By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK – Inasmuch Foundation has announced the consolidation of the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation into the Inasmuch Foundation. An updated logo and website will reflect the new chapter of a singular Inasmuch Foundation.
As part of this action, Inasmuch Foundation is launching an initiative aimed at strengthening central Oklahoma’s news and information landscape.
Earlier this year, the Foundation approved $1,235,000 in journalism grants, including $575,000 Oklahoma-focused grants, which were given to Oklahoma Watch, The Frontier, NonDoc, KGOU, and the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Oklahoma.
Founded in 1982 by Edith Kinney Gaylord, the two foundations together have championed issues Edith cared deeply about: journalism, community, education and human services.
Since the beginning, the foundations have been governed by one board and operated by one staff based in Oklahoma City. In 2015 the two corporate entities, merged as Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, which became a wholly-owned subsidiary of Inasmuch Foundation.
“The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation brand may be retired but our dedication to a free and thriving press is stronger than ever,” said Bob Ross, President and CEO of Inasmuch Foundation. “Through our recent strategic planning process, we listened to the community and are excited to continue and increase our commitment to journalism.”
This merger marks the beginning of Inasmuch Foundation’s expanded journalism program.
Led by the Center for Cooperative Media, in November 2019, the Foundation met with over 25 local journalism organizations and 10 philanthropic partners, to create future projects that will lead to a more informed public
As a result, the Center for Cooperative Media has funded five collaborative projects that will begin this spring.
Outside Oklahoma, nonprofit investigative reporting will be Inasmuch Foundation’s primary journalism focus.
Over the past decade, Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation provided more than $20 million in grants to help grow nonprofit journalism from a few dozen organizations experimenting with new business models to an industry of 200-plus nonprofit news organizations spread across the country.
“Through the leadership of the Institute for Nonprofit News and Investigative Reporters and Editors, there is a wealth of nonprofit news organizations providing invaluable reporting to their readers,” said Inasmuch Foundation Program Officer, Tyler Tokarczyk. “Inasmuch Foundation is committed to continuing to support ethics and excellence in journalism nationwide.”
The foundation’s strategic plan also calls for convening community partners in the Foundation’s Oklahoma City-based focus areas to address “complex issues,” according to the press release.
“The more we listened, the clearer it was our partners valued the Foundation’s ability to bring diverse groups of people and organizations together to chart a shared vision,” said Inasmuch Foundation Senior Program Officer, Sarah Roberts.
“Community initiatives are most successful when the private and public sector are aligned,” Roberts added. “Only working together will philanthropy, nonprofits and government achieve the changes we hope to see in our communities with education and human services.”
The final major component of the strategic plan is a recommitment to general operating grants.
“We want to maximize the value we give the community and provide flexibility to transformational leaders,” Ross said. “Aligning efforts through convening and providing general operating support do exactly that.”
The Foundation will continue to have an open application cycle each spring and fall. Each grant cycle will include grants in journalism, education, community and human services.
To learn more about Inasmuch Foundation, application deadlines or how to apply for a grant, visit inasmuchFoundation.org.