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By Nelson Graves

News-Decoder has topped its funding goals in a campaign that will help us grow into the world’s pre-eminent news service and global forum for young people.

In the five-week campaign that ended on December 31, we raised $17,388 — well above our goal of $10,000. And a total of 77 donors pitched in — above our target of 70.

The campaign was a vote of confidence in our strategy of bringing young people and experts together on common platforms to tackle the world’s thorniest problems.

We have come quite a ways since our initial crowd-funding campaign of three years ago, when News-Decoder was a gleam in this writer’s eye. We now have 14 academic partners whose students and faculty form the core of our growing global community.

What will we do with the fresh funds?

To help us expand our geographic footprint and grow our community, we have teamed up with a talented young individual who in coming months will focus on business development. Her name is Savannah Jenkins, and we will be profiling her later this week.

This year we aim to at least double the number of academic institutions in our network and to set down roots in two continents — Africa and Latin America — in addition to Asia, Europe and North America.

We also plan to start approaching foundations that share our mission of helping create better global citizens through the examination of critical issues and the exchange of informed viewpoints.

Setting a sustainable footing

From the start, News-Decoder has been a team effort, and I’d like to thank Priyanka Mogul and Jo Weir for their help in making the recent fund-raising campaign a success.

I’d be amiss if I did not also thank our correspondents, who craft world-class articles on a broad array of major topics, bringing their considerable experience to bear, and who work with young writers to help them hone their skills.

To recognize the most committed donors, in coming weeks we will be associating their names or the names of individuals they wish to honor at the bottom of stories. Their generosity will also help underwrite the costs of webinars and our twice-yearly essay/reporting contest, which will next take place in April.

The goal from the start has been to set a financially sustainable footing for News-Decoder involving a mix of membership fees paid by academic institutions, private donations and foundation support.

The recent fund-raising campaign is a landmark on our path to long-term success.

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News Decoder UpdatesDonors give News-Decoder a vote of confidence