the Chicago Independent Media Alliance (CIMA), including Gazette Chicago, are joining forces for their fourth annual fundraising campaign that will run Monday, June 5, through Monday, June 19.
Each of the past three years, CIMA has hosted a similar annual joint community fundraiser, with matching funds provided by local foundations and distributed by the Crossroads Fund.
The more donations each outlet raises, the more matching funds it earns. More than 40 CIMA members participated in each of the past campaigns. This will be Gazette Chicago’s third CIMA campaign.
This year’s campaign is trying something new: CIMA will split all funds raised evenly among the member outlets that participate.
As a result, larger members such as Injustice Watch, Block Club Chicago, and the Chicago Reader can help uplift their peers including Gazette Chicago. So far, 47 CIMA members have signed up for this year’s fundraiser, more than in any previous fundraiser, and 28 of them have budgets of less than $250,000 per year.
The Chicago Reader, now the Reader Institute for Community Journalism, founded CIMA in 2019 to foster the collaboration and solutions necessary to ensure survival and success for Chicagoland’s independent media outlets. CIMA is a partnership of independent, local, and community-driven media entities that share resources and collaborate on editorial and revenue-generating projects.
As an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CIMA created Chicago’s first joint fundraiser in May 2020. In addition to matching funds provided by local foundations, CIMA’s campaigns have brought in thousands of community donors interested in supporting local and independent journalism.
Year after year, CIMA members have said this fundraiser allows them to maintain and grow their operations; for many, it has helped them survive during difficult times. In addition, the CIMA fundraising committee notes time and again this fundraiser’s great value for broadening everyone’s audience reach, supporting one another, and building community.
“We rely on this fundraiser to provide Gazette Chicago with the vital operating revenue that allows our reporters to continue to break news stories and build bridges within the ten diverse communities we cover,” said Mark J. Valentino, editor and publisher.
“Whether publishing news stories and investigative pieces that make a difference in the lives of the residents of our communities, providing extensive and fair political coverage and endorsements, or offering thought provoking and hard hitting editorials, Gazette Chicago provides a critical service to our readers,” Valentino added.
“But we need those readers to help, and I hope everyone will contribute to the campaign this year,” he said. “That will help not only Gazette Chicago but nearly 50 other independent Chicago-area news outlets as well.”
For more information, log on to https://indiemediachi.org/about/.