Crystal Gibson.
Crystal Gibson.

Cardinal News has hired its first employee dedicated full time to development.

Crystal Gibson, with 25 years of experience in sales and fundraising, is the new director of development.

“This marks a turning point for Cardinal News. With Crystal’s skills and experience, we will be able to develop additional robust revenue streams to support our growing newsroom,” said Luanne Rife, executive director.

Gibson will focus initially on developing sponsorship opportunities for Cardinal’s newsletter products and its website.

Cardinal News offers a daily newsletter for readers who want to stay on top of news about their communities; a weekly for readers who like to catch up on the top 10 stories of the week; Cardinal Weather, featuring noted weather journalist Kevin Myatt; and West of the Capital, a weekly roundup and analysis of regional politics.

Cardinal News is a nonprofit independent news organization that is supported solely on gifts from foundations, corporations and individuals. Since its launch in September 2021, it has relied primarily on major gifts and reader donations.

Gibson will develop the sponsorship program to accommodate requests from businesses and other organizations looking for ways to support local journalism.

Gibson, a native of Roanoke, began her career as a political fundraiser and consulted on numerous races at the state, federal, and presidential levels. After four years in Washington D.C., she returned to Roanoke, where she worked in sales at The Roanoke Times. While there, she helped launch three community publications, helping small businesses with their advertising needs.

She has spent the past decade raising funds for higher education at a number of colleges in the area. 

She earned a bachelor’s in political science from Roanoke College and a master’s in liberal studies from Hollins University.