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Terrific news for Pro Bono Australia – Help us dream

3 March 2022 at 8:38 am
Karen Mahlab AM
From a competitive field, Pro Bono News has won a grant from The Walkley Foundation

Karen Mahlab AM | 3 March 2022 at 8:38 am


Terrific news for Pro Bono Australia – Help us dream
3 March 2022 at 8:38 am

From a competitive field, Pro Bono News has won a grant from The Walkley Foundation

We’re excited to announce that Pro Bono News has won a grant from The Walkley Foundation that will allow us to explore the development of a paid subscription model. 

Following a rigorous and competitive judging process, an independent judging panel has agreed to provide funding for the project which will allow us to engage a consultant and build the necessary technology.

We are hopeful that this could unlock a new revenue stream for us that will ensure our financial sustainability in the years to come. Subscriptions would also enable us to invest in our future as a voice for the common good and go beyond the 3 million per annum reach we’ve already achieved. 

It has always been important to Pro Bono Australia to provide a free news service for those working and engaging with the for-purpose sector. 

The platform we provide, the information we share, the conversations we play host to, all have a role in supporting the growth of this incredible for-purpose sector. It is important that everyone has access to our articles and information. 

For two decades we have written on, and supported, the emergence of the social economy. 

But over that same time frame, we have seen the revenue model that supported news organisations (not just us, but globally) break, as advertising revenue moved toward the larger platforms like Facebook, Google, Seek, and others.

This demise was further amplified when COVID struck, to the point where many niche and local media publications were left hanging on by a thread (and some were forced to close completely). 

Like so many of you, Pro Bono Australia struggled in the early days of the pandemic. In response, we reached out to you, our loyal readers in 2020, to see if you would be willing to donate. Many of you did, and we were humbled by the response. Many of you also asked about becoming paid subscribers to support our work, which brings us to now. We are pumped to be able to develop what this may look like.

A successful subscriber base for Pro Bono Australia could change everything for us. We would be able to employ more journalists to give an even broader, deeper coverage of this extraordinarily creative, empathetic, hardworking sector.

Over the coming months we will be working hard to build out a paid offering that gives value to you, our longtime readers, and also supports the work Pro Bono Australia needs to do to bring light to the issues and values that underpin a vibrant and changing civil society. We have been doing this for the past 20 years, but the potential and importance of this work is greater than ever in these turbulent times.

So, please, tell us. Let me know your thoughts about what a Pro Bono News subscription model could look like. Email me at

We look forward to updating you as we progress. 

Karen Mahlab AM  |  Founder  |  @kmahlab

Karen Mahlab AM is the Founder and CEO of Pro Bono Australia. In 2015 she was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to the Not for Profit sector and philanthropic initiatives.

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