Chalkbeat Annual Report 2020
In 2020, we saw our world upended by a pandemic that tested students, teachers, and parents. We witnessed a racial reckoning that reinforced our desire to elevate the voices of everyone in our communities. And we finally saw the conclusion of a divisive election marred with misinformation that highlighted the need for trustworthy local news.
It was also the busiest year in Chalkbeat’s history. We brought our communities the latest news on school closures and reopenings, shared maps of where they could pick up food, and gave our readers a platform to discuss what they were experiencing in real time. We pledged to fight systemic racism in our profession by dismantling the journalistic practices and traditions that uphold white supremacy. And we even began a pop-up newsroom committed to nonpartisan coverage of election integrity.
Our teams have worked relentlessly and our record readership and membership numbers continue to show how valuable our journalism is today. I am so grateful for their dogged work throughout an incredibly exhausting year. And I am so grateful to our loyal readers and donors for fighting for education’s story to be told with honesty and independence by supporting Chalkbeat.
Chalkbeat Co-founder and CEO
2020 Annual Report Sections
Letter from the CEO
Year in Review
By the Numbers
Chalkbeat reporting impacted education in each of our communities.
In 2020, Chalkbeat recorded 280 real-world impacts as a result of our reporting. We track our impact using our MORI tool, for Measures of Our Reporting’s Influence.
“I find Chalkbeat to be vital in keeping up to date on the educational system and how it is being impacted by the pandemic.”
Year In Review
A month by month look at the year.
“I was just introduced to Chalkbeat recently and am sorry I was not aware of it when I was working in school. It has made a big difference in my understanding and knowing how the schools work.”
Chalkbeat: By The Numbers
We’re continuing to grow…
Our operating budget for 2020-2021, which accounts for expanded local and national coverage, as well as greater specialization at the network support level.
The size of Chalkbeat's staff. This includes our award-winning reporters, editors, and bureau chiefs, as well as our revenue, finance and people operations teams. You can learn more about our different teams and find all of our staff bios here.
We’re reaching and engaging our core audience…
The average number of monthly Chalkbeat pageviews in the last quarter of 2020.
Total number of readers who subscribed to our newsletters by the end of 2020. This is up from 51,818 subscriptions in 2019. Sign up here!
Number of Chalkbeat readers participating on our Reader Advisory Board. If you're interested in joining us, you can apply here.
Percent of survey respondents who have been reading Chalkbeat for 2+ years.
Percent of survey respondents who said Chalkbeat is the only education newsletter they read.
8.6 (out of 10):
Average survey response when asked if they would recommend Chalkbeat to a friend or colleague.
We’re making a difference…
3,000+:Original Chalkbeat stories published in 2020
2,689:Number of times Chalkbeat stories were republished in 2020.
25+:Number of local and national distribution partners republishing Chalkbeat’s reporting. Our partners include: Univision, Patch, Spectrum News, Apple News, The City, Block Club Chicago, The Commercial Appeal, The Detroit Free Press, The Indianapolis Star, NJ.com, WNYC, The Denver Post, KQED’s MindShift, the Tri-State Defender, the Indianapolis Business Journal, and Crain’s Detroit Business.
280:The number of real-world impacts — instances of informed conversations and actions — that we’ve tracked back to our reporting this year. Including:
88: Number of times our reporters appeared on television and/or radio to share their expertise 56: The number of actions — legislative changes, protests, petitions, investigations, institutional changes — that have been informed by our reporting. 32: The number of times a public official explicitly referred to Chalkbeat coverage.
Our 2019-2020 fiscal year audit attests to our financial health…
200+: Total number of all individual, foundation and in-kind donations of $1,000 or more that Chalkbeat received in the last two fiscal years. 158: Organizations and companies who posted jobs on Chalkbeat’s jobs board. 49: Organizations and companies who sponsored Chalkbeat this year.
71% Program services 19% Management and general 10% Fundraising
$5,660,409: Net Assets
Our full audited financials and 990 documents can be found here.
“I truly value the compilation of articles around key issues that is done by Chalkbeat.”
“I am happy to be a donor and support the work that Chalkbeat does.”
“I respect the expertise of reporters on Chalkbeat.”
“Thanks for your great coverage.”
“I love the local reporting on things I wouldn’t otherwise know.”
“I really appreciate the stories you cover; they have helped me to understand the central - and the peripheral issues related to them in this new-to-me state. Thanks so much!”
“Chalkbeat is a wonderful resource for all things education…Thank you! We went too long not talking about education and look what happened! We need educational reporting. Our kids deserve it.”
“I do enjoy Chalkbeat - even though I get many educational newsletters, yours is the one I make sure to open every day.”
“I usually read it on Chalkbeat before the department of education shares news with employees.”
“As a journalism teacher I appreciate your work!”
“Keep up the good work. I enjoy reading daily and look forward to the following day.”
“Appreciate the information I get from Chalkbeat and recommend it to my graduate students.”
“Reliable and important.”
“I look forward to reading your stories. Great job!”
“Keep up the excellent work!”
“Thank you for all your efforts to inform us.”
“Thanks for providing an informative and balanced forum for what’s going on in education!”
“Chalkbeat helps inform my own reporting and is a valuable resource!!”
“Chalkbeat is an amazing source for our city.”
“Thank you for all you do! Your work is so incredibly important and valued!”
If you are interested in supporting Chalkbeat or connecting with our team, we’d love to hear from you:
Contact our network team:
Philanthropy and major donors:firstname.lastname@example.org
Membership and online donations: email@example.com
Chalkbeat employment questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pitch a First Person submission:email@example.com
Pitch a national story:firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact a local team: