Elevate Dayton among media outlets to receive funding from Google News Equity Fund
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Elevate Dayton is one of the media outlets receiving funding from the Google News Equity Fund. The outlet received $11,000 in non-dilutive funding to support original journalism for purposes including paying personnel, work tools, marketing expenses and other needs. Elevate Dayton was among more than 450 newsrooms from 52 countries to receive funding through the News Equity Fund.
“Elevate Dayton is proud to be a beneficiary of the Google News Equity Fund to help further empower our community mission and spur future growth,” said publisher Nate Dillard. “With this investment, we will be able to further expand our reach and push for greater positive change in Dayton’s under-represented communities.”
The News Equity Fund is Google’s global commitment to providing financial support and opportunities to news organizations that primarily serve underrepresented communities. Goals for the News Equity Fund include strengthening inclusion, empowering a diverse news ecosystem and supporting small and medium-sized publishers in creating original journalism for underrepresented audiences worldwide.
Elevate Dayton was also a graduate of the Google News Initiative (GNI) North America Sponsorships Lab. The 14-week program helped members and other public service newsrooms increase revenue from event sponsorships, sponsored content and other earned revenue sources. The program is a part of the GNI Digital Growth Program, which helps news organizations grow their digital businesses through free training, consulting and support.
During the GNI Sponsorships Lab, Dillard learned how to hone Elevate Dayton’s customer value proposition, redesign its media kit and strengthen its sponsorship pricing and rate card. He also learned how to sell different types of sponsorship for various forms of media, including podcasts, email newsletters, event sponsorships and others. Dillard met virtually with other publishers from across the nation bi-weekly about sponsorship sales progress and updates.
“Nate was an enthusiastic participant,” said Fran Scarlett, a coach for Blue Engine Collaborative that partnered with the GNI Sponsorship Lab. “He is dedicated to making his enterprise successful and to growing his revenue through sponsorships and is eager to put what he’s learned into practice.”
The Elevate Dayton team first learned about the Google News Equity Fund and the GNI Sponsorships Lab through the Multicultural Media & Correspondents Association (MMCA), the outlet’s first investors. The MMCA held a webinar in July on its BIPOCXChange platform to inform and educate publishers about the opportunity.
Moving forward, the Elevate Dayton team plans to use what they learned during the GNI Sponsorships Lab to onboard several new sponsors in early 2023. The outlet also plans to hire an editor and staff writers next year.
Disclosures: The MMCA is an investor for Elevate Dayton. Nate Dillard, publisher of Elevate Dayton, is a partial owner of the BIPOCXChange. Linda Miller, editorial advisor to Elevate Dayton, is director of the Equitable Media and Economies Initiative, which is a joint project of MMCA and RJI.