Adds A New Ad-Supported Way To Fund Its News Stories

Community news site, which has received attention for its model of letting anybody pitch a story and then solicit donations to fund its writing, is now supplementing that revenue stream with a fledgling advertising business. Visitors who fill out short surveys from advertisers now get credits they can apply to funding a story. calls it “community centered advertising,” although “cost per lead” might be more appropriate.

In any case, the non-profit startup says that visitor support for stories has quadrupled since the system was introduced a month ago, which while not so surprising — considering people can now help out without having to enter their credit card information — could nevertheless accelerate the site’s growth.

Meanwhile, is plotting how to expand beyond its current four cities. Founder David Cohn acknowledges in a blog post that while is growing overall it hasn’t quite caught on in its newest market, Seattle, and says that rather than continue to expand region by region, he might start accepting pitches from anywhere.