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Meet The Funders: What ICIJ’s readers think of our work

A recent survey of our readers has helped ICIJ understand how we’re doing, why our readers support us, and what we can do to better serve you.

As a nonprofit organization, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists relies on donations to support our investigative journalism. This series provides a regular update on who our major donors are and why they choose to support us. If you have questions or would like to learn more about donating to ICIJ, please contact us.

“Serious journalism is more important than ever!” — ICIJ Insider Pekka from Sweden

“We need people with your values and your courage.” — ICIJ Insider Michèle from Montreal

“Investigative journalism is one of, if not the most, important pillars in a functioning democracy.” — ICIJ Insider Graham from London

Meet a dedicated group of our donors: our readers. You.

You believe ICIJ is producing news that other outlets aren’t. In a recent survey of our readers, 80 percent of you said if we shut our doors tomorrow, “you would feel you’ve lost a source of news that isn’t being produced anywhere else.”

To grow this support, last month we launched ICIJ Insiders, a program that encourages people around the world to support our work with regular donations.

As a journalism organization devoted to bringing about positive change, we pride ourselves on our independence. We are accountable only to the public — not to corporations or special interests. We exist to bring you reporting on issues that you care about and to uncover stories that have an impact on your communities. Our mission is to uncover the truth and to hold the powerful to account.

So it makes sense that ICIJ’s support would come not just from a powerful few but from a wide and diverse grassroots base. We, of course, are grateful for the foundation support we receive, which keeps us strong and stable year after year. But it’s your donations that give us the flexibility and freedom to investigate issues that really matter and tell stories that no one else is reporting.

Earlier this year, we wanted to find out more about you: who you are, what issues you care about, how you consume the news, and what brings you to ICIJ. So we circulated a survey on email and social media that many of you responded to (thanks!). In total, we received 1,648 replies.

And we learned quite a lot about you! Our readers are mostly male, 67 percent, compared with 28 percent female. Most of our readers, 55 percent, are age 55 or older. Ten percent are between 25 and 35, and only two percent are under 25 years old. You are an educated and charitable group, and you like to be well informed: 98 percent of you said it was important to keep up with the news.

We also wanted to know what you thought about ICIJ. Here are the words you use to describe us: independent, informative, honest, reliable, brave.

Almost all of you, 94 percent, were aware that ICIJ is a nonprofit organization that relies on donations for support.

Most of you found it “somewhat easy” to know when ICIJ launches a new investigation or new content between investigations. More than 68 percent said they were “very satisfied” with our big investigative projects, like the Panama Papers and Paradise Papers. About 80 percent were “somewhat satisfied” or “very satisfied” with the impact that our investigations have.

We also asked about our newsletter (which, if you’re not receiving, you can sign up here). Forty-seven percent of you find the newsletter “very useful,” which we were pleased to see. You also reported that you find it useful because you “trust ICIJ” and believe we are a “credible source of information.” Eighty-one percent of you said that.

We learned a lot about you. It helped us to understand how we’re doing and what we can do to better serve you. And we’re always listening! If you have any suggestions or feedback, our ears our open.

The best way to get involved is to join us. Become an ICIJ Insider today, and you’ll become part of a global community of readers and reporters who believe journalism can bring about positive change.

ICIJ is dedicated to ensuring all reports we publish are accurate. If you believe you have found an inaccuracy let us know.