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Civic Hall receives $5m transformational gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Funding from organization of craigslist founder to support ongoing programs that help civic entrepreneurs, women in tech, and public interest organizations

July 10, 2019 – Civic Hall, the nation’s leading center for learning and collaboration that advances technology for the public good, announces $5 million in philanthropic funding from Craig Newmark Philanthropies. This transformational gift will help to expand Civic Hall’s Digital Learning Center, which provides free and low-cost digital training for nonprofit and government leaders. It will also support Civic Hall’s ongoing operations for the next two years, as it prepares to move in 2021 to its future headquarters near Union Square in New York City.

“To receive this level of support from Craig Newmark, one of world’s most civically minded technology entrepreneurs, is extremely gratifying,” said Jessica Quinn, Civic Hall’s Chief Operating Officer. “Craig continues to show that tech can be a force for good in society, and his gift will enable us to greatly increase our work in building the capacity of the civic entrepreneurs and empathetic technologists who are the heart and soul of Civic Hall’s community.”

With this gift from Craig Newmark Philanthropies, Civic Hall’s ability to grow its community will be greatly enhanced. It will do so by doubling the number of classes that are offered by its Digital Learning Center; providing veterans and their family members with subsidized membership to its community center; helping to foster the inclusion of women in the tech sector through the expansion of its #CivicWomen program of events, and growing its Forums @ Civic Hall program, which brings together leading thinkers, technologists, policy-makers, and the public interest sector to discuss pressing issues where tech intersects with democracy.

“Civic Hall has shown that it can get critical work done, connecting people and ideas with technology that can improve lives,” said Craig Newmark, founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. “It’s a model of the kind of civic infrastructure that our country needs in this digital age.”

Newmark has made valuable contributions to Civic Hall in the past. In 2015, he donated $25,000 to support an active scholarship program for veterans and their family members. In 2017, he gave $100,000 to create a program that provides intensive mentoring for 24 early-stage community organizers who work to defend human and civil rights. Most recently, in 2018, he donated $500,000 to help Civic Hall launch its Digital Learning Center, which offers professional development opportunities in digital literacy to nonprofits and governmental agencies.

“I remember exactly what Craig Newmark said when I first met him fifteen years ago,” recalled Micah Sifry, co-founder of Civic Hall. “He said, ‘Hi, my name is Craig; I run a small community website, and I want to be of service.’”

Sifry continued: “What Craig has shown again and again, and now with this most recent gift to Civic Hall, is that he gets the power of real community and ensuring that people have the tools they need to ethically organize themselves. That’s Civic Hall in a nutshell, and we are incredibly grateful for his continued support.”

About Civic Hall

Civic Hall is the nation’s leading center for learning and collaboration focused on advancing technology and problem-solving for the public good. It works to embed civic values wherever technology and society meet, and helps people to discover new ways to embody those values in their work and life. Since its founding in 2015, Civic Hall has grown into a thriving and diverse community of over 1,000 individual members and 100 member organizations, including city agencies, tech companies, academic institutions and civil society organizations. In 2021, Civic Hall will move into a greatly expanded facility at Union Square, as the anchor tenant of the 14th Street tech hub, which is currently being built by RAL in partnership with NYC's Economic Development Corporation. To learn more, visit

About Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark Philanthropies was created by craigslist founder Craig Newmark to support and connect people and drive broad civic engagement. The organization works to advance people and grassroots organizations that are getting stuff done in areas that include trustworthy journalism, voter protection, gender diversity in technology, and veterans and military families. For more information, please visit:

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