By on September 24, 2015

We recently announced a generous grant from the Knight Foundation to expand and strengthen ONA Local groups across the U.S. We know you might have questions about the program and how it will work. If you don’t see an answer to your question below, just let us know at local@journalists.org.

If you’re interested in starting or leading an ONA Local group in your town, city or state, please fill out this form, and we’ll follow up with you as we plan for 2016.

What is ONA Local? ONA Local groups are made up of journalists, technologists and educators (and those who love them) who self-organize to host regular events in cities around the world to share digital resources and training, and showcase talent. There currently are 50 groups up and running, with a total of over 10,000 members. To find out more, see our ONA Local groups, organizing FAQ, toolkit. and a list of past and coming events.

What are the goals for the ONA Local program? We aim to improve the coverage of local news issues and advance digital transformation of newsrooms across the United States. Using the proven power of networking connections and digital training, we plan to launch new groups, strengthen our current groups and train and connect group leaders.

How many new groups will ONA launch? We plan to launch 20 new groups in the U.S. over two years; we’ll be happy to consider more as resources allow.

When will the new grant take effect? We’ll be hiring a Community Engagement Manager in January 2016 to help set our strategy and begin evaluating the needs of local journalism communities through conversations, surveys and data analysis. By early spring, we’ll begin launching new groups and advanced training for ONA Local leaders. We’ll be rolling out other changes in phases as we assess needs.

How much seed money will ONA offer to new and current groups? Currently, we offer $400 in seed money to new groups to support them in planning and holding events. With this grant, our financial structure for seeding all ONA Local groups will increase in 2016, and we’ll keep you up to date on that here. We’ll also work with requests for new groups before then to help them lay the groundwork. Our goal is to see ONA Local groups become self-sustaining after the two-year grant period.

What other support for ONA Local groups will be available? In 2016, we’ll offer deeper training and networking opportunities for individual groups, and customized training and connections for ONA Local leaders to help them build their groups. ONA Local leaders also will have the chance to attend two specific networking events/trainings, as well as our 2016 conference for free.

How can I become an ONA Local leader or start a group? If you’re interested in starting up or leading a Local group in your area, fill out this form. We will be setting up plans for new groups in early 2016.

Jane McDonnell

Jane McDonnell

As executive director, Jane oversees and manages the day-to-day operations of the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, working closely with the Board of Directors. Her purview includes membership, partnerships, global community outreach, budgeting and revenue generation, fundraising and development, the Online Journalism Awards, and providing vision for ONA’s state-of-the-art annual conference.