2PuntosPlatform created a first-ever fundraising campaign through the LION/GNI Sustainability Lab

The project raised $6,640 in less than two months.

May 8, 2024 by Hayley Milloy

Three women standing together holding an award
Evelyn Toriz (left), Madison Karas (center), and Emma Restrepo (right) at the 2023 LION Awards Ceremony & Dinner in Durham, NC. The outlet won the Product of the Year Award in the Micro Revenue Tier and was a finalist for the Community Engagement Award, also in the Micro Revenue Tier.

Launched in 2021 by founder Emma Restrepo, 2PuntosPlatform started as a radio show and has since evolved into a “platform of two chapters” — a podcast, 2PuntosPodcast, and a community newsroom, VozColectiva, which shares information through live streaming, social media, and the occasional print product. Based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Bogotá, Colombia, its team reports on issues relevant to Latino communities in the U.S. and Latin America. 

The Challenge

With their 2024 planning period looming, Emma knew the growing organization would need a clear funding strategy. The team had historically focused on philanthropic funding but wanted to explore options for earned and donor revenue. They applied for the LION/GNI Sustainability Lab and were accepted into the program in September 2023.

After spending a couple of weeks researching and discussing revenue-growth ideas, a Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund representative contacted Emma and offered to match support to their VozColectiva newsroom through a $10,000 matching gift program. Emma and her team were open to this unexpected opportunity and excited to build the infrastructure they needed for their first end-of-year giving campaign. Madison Karas, 2PuntoPlatform’s chief product officer, was instrumental in setting up and executing the campaign.

The Results

They had never emailed their audience before, let alone launched an entire giving campaign, so Emma and Madison knew they had to lay some significant groundwork for their effort to succeed. LION Sustainability Lab coach Maria Archangelo helped them understand all the components of a campaign and outlined the steps to prepare for launch.

First, they needed to source platforms and services to make this project possible. Through Maria’s recommendation, Emma contracted with Indiegraf, a technology service provider for small and startup news publishers, to temporarily replace their outdated website with a dynamic donation page. All of their outreach efforts would point to this page, making it a critical aspect of the campaign’s setup. This page was then connected to Stripe, a payment processing platform that allowed them to accept and track donations. 

Next, they established a communications calendar to organize their content, messaging, and timing. This involved crafting compelling language and constructing email lists and segments. They then opened a Mailchimp account to send and monitor campaign emails. Already active on social media, they didn’t open any new accounts but worked on corresponding posts. One idea they implemented was featuring board members in short, 45-second videos explaining what 2PuntosPlatform is and why supporting its journalism is essential. They used these videos in emails and on social media. 

The campaign launched on Giving Tuesday (November 28, 2023) and concluded on December 31, 2023. Two substantial donations were received within the first two days, and support continued to pour in through mid-December. In total, the campaign raised $6,640. They received $1,725 in individual donations, and their Knight-Lenfest match was $4,915. One-time donations were matched dollar for dollar, and recurring monthly donations were multiplied by 12. Though they did not reach the maximum $10,000 goal, the 2PuntosPlatform team is proud of this project and learned a lot along the way.

One powerful takeaway? “People like hearing from us,” said Madison, noting that they now have a newsletter platform to share editorial content and create future campaigns. 

“This was a huge step in feeling comfortable. It was super cool to say, ‘LION gave us the confidence to do this.’ Otherwise, we would have been like, ‘Hey, will you maybe, maybe, consider supporting us?’” 

Emma also emphasized how vital Maria’s guidance was in undertaking this project. She’s met other publishers in similar situations who had the funding to conduct a giving campaign, but without the hands-on support, they were “lost” and “frustrated.”

“If you are a hyper-local minority with a language barrier, you definitely need support,” she said. “These opportunities are hard to come by for organizations like ours; we have some additional barriers we need to overcome. Having a coach is a luxury, and asking for help is so important.”

After the campaign ended, they began working on a new database of earned revenue and donor opportunities, continuing to flesh out ideas and experiment beyond email and social media outreach. “A 2Puntos end-of-the-year party? That may be something we see this year,” said Madison. “We’re excited for what’s next.”

The Wins

  • Created a giving campaign and received a couple of major donations upon launch
  • Built a donation page and system to receive and track contributions
  • Established a new database to assess earned and donor revenue opportunities

“We had never done anything like this before. But Maria coached us through each step and listened to our concerns about every ‘what if’ scenario. We never thought we’d have the support to grow and do something like this. We went live with a ‘soft launch’ on 11/15, and we had no hesitation. Thanks to the Lab, we were ready.”

– Madison Karas

Have a success story to share about the business side of your news business? Email the LION team at [email protected]!

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