Charlottesville Tomorrow is celebrating our tenth anniversary this year.*  Throughout 2015 we will be reflecting on our history and sharing with you new strategies to build a better community over the next decade.  

Charlottesville Tomorrow launched in 2005 as one of the nation’s first hyperlocal online news sites.  What started as a small blog and podcast is now a major part of our community’s news ecosystem.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has been a key supporter of Charlottesville Tomorrow and media innovation nationally. The foundation released a new report today on the state of the nonprofit news sector and we are pleased to be one of the 20 news organizations evaluated by the foundation.

Gaining Ground: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability is the Knight Foundation’s third installment of its research tracking nonprofit news sites.  

There is significant variety in the 20 nonprofit organizations profiled in the Knight report. Charlottesville is a special place and this community has greatly informed our approach. What might work in a state capital, a major city or across an entire state often looks very different to those of us operating in small towns.

“It’s a different act of journalism to write about a place
where you live than a place you are passing through.
The difference is almost spiritual.”
Jay Rosen, New York University

Knight’s challenge to Charlottesville Tomorrow is to demonstrate that we can maintain diverse revenue streams, monetize new initiatives, grow our revenues and effectively measure the impact of our work.  Those are goals shared by our board of directors too.

Charlottesville Tomorrow’s full-time staff of 4 is embedded in the life and civics of this community. The team has a combined total of almost 23 years of experience working for Charlottesville Tomorrow.

We are often asked for advice by leaders in other communities who are seeking to start similar organizations.

This is our recipe for success:

It is important to note that the Knight report covers Charlottesville Tomorrow’s activities during 2011-2013.  In the infographic below, we share new and updated metrics on both our website activity and donations which show significant growth in these areas during 2014.

We look forward to telling you more about our history and our plans for the future during this important anniversary year.  

Thank you for supporting Charlottesville Tomorrow.

More discussion of Knight’s Gaining Ground report

* Charlottesville Tomorrow incorporated on June 16, 2005 (our “birthday”) and launched publicly on September 15, 2005 (our “anniversary”).