So trying to get funding for local news sites is not a piece of cake. But there are funders that make the application process transparent and easy. Even when we’re turned down, I don’t feel bitter, confused or humiliated. It’s like playing in the NBA — even if you don’t win, you feel good being in the game. (And what is it they say about failing up?)

Mission Local has applied twice for ProPublica’s Local Investigative Reporting project and we’ve failed twice, but we will apply again. The application is not forbidding and we recognize that a lot of other worthy projects also need money. The same is true for Report for America, which recently placed 61 reporters in 50 winning newsrooms. The first round favored medium to larger newsrooms, but maybe that won’t be the case on the next round, and all those newsrooms can use the help. (Okay, this may ruin the positive karma I’m trying to build, but do larger newsrooms really need as much help as smaller sites?)

On the plus side, we did score big last year with NewsMatch, a matching grant initiative run by the Institute for Nonprofit News in collaboration with the Miami Foundation, and some of journalism’s heavy hitters. The process was highly accessible, allowing us to submit an application at the 11th hour, and we got a $25,000 match – one backed with loads of very specific help on how to run a match campaign. We matched and we will get another try this year. Thank you!

Even the Google News Initiative, due earlier this month and offering a maximum of $300,000 for a non-editorial staff idea, proved straightforward.

The lesson here? That if you want to win, you can’t sit it out? Ah, but if only journalism had the same kind of money in play

Earlier posts

Upstart: Onward and upward in the hunt for funds, July 9, 2019

Upstart : Never say Die, Salesforce Act 2, July 2, 2019

Upstart: First thought best thought? Salesforce Act 1, June 25, 2019

Upstart: The same (trying to raise money) but different (Mission Local is a nonprofit).Tuesday, June 18, 2019.