The Horizon Fund at Glen Nelson Center
To secure the future of media in the public interest and connect with new and diverse audiences, American Public Media Group has committed to raise the Horizon Fund at Glen Nelson Center, a $10 million philanthropic investment fund. This fund will deploy donor contributions as investments in companies at the frontier of media and technology.
Rapid changes in technology and society are creating new opportunities for public media. Smart speaker ownership increased 78% in the past year, leaping to 118 million devices in U.S. homes. By 2023, 107 million Americans will regularly listen to podcasts, an increase of 43% in four years.* To reach new and diverse audiences, public interest media companies need to move as fast as the marketplace.
However, venture capital is flowing to media companies focused on delivering a positive return to shareholders, not society. This investment drives the growth of polarizing news sources and social media platforms that incite tech addiction, rampant disinformation and a growing distrust in mainstream media. It is imperative that media and technology not only keep us informed and entertained — it must also connect us across our differences.
Horizon Fund investments will be made in public interest media and technology companies; ventures that value the common good, the general welfare and the security and well-being of everyone in the communities we serve.**
Glen Nelson Center is uniquely qualified to launch this transformational investment fund. American Public Media Group (APMG) is the largest owner and operator of public radio stations in the United States. APMG and its subsidiary organizations and brands, including Minnesota Public Radio, Southern California Public Radio, American Public Media and Marketplace, have led innovation and entrepreneurship in public media for more than 50 years.
*Source: NPR / Edison Research
**Adapted from the Ethical Journalism Network
A contribution to the Horizon Fund is an opportunity to push public media to discover new ways to connect audiences — not just for today, but for generations to come.
Ventures that have a strong potential to serve a large and diverse audience, especially if that audience is currently underserved by public media.
Ventures that utilize emerging technologies that could be used to extend the reach and relevance of public media;
Ventures that value their measurable positive social impact along with financial return;
Ventures that create new and sustainable sources of revenue for public media.
Additional criteria include potential financial return, scalability and proven market traction.