Maryland Matters, a new nonprofit news website dedicated to covering state and local government and politics, is pleased to announce that it has just received its first major grant – a $100,000 commitment from the Baltimore-based Robert W. Deutsch Foundation.
“This is a game-changer for us,” said Josh Kurtz, co-founder and editor of Maryland Matters. “It will help us build our internal infrastructure and enable us to start to expand the scope of our coverage throughout Maryland.”
Maryland Matters’ “soft” launch in March focused on political news. Relying on a team of volunteers, the website has already generated many political scoops and begun to spotlight important policy debates and social conditions. When it’s fully funded, Maryland Matters aims to employ at least five full-time reporters, who will cover a broad range of issues and hold political leaders accountable from one end of the state to the other – including on Capitol Hill.
The Robert W. Deutsch Foundation, which was founded nearly 26 years ago, is a leading supporter of arts, technology, media, education and social justice efforts in Maryland and is a vigorous advocate for independent media.
“We are deeply concerned about the diminishment and disappearance of local and state-wide news media in Baltimore and Maryland. A robust democracy depends on an informed citizenry” said Jane Brown, Deutsch Foundation president and executive director. “We are excited about Josh’s vision for Maryland Matters and are pleased to provide early-stage support.
Kurtz said he and his colleagues at Maryland Matters are “grateful for the Deutsch Foundation’s early vote of confidence and are heartened knowing that people see our potential and appreciate the work we’ve done so far.”
Maryland Matters anticipates gaining financial strength and growing in the months ahead. Maryland Matters is one of dozens of websites participating in “Newsmatch,” a fundraising program through its membership in the Institute for Nonprofit News. Three national foundations – the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, and the Democracy Fund – will match whatever Maryland Matters raises, in increments of $1,000 or less, between now and Dec. 31.
Maryland Matters is also holding fundraising events this fall and will continue to solicit funds online. Secure, online tax deductible contributions can be made here. Checks made out to the Maryland Matters Fund can be sent to Maryland Matters, P.O. Box 11121, Takoma Park, MD 20913.