Membership will help our publication stay independent and financially stable.
Tone Madison recently became a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News, an organization of more than 300 independent publications across the United States and Canada. Joining INN will give us access to a support network and possibly even some matching funds as we keep striving to make Tone Madison the best outlet it can be and figure out how to make it financially sustainable in the long haul. We are proud to be in good company at INN, whose members include Wisconsin publications like Madison365 and Wisconsin Watch.
Anyone who pays attention to media knows that it’s hard to keep a small publication afloat. The advertising business model that funded American journalism for most of the 20th century has fallen apart. But it’s still important to provide readers with coverage they can trust, and it’s important to pay people for that work. INN is one place where publishers put their heads together to figure out new ways to accomplish those goals.
INN’s decision to admit us is a vote of confidence. It’s a testament to the generous support of Tone Madison Sustainers, who support our work with their donations—our biggest source of funding by far. It’s also a great moment of recognition for the dozens of journalists who’ve contributed their work to the site since we launched in 2014. With the resources INN provides, we hope to make our Sustainers’ donations go further and pay more journalists for more great work. Our mission remains the same: Serving Madison with sharp, fiercely independent coverage of local culture and politics.
In 2018, Tone Madison formed a partnership with Madison arts nonprofit Communication, which continues to serve as our fiscal receiver. Communication does not provide us with a direct stream of funding, except when we hold the occasional joint fundraising event, and Communication’s staff and board have no involvement in Tone Madison‘s editorial decisions. The journalists are in charge here, and there’s no outside ownership or big-money funders behind the curtain.
Despite the instability of 2020, Tone Madison was fortunate enough to grow in readership and bring in more donations. The road ahead is never easy. Still, we are excited about what is to come.
We’re grateful to the hundreds of readers who have helped us keep this going. We know that we can succeed with your support. Become a Tone Madison Sustainer today, or make a one-time donation, at tonemadison.com/donate.