The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that funds initiatives to benefit the State’s civic life and meet the evolving information needs of New Jersey’s communities.
A first-in-the-nation project, the Consortium builds on the foundation laid by public media in the United States and reimagines how public funding can be used to address the growing problem of news deserts and misinformation, and support more informed communities.
In 2023, the Consortium seeks to improve the infrastructure of the news and information ecosystem in New Jersey.
Specifically, the following kind of support is needed by news organizations in the state. The Consortium seeks to prioritize small, local, independent, ethnic and community media, information and news organizations and give them access to:
— Technology stack improvements. Many news organizations are on WordPress but some are on older and/or proprietary platforms. Some struggle with SEO, design, improving navigation and integrating donation or membership options.
— Coaching on diversification of revenue streams and improving revenue generation. Many news organizations in the state are barely making it; few are regularly profitable to a point where staff are well-compensated for their vital work. A large percentage of news organizations in New Jersey rely on local and regional advertising, as well as programmatic advertising, for revenue.
The Consortium seeks to work with an organization(s) that can design a program to address one or both of the identified areas for at least 20 news organizations over either a one or two-year period.
The following eligibility requirements must be met for an organization to be considered for this funding opportunity:
— The organization must be a legally incorporated entity in the United States.
— The organization must have experience in implementing technology and/or revenue generation programs for news and information organizations.
— The organization must have a strong track record of working with small, independent, ethnic and community media, information, and news organizations.
— A preference will be given to organizations that have a diversified staff and board.
Organizations interested in this opportunity must submit a proposal that includes the following elements:
— Executive summary: A brief overview of the organization, its experience, and its proposed approach to addressing the needs of news organizations in New Jersey.
— Proposed program: A description of the proposed program and how it will address the scope of work described above.
— Methodology: A detailed description of the organization’s approach to implementing the program, including a timeline and implementation plan.
— Budget: A detailed budget that outlines the costs associated with the program and how the funds will be used.
— Evaluation plan: A description of how the program will be evaluated and how success will be measured.
Proposals must be submitted no later than March 10, 2023. All proposals must be submitted electronically to [email protected]. Late submissions will not be accepted.
The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium will review all submissions and will select one or more organizations to receive funding based on the following criteria:
— Relevance of the proposed program to the needs of New Jersey’s news and information ecosystem.
— Strength of the organization’s experience and track record in working with small, local, independent, ethnic and community news organizations.
— Feasibility of the proposed program.
— The quality of the evaluation plan and the ability to measure success.
If you have any questions about this Request for Proposals, please contact the Consortium at [email protected].