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Home Business & Finance ProPublica’s Richard Tofel plans to retire, but still has big plans

ProPublica’s Richard Tofel plans to retire, but still has big plans

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Summary (IA Generated)

Richard Tofel, ProPublica’s first employee and its top business executive since the nonprofit investigative site’s inception in 2007, announced Wednesday that he plans to retire.

Tofel, who turned 64 this week, is among a group of understated executives who put together the nation’s most potent and influential digital site.

Like others, he stayed to see ProPublica through smart expansion — 175 employees expected by mid-year, a $35 million budget, 43,000 donors in 2020.

Its journalism deservedly wins prize after prize, year after year — including a share of last year’s Public Service Pulitzer partnering with the Anchorage Daily News.

Tofel is a longtime professional friend and a mensch to the legions of digital-era nonprofits that have followed and now constitute a significant and flourishing journalism sector.

First, coming out of the gate, ProPublica understood the need to build out business functions such as tech and fundraising.

Now there are entire support organizations, including the ambitious American Journalism Project, which are all about taking early stage nonprofit ventures down the road to sustainability.

Tofel came to ProPublica’s startup party after serving in top business roles at The Wall Street Journal, where founding editor-in-chief Paul Steiger (also retired now) had been managing editor.

Writing, including this new Substack, of which the second issue is out today.


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