Today, NJ Spotlight enters a new phase as a source of news and analysis for New Jersey: paid membership.
Founded six years ago, nonprofit NJ Spotlight has grown from a staff of four to 11, as we have broadened our coverage of the key issues and challenges facing the state. And up to now, our sustainability has largely relied on foundation support, sponsorships, and underwriting.
Now, we are reaching out for support from our readers and followers, those who know us best through our award-winning journalism and numerous live events, led by the NJ Spotlight on Cities conference in the fall.
We have set a fundraising goal of $50,000 by the end of 2016.
“There could be no more critical time for comprehensive and insightful coverage of the challenges and uncertainties ahead for New Jersey,” said John Mooney, the founding editor and CEO of NJ Spotlight.
“With a new administration in Washington and coming soon in Trenton, NJ Spotlight is an important place for learning the facts about and implications of each. But we also need our readers’ help in fulfilling that mission.”
NJ Spotlight is part of a five-site pilot project spanning the country that is testing a national model of membership development.
Led by the news site Voice of San Diego, the new “News Revenue Hub” has helped the five pilot sites share expertise and strategies to communicate and engage with their readers.
The other pilot sites are The Lens in New Orleans, Inside Climate News in New York City, Honolulu Civil Beat in Hawaii, and Politifact in Florida. The project is funded by the Democracy Fund in Washington, D.C.
“There is a big challenge for journalism nationwide, and our hope is the project provides some lessons for others going forward,” Mooney said. “We all want to provide our strong reporting and writing, while also engaging our readers to help us build a strong and stable financial base. This project is helping us accomplish that.”
As it always has, NJ Spotlight’s content will remain free to all.
But by contributing anywhere from $35 to $1,000-plus per year, members will also be invited to monthly gatherings with newsmakers and staff, as well as receive newsletters and other benefits from inside our operations and newsroom.
Follow this link to join NJ Spotlight’s new family.