The Lenfest Institute for Journalism in Philadelphia has announced commitments totaling $26.5 million from a range of national and regional funders as well as a $40 million matching gift from its founder H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest.
The gifts and grants include $15 million from an anonymous donor, $3 million from David Haas, $2 million from the Wyncote Foundation, and additional gifts and pledges totaling $6.5 million from several individuals, foundations, and corporations. With the latest commitment from Lenfest, the institute will launch a matching gift campaign to further advance its efforts to promote the development of sustainable business models for high-quality local journalism.
Since its launch in 2016, the institute has funded new investigative news programs at the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, provided hands-on digital product development expertise to news organizations around the country, and funded digital training for two hundred reporters and editors at the Philadelphia Media Network. The institute also has partnered with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Temple University on the Knight-Lenfest Newsroom Initiative, a three-year effort to transform newsrooms in a dozen major American cities, including Philadelphia.
"The institute is the only organization of its kind devoted to the challenges and opportunities of local and metropolitan journalism," said Lenfest Institute executive director and CEO Jim Friedlich. "We are pleased that our work has resonated with national funders and local donors alike. We are deeply grateful to Gerry Lenfest and our growing group of new partners for their support. Our goal is to help reinvent the business of local news — in Philadelphia and around the country — in order to secure its permanent place in our democracy."