The Community Listening and Engagement Fund gave 34 news outlets grants in order to help them engage with their communities and better tell their stories. The grant has helped newsrooms such as WhereBy.Us out of Miami and many others, deliver stories on homelessness, voter information and other important topics that inform the public.
Out of 60 applicants, 18 news organizations will receive more than $100,000 in grants from CLEF. In addition, the newsrooms will have access to CLEF's projects, including Hearken, an engagement platform, and GroundSource, a text message platform that engages readers as well. CLEF was created in January aiming to aid newsrooms in their engagement strategies. The organization had $650,000 at its onset, and plans on working with chosen newsrooms for two years.
Supporters of CLEF's initiative to help newsrooms commend it for the benefits newspapers will gain out of bettering their engagement strategies, including increasing business and financial support and representing a diverse audience. Newsrooms that are using the engagement tools provided by CLEF are seeing improvement, saying that more readers are becoming paid subscribers than ever before.