Also announces site traffic, membership and editorial successes
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 20, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Bay Citizen, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that launched on May 26, 2010 with a $5 million contribution from the Hellman Family Fund, has raised an additional $10 million in multi-year funding. These funds, and those yet to be raised, will help support the organization as it ramps up its editorial, technology and membership building efforts.
The $10 million was contributed by a broad array of philanthropists, foundations, members and corporations, including $1 million gifts from the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund; the Mimi and Peter Haas Fund; the Fisher Family Fund; the Elizabeth and William Patterson Foundation; Jeff and Laurie Ubben; and Diane B. Wilsey. Other contributors include the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Lisa and John Pritzker Family Fund; Arthur Rock; and Tom Steyer and Kat Taylor. The Bay Citizen also welcomed First Republic Bank and Wells Fargo as major corporate sponsors. (A full list of contributors is available at www.baycitizen.org/about/founding-members/).
"I couldn't be more proud of The Bay Citizen's early successes," said Chairman of the Board and co-founder of Hellman & Friedman, F. Warren Hellman. "Leaders in the Bay Area philanthropic community are really getting behind this cause. They're thrilled to be part of a next-generation news organization producing essential news about our community."
In 2010 The Bay Citizen also began building a membership base of community supporters, which is critical to its growth and long-term sustainability. The Bay Citizen raised $155,000 from more than 2,150 members and individual contributors during its founding member campaign and year-end membership drive.
"We have ambitious goals for 2011, including expanding our coverage, driving development of interactive web applications and building relationships with more content partners so that we can better serve our readers," said CEO Lisa Frazier. "We will also continue to add to our team, and in fact we're hiring now. Ongoing fundraising and growing our membership base will be critical to achieving these goals."
The Bay Citizen's first-year expenses of approximately $4 million covered a full-time staff of 28 employees, over 80 percent of whom are part of the newsroom or technology team.
On the editorial side, The Bay Citizen received three Excellence in Journalism awards from the Northern California Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists for stories published just in its first month of operation. Since then The Bay Citizen has produced a number of important enterprise news stories, including pieces on the behind-the-scenes machinations leading to Edwin Lee's appointment as San Francisco's new mayor, the payment scandal at San Francisco Unified School District, and the proposed sale of California's landmark office buildings. The Bay Citizen has also developed editorial partnerships with more than two dozen organizations, and the site's daily mix of news stories, blogs, photography, video journalism and data applications continues to expand.
"We launched our news website only seven months ago, but I think our initial premise has proven true: there are a lot of great and important stories that aren't being told," said Editor in Chief Jonathan Weber. "I'm delighted that we've broken a lot of news in our first few months."
Traffic to baycitizen.org averaged 150,000 unique visitors per month, with a peak of over 200,000 visitors in November driven by the newsroom's elections coverage.
"Within sixty days of launching the site, we exceeded our initial year-end traffic goals," said CEO Lisa Frazier. "As of this week, we've had over one million total unique visitors to baycitizen.org." In addition, The Bay Citizen's content reaches print newspaper readers through The New York Times's twice-weekly Bay Area Report, as well as online at NYTimes.com.
The Bay Citizen also welcomed new members to its Board of Directors, which is now comprised of Board Chairman F. Warren Hellman; CEO Lisa Frazier; Neil Henry; Dr. Sandra Hernandez; Susan Hirsch; Jeffrey Ubben; Diane B. Wilsey; and Andrew Woeber. Full biographies for the Board are available at www.baycitizen.org/About/Board-of-Directors/.
ABOUT THE BAY CITIZEN:
The Bay Citizen is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, member-supported news organization that provides in-depth original reporting on Bay Area issues including public policy, education, the arts and cultural affairs, health and science, the environment, and more. The Bay Citizen's news can be found online at www.baycitizen.org as well as in print in The New York Times Bay Area report on Fridays and Sundays. For more information, please visit www.baycitizen.org.
SOURCE The Bay Citizen