The Bucks County Herald, owned and operated by the Wingert family for the last two decades, is now owned by the Bucks County Herald Foundation, a new nonprofit charity recognized by the Internal Revenue Service as a public charity.
Bridget Wingert, editor and founder with her late husband, Joseph T. Wingert, and Joseph G. Wingert, publisher, announced their plans to convert the Herald into a charitable organization last summer, when advertising revenue sharply declined as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In order to become a nonprofit, the Wingert family members elected to donate their ownership of the company to the Bucks County Herald Foundation. “We believe our readers want and deserve a local newspaper,” said Bridget Wingert. “As a nonprofit organization, we are securing the future of nonpartisan and truly local journalism in our community for years to come.”
“With more than one in five newspapers shuttering over the past 15 years, many news organizations have successfully embraced nonprofit operating models as a means of survival,” said Joe Wingert, who also serves as chairman of the Pennsylvania Newsmedia Association. “Now that we can receive public support such as foundation grants and tax-deductible donations, the Herald is positioned to be stronger than ever.”
The Bucks County Herald Foundation will be governed by a board of directors chaired by Bridget Wingert. Ann Meredith, who has led several nonprofits in the Philadelphia region, will serve as the foundation’s executive director.
Since asking for public support of the free weekly newspaper last March, the Herald has received over 2,000 donations from individuals, businesses and foundations. “The groundswell of public support for our fundraising efforts to date has shown that our community is ready, willing and able to invest the resources necessary for the Herald’s long-term survival,” said Meredith. “Our future as a nonprofit is already looking very bright.”
All charitable contributions to the Bucks County Herald Foundation made since May 20, 2020, when the Herald first registered as a charitable organization in Pennsylvania, will be tax-deductible.
Donations to the Bucks County Herald Foundation’s Community Journalism Fund can be made online at buckscountyherald.com/donate, by phone at 215-794-1096 (Monday-Friday) or by mail: P.O. Box 685, Lahaska, PA, 18931.
Published March 18, 2021