Frequently Asked Q's

What is The Richmonder?

The Richmonder is a nonprofit news organization focusing on local news that matters to residents of the community, without bias.

We specialize in accountability journalism, keeping citizens informed on what their elected officials are doing and how their tax dollars are being spent. We believe in being in the rooms where decisions are made.

We distribute our news digitally, through a website and email newsletter. While our news is always free, professional reporting is costly. We ask readers to contribute to our mission.

What makes The Richmonder different from existing news outlets?

Richmond’s major news outlets are almost entirely owned by for-profit, out-of-state companies. They have an eye on the bottom line, not on the community. As a local nonprofit, we can remain focused on what matters - delivering you timely, accurate and insightful information.

Does The Richmonder have a political lean or party affiliation?

No. We believe local news is fundamentally nonpartisan. Our reporters will dig for stories and present what they find in a straightforward way.

What is your mission statement?

Our mission is to bring Richmond together through storytelling that spotlights the best of our community, while keeping a watchful eye on those in power.

Why is The Richmonder a nonprofit?

The advertising-based business model of journalism is failing. It can no longer support even basic reporting about our institutions. We are following the nonprofit model that has been successful in other communities around the nation. Our funding will come from donations from major donors, sponsorships and noncommercial underwriting and voluntary donations from our readers. We will keep a close eye on the bottom line to ensure our model is sustainable.

We plan to staff Richmond City Council and School Board meetings with professional journalists every time they meet, something that isn’t currently done. We believe the presence of a journalist in those rooms fundamentally changes how decisions are made.

Do I have to pay to read The Richmonder?

One of our core beliefs is that everybody in the community deserves access to quality reporting and information. We may offer member benefits to donors, but we will not paywall or hide essential news.

How is The Richmonder funded?

Through your generosity. We have membership options available through our website, and are actively soliciting anchor donors who will help us ensure quality coverage that brings the city together. If that might be you, contact Business Manager David Poole at dpoole@richmonder.org.

Are donations tax-deductible?

Yes! We are authorized as a 501(c)(3) organization through the IRS. To learn more or make a donation, contact Business Manager David Poole at dpoole@richmonder.org.

You can also make a one-time donation through our online portal.

Can donors dictate news coverage?

Never. The Richmonder follows best practices set by the Institute for Nonprofit News. All donors above $5,000 will be disclosed in stories whenever those companies or individuals are mentioned. Anonymous donations are never permitted.

Who is behind The Richmonder?

Founding editor Michael Phillips has 17 years of experience in Richmond. Business manager David Poole founded VPAP, a nonprofit trusted by Republicans and Democrats alike. They’ve assembled a team of respected, fair-minded, and experienced professional journalists. We will announce the rest of the reporting team, and a Board of Directors that will provide oversight, in the lead-up to our September launch.

Will The Richmonder publish commentary or opinion pieces?

In the lead-up to November’s elections, the Richmonder will not carry opinion pieces. If we add them later, they will always be clearly labeled as such. We will never endorse political candidates.

What neighborhoods will The Richmonder cover?

At launch, our team will focus on the City of Richmond, particularly the upcoming November elections for mayor, City Council and School Board. As funding allows, we will expand coverage to the entire metro Richmond area, with a focus on local news, not state or national events. If you’re interested in bringing The Richmonder to your community, contact Business Manager David Poole at dpoole@richmonder.org.

Can I work for The Richmonder?

We are seeking qualified full-time and freelance writers, as well as photographers. Send an email to mphillips@richmonder.org with work samples if you’re interested.

Why is this project important?

The Brookings Institute found that when a city loses its newspaper, it spends on average $650,000 extra in borrowing costs per civic issue.1 The decline of traditional media has left behind an information vacuum that needs to be filled. We believe quality journalism is a civic good.

1 https://www.brookings.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/WP44.pdf

Who do I contact if I need assistance signing up?

You can always reach us via email at support@richmonder.org.

Is The Richmonder related to the former blog of the same name?

No, the blog published from 2006-2015 is not related to the current site in any way, nor are any of the authors the same.

Community focused and funded

The Richmonder is a community-supported nonprofit news organization that will launch just after Labor Day. Our initial focus will be thorough coverage of Richmond’s mayoral race, as well as elections for City Council and School Board. From there, we will expand to coverage of major issues throughout the region.

Our nonprofit structure ensures local control and oversight, while keeping us fiercely nonpartisan. We’re here to bring the community together, not to chase clicks.

While our content is free, quality reporting is expensive. Our work is made possible by the generosity of our readers. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation and become a founding member.

Supporter

You know that local reporting matters. You want to fund a team of local reporters that will hold power to account.

$9.99 /month $115 /year (5% discount)
Champion

Allow our team to dig deep on the issues that matter most. We’ll thank you with extras, including an invitation to our launch party.

$29.99 /month $325 /year (10% discount)

You may also give a one-time donation to The Richmonder in the amount of your choice. This donation, like the others, is fully tax-deductible.