Tracie Powell Founder & Principal The Pivot Fund

By Tracie Powell

I am proud to announce the official launch of The Pivot Fund with the Online News Association (ONA), the world’s largest digital journalism association.  I am confident that together, we can ensure that more quality, credible, and fact-based news and information is produced for and provided to the increasingly diverse communities in this country. 

I am thrilled to partner with ONA because it means The Pivot Fund will deepen and scale our impact. This is more than a fiscal sponsor relationship, it’s a mutually beneficial partnership that will produce game-changing investments in BIPOC-led community news through funding, capacity building, training, and opportunities for collaborative journalism.

“We believe in The Pivot Fund’s mission to center and invest in culturally competent local news created by and for people the journalism industry has typically left out, and we’re excited to offer our organizational expertise to advance its mission,” said Irving Washington, ONA’s Executive Director/CEO. 

As you know, the challenges facing BIPOC-led news outlets are distinct, and cookie-cutter solutions won’t work. Instead, BIPOC-led news outlets require customized support to help them address the challenges they face, and we’ve built The Pivot Fund’s approach based on this knowledge. This work is crucial because when BIPOC news organizations can effectively reach their communities our society is more informed and connected.

Earlier this week, it was announced that another news outlet is being launched to serve “200 million people who are college-educated, who read in English, but who no one is really treating like an audience…” All too often, this is journalism-speak and justification for targeting white, affluent audiences that already have access to lots of news and information. There’s nothing wrong with that. The Pivot Fund, however, is focused on supporting news outlets that are already engaged in trusted relationships with the millions of people who may or may not speak English or are bilingual, might not have college degrees, and traditionally have never been treated as an audience in which corporate media outlets are interested. Although these communities increasingly make up the majority of the United States,  they continue to be bombarded with negative stereotypes, mis- and disinformation.  The Pivot Fund focuses on supporting the community-based news outlets that serve these communities by providing credible, quality, fact-based news and information they need to make more informed decisions about their lives. 

The time is now. The Pivot Fund is dedicated to shifting power through equitable journalism funding. Through grantmaking, development support, and strategic consulting, we disrupt journalism and philanthropy by centering and investing in BIPOC-led, culturally competent news organizations.

The work has already begun with The Pivot Fund taking bold leadership to ensure that any federal legislation touted to save journalism does not leave out BIPOC-led news media.  We’ve also provided news outlets with development support, organizational design expertise, and recruitment/hiring support. And we’ve produced programming and virtual events that have given community news organizations access to experts and resources that they didn’t previously have. I’m excited to dig into this work even more in the coming year, and I invite you to visit The Pivot Fund’s website to learn more about how you can get involved with upcoming programming.Thank you for being a part of this team, and I hope you’ll join us in centering and investing in BIPOC-led, culturally competent news organizations. Please reply to this email or send me a note at tracie@thepivotfund.org if you’re interested in setting up a call to learn more. 

Tracie Powell
Founder & Principal
The Pivot Fund