Fire relief fund nears $500K with support from newspaper, credit union

A fund to assist first responders and those who have had their homes and businesses and communities engulfed by a fire raging in Lake and Marin counties in California has raised more than $440,000 on the Fundly platform.

Redwood Credit Union and The Press Democrat Community Donations portion of the fundraiser has brought in more than $110,000 toward a $500,000 goal.

At the time this story was published, the Valley fire had burned more than 70,000 acres and is 30 percent contained. Almost 600 homes and buildings have been destroyed, and 13,000 people have been displaced.

In our research, Through the Cracks has found very little history of newspapers initiating or backing crowdfunding campaigns, but when it does happen it can be extremely effective.

Last year Manchester Evening News in England initiated a crowdfunding campaign in the wake of an arson attack on a dog shelter. Word spread and about £1 million GBP were raised in 24 hours.

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Khari Johnson
Khari is founder and editor of Through the Cracks: Crowdfunding in Journalism. He also writes about bots and artificial intelligence for VentureBeat. He has built news startups in the U.S. and Europe for the last decade.

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