Special Edition: My Giving Tuesday Guide 🤗
Vol. 32 - Supporting independent journalism and other causes.
*Republished due to a technical issue where the post didn’t send this morning and updates didn’t go through. 😩
Welcome to Sounds Like Impact!
This newsletter is releasing on Giving Tuesday! I was inspired by this post by Sounds Like Impact community memberand I also need to spend more time listening for my end of year list (you can find mid-year here).
So, instead you’ll see what my philanthropic focuses are for this giving season, as well as organizations and causes highlighted in previous newsletters. This newsletter is longer than usual but there will be no podcast curation this Wednesday.
ICYMI: Last week we had a guest curation from& Erin Hynes of Curious Tourism and I interviewed Dr. Lauren Crossland-Marr & Corinne Ruff of A CRISPR Bite. did an interview with Simon Kent Fung, a previous guest curator of Sounds Like Impact. It’s worth the read!
🥳 Mission Accomplished: The other week I said we were close to 600 readers, and look, we’ve done it! Thank you for your continued support and for sharing this newsletter with your community.
I would still love to fundraise for the newsletter so that I can do more in 2024, so if this is of interest to you, you can donate or upgrade your subscription, which is now discounted for the rest of 2023!
💐 My Giving Tuesday
My giving mission: Support independent journalism primarily focused on two areas: 1) reporting on the climate crisis and solutions and 2) vigilance over our civil liberties and the criminal legal system.
This year I am taking a different approaching to Giving Tuesday. Yes, there will still be nonprofits I donate to like the ACLU, New York City Arts in Education Roundtable (which I’m on the board of) or the Environmental Defense Fund (an organization I got to know better through working on their podcast Degrees).and ).
But this year I’ve decided to really focus on independent journalists and institutions dedicating themselves issues that I think are the biggest challenges we face in our time: the climate crisis and threats to civil liberties.
And I’d like to state upfront, no money contributed toward this newsletter is used for my philanthropy. I was fortunate to be able to find full-time work again at the end of September after being laid off in January, and am using my own wages to support these people/organizations.
As I’ve always said, all money given toward this newsletter goes towards maintaining it and developing related opportunities when the expenses are met.
Since the inception of this newsletter I’ve made sure to curate a climate or environmental focused newsletter each month. This work often builds on the work of independent journalists who are keeping us informed about how our climate is changing, who’s responsible (primarily the oil & gas industry) and what we can do about it.
Admittedly one area where I need to curate more is about the erosion of civil liberties. While I’ve alluded on occasion (e.g. climate protests), I’ve yet to do a curation on policing, for example; though in my past job I did plenty of that. That said, it’s because of the journalists and publications below that I am aware of what is happening not only in the U.S., but in other parts of the world as well.
These newsletters or publications below are free to subscribe to (or have freemium options) because they want this work to be shared widely. I choose to, and have the privilege of being able to, give to these independent journalists and institutions because they are doing extremely valuable work.
I hope within this list that you may also find organizations or people to support, or that the very least you think about how you can better support independent journalism if you aren’t already.
Where are you giving this season? Or where have you given this year? Please share!
CIVIL LIBERTIES by Radley Balko
Free speech, the courts, policing: these are just some of the issues covered in The Watch. Veteran journalist Radley Balko curates roundups and shares his own reporting. He is currently doing a series on Indigent Defense Systems and is going state-by-state. It’s going to be a lot of work, and it deserves any financial support if we can give it. I upgraded to a paid subscription this week!by Phil Lewis
It should maybe be called “What I’m Reading and Writing“ because Phil is a talented reporter in his own right. The newsletter is almost one-year old and I’ve been free subscribed since the beginning, but became a paid subscriber this week.
Phil covers a range of issues; some are reported pieces and others are interviews. He always makes sure his coverage and curations touch on justice deferred or delivered, and for his vigilance and often solutions journalism, I am grateful.
Just as we say Black history is American history, stories impacting the Black community also impact everyone else. “Canaries in the coal mine” is a cliché expression, and yet, an accurate one…
ProPublica’s mission is “to expose abuses of power and betrayals of the public trust by government, business, and other institutions, using the moral force of investigative journalism to spur reform through the sustained spotlighting of wrongdoing.” I couldn’t be more onboard with a mission if I had to write one and tattoo it on myself.
I’ve read various ProPublica reporting throughout the years, but when I read this infuriating story about health insurance, I knew I needed to put them on my donation list.
ProPublica is also involved in podcasting, and recently partnered with Serial & Nashville Public Radio for The Kids of Rutherford County.
*It’s a nonprofit, so donations are tax deductible.
Drilled by Amy Westervelt
In their own words, “We are a global multimedia reporting project focused on climate accountability.” Their most recent series is at the intersection of climate accountability and civil liberties. Please, listen to their show!by Emily Atkin & Arielle Samuelson
I’ve been a paid subscriber to Heated for almost a year (and a previous free subscriber), and I will be renewing my subscription. Like Drilled, I’ve referenced Heated here, here and here because I believe everyone needs to be reading it.
Possibilities by Yessenia Funes
I’ve been following Yessenia’s work since her time as Climate Director at Atmos. This year Yessenia went freelance, but you can continue to see her work in Atmos, as well as other publications such as The Verge and Bloomberg.
Possibilities includes reporting, news curations, poetry, music recs and other glimpses into the life of a multi-talented journalist. But the most important section to me, and reminder of the seriousness with which we must take the climate crisis, is the ‘Rest In Power’ section.
Three More Climate-Oriented Institutions
I also decided to become monthly subscribers to:
Grist, “a nonprofit, independent media organization dedicated to telling stories of climate solutions and a just future.” They currently have a match campaign and are trying to raise $10K. You can donate monthly or one-time.
Floodlight “a nonprofit newsroom that investigates the corporations and political interests stalling climate action. We partner with local and national outlets to produce award-winning journalism that holds the powerful to account.”
And I’ve also given a one-time donation to Word In Black, a collaboration of Black news publishers and journalists that I’m pretty sure I found out about because of. They are a solutions journalism oriented collaborative and have great newsletters, including “Word in Green,” a climate justice newsletter. They are currently trying to raise $10K.
I wish I could give so much more—there are so many great folks sharing their work on Substack (like) and other platforms, as well as independent media organizations like The 19th.
Honestly, I probably do need to update my giving strategy so it’s not an end of year mad dash. But I hope sharing my list helps you make yours!
🚨 Calls to Action
Listen (or read): NPR’s Life Kit, by far one of the greatest shows focused on service journalism, recently released this piece titled “Giving Tuesday: How to donate to a charity with purpose and intention.”
I especially like what they say about having a strategy around a budget. Admittedly I struggle in this area, but I won’t be surprise if I decide to forego streaming services for awhile after looking at my holiday/giving spending!
To that end, giving to my local public radio station on a monthly basis has been part of my donation budget for years. Consider supporting your station as if it’s a utility!
Review: All the CTA guides from Sounds Like Impact.
These are “living” posts, so whenever a curation is published and there are relevant CTAs, I add them to these categories. Seriously, ignore the publication dates; these are updated regularly.
Please note: This category list isn’t exhaustive, and of course different curations could lend themselves to multiple categories. But hopefully these compilations can serve as a way for you to to find causes to understand better and/or organizations to support.
And your support doesn’t have to be financial: remember, there are multiple ways to give.
Sounds Like Impact is written and curated by Ayo Oti. Please consider several ways you can contribute to this important mission – providing a platform for social change through audio storytelling and calls to action for the change-maker that lives within all of us.