The Chicago Independent Media Alliance is a partnership of independent, local, and community-driven media entities coming together in the spirit of collaboration, especially in creating new revenue streams and heightening independent media’s visibility. Our goal is to create a self-sustaining media ecosystem in Chicago to better inform and serve Chicago and all of its diverse citizens. Our 61 partners in the alliance include traditional print newspapers, independently produced podcasts, dynamic video production studios, and nonprofit newsrooms focusing on key issues that affect the fabric of the city.
Our wide range of diverse and independent media produce content for all types of Chicagoans. In total, CIMA collaborates with 61 media partners across the city, and for this year’s campaign we are hosting a fundraiser for 40 of those outlets.
Our fundraiser is a benefit for more than 40 local, independent media outlets in Chicago. In our first year, close to $160,000 was raised, yet there is still a need for additional support. CIMA’s joint media fundraiser began as a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In March of 2020, we learned that 63% of our partners were facing a significant decline in revenue due to the state-wide shutdown.
Slashed advertising budgets and the sudden canceling of scheduled events deeply affected independent media’s viability. Although improvement is underway, these conditions have persisted and created unsteady conditions that still affect local media’s sustainability to this day. CIMA’s annual campaign has in turn served as an extra branch of support for participating Chicago outlets.
This year the #WeAmplifyChicagoVoices campaign aims to not only continue to raise financial support, but also awareness of all the numerous and diverse outlets that exist in Chicago. CIMA believes that by collectively raising awareness and each other’s visibility, we will not only generate audience growth but, most importantly, have a greater impact on keeping all of Chicago’s citizens informed and educated on important news. In this year’s campaign, we hope to highlight the great work outlets have continuously produced whether its investigative reports that held institutions of power accountable, caused a direct change, highlight important community issues, and more.
The money raised goes directly to the outlets of your choosing (and those donations are matched), or you can select to have your donation split evenly among all. Your dollars will help Chicago’s local community outlets continue to tell stories that matter to you.
We would like to thank the following partners for their contribution to our third annual fundraising campaign.
- StreetLevel and Soapbox Productions and Organizing for producing our promotional campaign commercial.
- The Chicago Sun-Times and WBEZ for supporting our third annual campaign.
- Chicago Reader’s Senior Graphic Designer Amber Huff for designing our print advertisements.
- Doejo for their amazing work in recreating our fundraising website.
This year’s campaign once again includes a matching component, hosted at the Crossroads Fund, where local foundations and donors can contribute.
This year’s participating foundations are the Joyce Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, Square One Foundation, and the Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation.
To learn more about the Chicago Independent Media Alliance, please visit indiemediachi.org
The #WeAmplifyChicagoVoices campaign is the Chicago Independent Media Alliance’s third year of fundraising for Chicago’s independent media. Beginning in 2019, as an emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s devastating impact on local media, CIMA’s annual fundraiser has dedicated itself to raising funds and awareness for its participating member outlets.
The 2022 campaign is a benefit for more than 40 local, independent media outlets in Chicago. We hope to bring attention to the impactful local reporting produced by outlets.
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