ANNUAL REPORT The mission of Investigative Post is to produce independent, fact-based investigative stories and analyses on issues that matter to the citizens and taxpayers of Buffalo and Western New York. Investigative Post is the only news organization in Western New York dedicated exclusively to watchdog journalism. “I believe in Investigative Post’s work, rooting out waste and wrongdoing.” — PAUL VUKELIC, DONOR
202 1 F I NANC I ALS I NCOME $531,977 EXPENSE $407,500 FOUNDATIONS 50% INDIVIDUALS 20% SYNDICATION 18% ADMINISTRATION/ OCCUPANCY 16% CORPORATIONS 12% REPORTING 72% TECHNOLOGY/MARKETING 4% FUNDRAISING 8% “If you think the truth is important and the facts are important, then providing funding to Investigative Post is important.” — SAM SAVARINO, BOARD MEMBER & DONOR “2021 was an exciting year for Investigative Post. The organization had a very successful fundraising year and reported on some of the most-important issues that face our community. More than ever, Investigative Post is critical for the future of this region because it sets a tone of zero tolerance for corruption.” — DR. MICHAEL MERRILL, INVESTIGATIVE POST BOARD PRESIDENT
I MPACT FROM THE EDITOR Investigative Post continued to grow in 2021. We added two reporters to the staff, launched a YouTube channel, relaunched our podcast series and expanded our social media presence. Our news coverage provided extensive coverage of the mayor’s race and exposed dysfunction in Buffalo public schools and waste in government subsidy programs. We continued to tell the stories that need to be told, stories other news outlets overlook or ignore. Financially, we raised a record amount of money and put Investigative Post on solid financial footing. 2021 HIGHLIGHTS • Tracking waste: Our reporting uncovered huge subsidies for dubious projects and a large public investment in a rural industrial park that stands largely vacant. • Bills stadium coverage: We produced a series of penetrating stories on the proposed stadium that explored whether taxpayers stand to benefit from an infusion of public money in the project. • Political reporting: We produced more than 60 stories on the race for Buffalo mayor and produced “Money In Politics,” which documents the influence of campaign donations. • State of the city: We reported that Buffalo’s poverty rate remains stubbornly high and its violent crime rate, while declining, remains one of the highest in the nation. • Environmental reporting: Stories included the threat posed by “forever chemicals” in local waterways and the continued danger posed by radioactivity at theWest Valley Demonstration Project. • Failing schools: Our digging resulted in stories about scandalously low attendance in city schools and the frequent absences of the district’s superintendent. We distribute our work throughWGRZ (NBC), WBFO and The Capitol Pressroom (NPR), Buffalo Spree, and our website. Through this network, we can reach an audience of up to 150,000 readers, viewers, and listeners per story. “Investigative Post has been a consistent advocate for getting the facts out to the community so citizens can make informed choices when there are threats to our ecosystem and waterways.” — BUFFALO NIAGARA WATERKEEPER “I don’t like the tone of everything you publish, but so what. The work is important and the partnership key.” — THOMAS HYDE, DONOR
202 1 DONORS $50,000 or more Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo Inasmuch Foundation William E. and Ann L. Swan Foundation $25,000 or more Try-It Distributing $10,000 or more Baird Foundation Better Buffalo Fund Colucci Family Foundation M&T Charitable Foundation Mulroy Family Foundation Rowboat Family Foundation Savarino Companies Violent Realty (Patrick Hotung) $5,000 or more Cameron and Jane Baird Foundation Brent D. Baird Bob Confer/Confer Plastics Miami Foundation (Knight Foundation/NewsMatch) RP Oak Hill Building Co. Western NewYork Foundation $1,000 or more Kurt Amico Dale Anderson and Monica Neuwirt Bruce Baird David Brenner Burke Homes Sandra Chelnov Dawn Chamberlain John Cordes Henry & Jeanne Ensminger Gerry Evans Susanne Francis Joseph Finnerty Ted Johnson/Hadley Exhibits James and Sandra Heaney John and Maureen Hurley Alison Hyde, in memory of Arthur Hyde Steve Lakomy and Cheryl Lyles James Magavern Martha McCluskey Dr. Michael Merrill Steven and Candace Polowitz Thomas Reynolds Rigidized Metals Rodriguez Construction Group Nick and Marcia Roth Catherine Schweitzer Tom and Gretchen Toles Dr. Joseph and NancyWebb Stephen Zenger Significant in-kind contributions KarimAbdulla, ESQ CarminaWood Morris DPC Cornell Law School First Amendment Clinic Joseph M. Finnerty, ESQ Steven H. Polowitz, ESQ University at Buffalo Law School/Civil Rights and Transparency Clinic “Through its high-quality investigative reporting and close collaboration with partners such as WGRZ, Investigative Post is a model for how a local nonprofit news organization can have significant impact on its community.” — TYLER TOKARCZYK, INASMUCH FOUNDATION SENIOR PROGRAM OFFICER
“Investigative Post and its powerful team offers up fierce, independent journalism at its best. It is the kind of writing that digs deep and does not let a story go, the kind of journalism that makes democracy still work.” — JIM SCHULTZ, DONOR MEET OUR TEAMS BOARD OF D I RECTORS OFFICERS: Dr. Michael Merrill President George Nicholas Vice President Sarah Cohen Secretary Susanne Francis Treasurer AT-LARGE DIRECTORS: Sam Savarino Tom Toles STAFF Jim Heaney Editor and Executive Director Geoff Kelly Reporter Mark Scheer Reporter Layne Dowdall Reporter Nancy Webb Director of Development & Administration “In its coverage of Buffalo schools, Investigative Post has offered an honest and unfiltered look at district policies and leadership. I consider them a partner in making our schools the best they can be.” — SAM RADFORD, CO-FOUNDER, WE THE PARENTS
1 0 YEARS OF EXCE L L ENCE Marking Our 10th Anniversary In 2022 Relentless watchdog journalism 716.831.2626 | firstname.lastname@example.org investigativepost.org We’re best known for exposing corruption in the Buffalo Billion program. Our reporting over the years has also been lauded for exposing lead poisoning, the fouling of our waterways, misconduct by Buffalo police and wasteful corporate subsidies. Investigative Post’s reporting has been cited for excellence in some 20 journalism award competitions, including the Edward R. Murrow Awards and Investigative Reporters & Editors. We plan on resuming our “At Issue” event series this spring. Mark your calendar for our annual benefit concert on August 11 at the Sportsmen’s Tavern.