The Lenfest Institute for Journalism
The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is a mission-based nonprofit corporation devoted to local journalism. It falls under the auspices of The Philadelphia Foundation’s Special Assets Fund.
The Institute was founded in 2016 when H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest gifted to the Institute an initial endowment of $20 million, which has since been supplemented by other donors, for investment in innovative news initiatives, new technology and sustainable business models for local news.
Lenfest also gifted sole ownership of the Philadelphia Media Network (The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News, and philly.com, the Philadelphia region’s largest news website), to the Institute, assets for which he had invested more than $80 million.
The Philadelphia news properties are now the largest newspapers in America operated as a public-benefit corporation, under the non-profit ownership of the Institute, dedicated solely to the mission of preserving local journalism nationwide. These news properties will also serve as a live lab for the Institute’s innovation investments.
With this organizational structure in place, the endowment for the Institute is able to receive additional donations from individuals, foundations, corporations and other entities for the mission of continuing journalism, all of which are tax-deductible through The Philadelphia Foundation.
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Creation of The Institute
On Jan. 12, 2016, noted philanthropist H.F. "Gerry" Lenfest announced that he had established the Institute for Journalism in New Media under the auspices of the TPF Special Assets Fund.
"The Institute's goal of contributing to the resilience of real, high-quality, independent journalism in the digital age is a critical endeavor for the civic health of our Greater Philadelphia community. We hope the vision and forward-thinking nature of this endeavor will inspire other philanthropists to think about how they may work with us to strengthen our community," said Pedro A. Ramos, President & CEO of The Philadelphia Foundation.
"As a community foundation devoted to the well-being of our region and to supporting civic engagement, we are proud to be part of such an important legacy," he added.