The Guardian has launched a non-profit organisation in the US claiming it will “support quality independent journalism around some of the most pressing issues of our time”.
Set up by Guardian owners the Scott Trust charity, theguardian.org will raise funds towards projects that “advance public discourse” on issues including climate change and human rights, according to a spokesperson.
The project has already secured $1m (about £780k) in grants in its first months of operation ahead of its public launch this week.
A spokesperson said: “In addition to providing grants to support powerful story-telling and independent journalism, the new organisation will work to advance freedom of expression and freedom of the press, and explore opportunities for partnerships across academia, think tanks, non-profits, and other organisations.”
The organisation, which has tax-exempt status, is overseen by an independent board chaired by John Paton, founder and former chief executive of Digital First Media and member of the Guardian Media Group’s board of directors.
It is run by Rachel White, who is also the Guardian’s director of philanthropic and strategic partnerships.
White said: “The connection between powerful story-telling and social cause has never been more vital. Across the past six years, philanthropy has played an increasingly significant role in supporting Guardian journalism on issues that critically inform the public – climate change, inequality, women’s rights, and more.
“The creation of theguardian.org makes it possible for us to forge key strategic partnerships, and engage a wider range of individuals and philanthropic organizations in supporting our global ground-breaking storytelling and reporting.”
Lee Glendinning, Guardian US editor, said: “Deep reporting and innovation transpires in our newsroom with important projects supported through philanthropic partnerships.
“Because of the Guardian’s unique mission and perspective, support from like-minded organizations can form a small but important part of funding our journalism.”