Annual Report | 2020

VTDigger.org is a statewide news website that publishes daily reports on state government, politics, consumer affairs, business and public policy. Our mission is to produce rigorous journalism that explains complex issues, holds the government accountable to the public, and engages Vermonters in the democratic process.

2020 Impact Highlights


"I value and trust VTDigger's constant care and responsiveness to all that is happening in the state."
-Bern R.

Topical Reporting

VTDigger's experienced beat reporters covered the following issues in 2020


Northeast Kingdom
Southern Vermont
Chittenden County

“Vermont was not as hard-hit by COVID-19 as other New England states, and VT Digger could make a case that its journalism and reader-centric and solutions-oriented engagement work on the pandemic was part of the reason residents and public officials were better prepared."

-NENPA judge’s comments on VTDigger’s second place award for Best Coverage of Coronavirus, New England Better Newspaper Competition

Awards and Recognition in 2020

The New York Times

Commended for building strong social trust which has helped Vermont meet the unprecedented challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic with relative success.

The New England Newspaper and Press Association

Eleven top honors in the annual New England Better Newspaper Competition, including first place for General Excellence, Digital Strategy Excellence, Local Election Coverage and Multimedia Coverage for News Services and Online News Sites.

The Boston Globe

Mark Shanahan wrote a feature about VTDigger as a model news organization for the front page of the Boston Globe.

LION Publishers

Four national journalism awards, including Best Coronavirus Coverage.

United States Congressional Record

Vermont State Senator Patrick Leahy honored VTDigger in the nation’s Congressional Record for our outstanding Covid coverage.

"We’re in the process of designing and building a new home. Knowing more about sources of Vermont’s electricity (and their impact) will help us make better decisions around fuel sources and extent to which we create onsite or source from the grid. Thank you for the effort you put into researching and producing this article. Journalism of this high quality and regional focus is why I support VTDigger."
-Brian L.

News, Community and Events

Typically, VTDigger seeks to build and foster community connections around issues of importance by hosting live public events. During Covid-19, large in-person gatherings were out of the question, so we pivoted to virtual events aimed at delivering lifesaving information and civic education during a critical election year.


Covid FAQ Live Event Series

In response to the immense volume of reader questions about ever-changing Covid-19 concerns, VTDigger launched Covid FAQ Live. The FAQ Live event series was a space for community members to get answers to their most pressing questions directly from experts. Readers submitted their questions using an online form or by phone. VTDigger hosted FAQ Live events on topics including Covid holiday planning, anticipating a Covid vaccine, food insecurity, ski season during the pandemic and the vaccine rollout.

Candidate Debates

VTDigger hosted two statewide debates for the top candidates running for Vermont’s highest elected offices: Governor and Lt. Governor. While the audience joined virtually, candidates were able to debate policy in-person in a socially distanced setting. In a campaign year like no other, the VTDigger debates were the first time some of these candidates met in person.

Member Drives

VTDigger members accomplished incredible acts of service for their communities as well as supporting our vital local reporting during Covid-19. Members sent 3,000 Vermont Glove cloth masks to twelve local hospitals in grave need as part of the Spring Member Drive in April, 2020. Hospitals used the masks to distribute to patients at a time when supplies were incredibly scarce.

At the end of the year, as federal funding for food aid programs charged toward a cliff and 1 in 4 Vermonters was experiencing food insecurity, VTDigger members sent 40,000 meals to the Vermont Foodbank.

Audience By Numbers

Monthly Average 2020




Site Users


Social Followers


Newsletter Subscribers




Podcast Downloads


Confidential Tips


VTDigger 2020 Revenue

Grants | $466,534
Underwriting | $369,456
Individual Contributions | $1,461,863
News Revenue | $135,311
Other | $5,790
Total Revenue | $2,438,954

VTDigger 2020 Expenses

Program | $1,558,328
General & Administrative | $142,584
Fundraising | $478,362
Total Expenses | $2,179,274

Achieving our mission depends upon the generosity of donors, and we’re incredibly grateful for the thousands of individuals, foundations and businesses who support our work.

We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and all sources of revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization. Each year, we publish a full list of donors and supporters, with all who gave a total of $5,000 or more in a given year separately listed. We accept anonymous donations for general support only.

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