News start-up creates a fund at the Foundation

After extensive research, and encouraged by the results of a public-opinion survey, a group of Eden Prairie residents is pursuing a news start-up that would help inform and engage the community with local reporting.

Their work since May has led to the creation of a new community-impact fund at the Foundation: the Eden Prairie Local News Fund. You can read the official announcement here:

Press Release – Fund created to support Eden Prairie news reporting (PDF)

Tax-deductible donations to the charitable fund will help finance the news start-up. Planned is a nonprofit model that is becoming increasing popular across the country, as citizens witness the disappearance of their traditional local newspapers.

The Eden Prairie group researched four of these nonprofit news start-ups and also learned from organizations like the Institute for Nonprofit News and Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers before pinpointing their model, which is expected to begin with a news website.

Despite the closing in April of the for-profit Eden Prairie News, which provided local news the past 46 years, a number of residents are still bullish on local reporting. In an unscientific online survey, the citizens group heard from more than 430 local residents and businesses, and 99.5 percent of those supported the idea of a new community news organization. Nearly 63 percent said they would be willing to be a paid subscriber to local news.

In addition to hosting the group’s new charitable fund, the Foundation has also been facilitating the group’s meetings and discussion until they formalize. Groups that have a charitable mission – in this case, the support of public-service journalism and local reporting – routinely at their start use the Foundation as their fiscal sponsor. They are able to use the Foundation’s tax-exempt status, “park” their funds at the Foundation, and obtain a small number of administrative services from the Foundation.

If you would like to reach out to this group as they continue their work, contact the Foundation’s executive director, Mark Weber, at (952) 949-8499 or [email protected].

If you would like to donate to the Eden Prairie Local News Fund to help launch the enterprise, do so by using a credit card on the Foundation website (and type “Eden Prairie Local News Fund” in the Comment Box) or send a check to: Eden Prairie Community Foundation, 8080 Mitchell Road, Eden Prairie, MN 55344. Write the check to the Eden Prairie Community Foundation, and in the memo line put “Eden Prairie Local News Fund.”

Mark Weber About the Author Mark Weber has been the executive director of the Eden Prairie Community Foundation since October 2013. In this role, he enjoys meeting with Eden Prairie residents, and being an active member of the community. If you’d like to connect with Mark, call him at (952) 949-8499 or email him. You can also read Mark’s full biography.

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