By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts. View our Privacy Policy for more information.

The Sunshower Project

Free websites for early stage journalists from historically excluded backgrounds.

about the project

What you get

The Sunshower Project aims to help early stage journalists have an easily accessible, good website that they can use to establish a professional identity and advance their careers.

Free website & hosting for one year

Participants will get a free basic website with sections to tell their personal story, biography, work experience and share clips with links or even reels. The hosting is covered as part of the project. Currently, Impact TK will commit to one year of hosting as a starting point, with the option to extend.

Free URL of yourname.com, or similar

It's nice to own your name as a URL, so Impact TK will purchase the participant's name as a URL for the project. If you have a common name, or one that is already taken, we will work to find a suitable alternative. Since Impact TK doesn't need to own your name as a URL, it will be transferred to you to use as you wish.

Free updates & maintenance for one year

This originally started as a project aimed at job seekers. Job hunting takes up a lot of time, but so does any new job in the early days of your career. Because of this, Impact TK will provide free website updates for one year, with an option to extend.

These websites are built using Carrd, a single page website builder. If you have a Carrd account and you prefer to manage your own updates, we can set that up.

Tell your story, in your own voice

The goal of this project is to help people get good jobs that fit their goals. One reason to have a website is to have a portfolio or digital space that hiring managers can see.

But learning Squarespace or other services can be a pain. And it usually costs money to get rid of their branding.

Having a space to tell your story, in your own voice is important in today's job market. The Sunshower Project wants to make it a little less hassle for you while you try to land your next job.

Additional credit

This project was inspired by Kim Bui, who tweeted this:

Screenshot of a professional portfolio webpage for a journalist. The name and headshot are most prominent in the first section, along with a brief bio and social links. Below that is "Recent Work" showing headlines of stories, publication name, dateline and a "Read Story" Button.
Sample of one website made for Sunshower Project participant Madi McVan. Additional layouts can be seen below.
Screenshot of a segment of a journalists portfolio page for featured work. It's split into two columns. On the left in a blue background is the headline "Pain Denied", and a description that says "At one of the country's largest meatpacking plants, workers say their injuries were ignored". Under that are brief descriptions of key findings in the story, then links to read the full story in English or Spanish. On the right is a picture of the factory.
Sample of a Featured Work section to highlight high impact stories, mult-part stories or work you are particularly proud of.

The Sunshower Project
Sample Layouts

Airworks Layout

Screenshot of the front page of a journalist portfolio website. The background is purple, and the page is divided into two horizontal sections. At top is the profile pic in a circular frame. Below that is the person's name (Kai Riley) in orange. Under the name in white text is lorem ipsum to show where a description would go. Beneath the description are social buttons for Twitter, LinkedIn and Email in a cyan color. At the bottom are cyan navigation buttons: Home, Work, Education.View Live Demo

Buena Layout

Screenshot of a personal website for journalist. The top section is two columns. On the left is the journalist's name, a brief tagline and social network logos for Twitter and LinkedIn. In the right column is a photo of the journalist. The section below has a light grey background with the heading "Recent work." Following that heading are headlines of stories produced by the journalist, where it was published, and the date., followed by a button that says "Read Story."View Live Demo

Escapade Layout

Screenshot of the demo for the Escapade template for a free website for early-stage journalists. It's a subtle color palette, white, grey, dark green. The top section is the person's name, a tagline and social icons stacked on the left with a circular profile picture on the right. Sections are divided by a gold horizontal line. The next section down is the biography, with a few paragraphs of dummy text. Next are Sample Clips, with headlines and links to stories in the journalist's portfolio.View Live Demo

Upfield Layout

Screenshot of the front page of a journalist portfolio website. The background is white, and the page is divided into three horizontal sections. The top section is navigation: Home, About, Written, Broadcast, Resume, Contact. The second section is a circle profile pic, with their name underneath the photo, a tagline under the name, and a professional description under the tagline. The bottom section is social icons for LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.View Live Demo

Have questions?
Here are additional details.

How free is free?

100% free. Recipients get a basic website and their name as a .com URL. If their name is common or already owned by someone else, we will work to figure out an alternative.

What is a "basic" website?

It's a nice, but not overly fancy website. Websites are built on Carrd, a one-page site builder. Right now, websites can include name, biography, education, work experience with links to clips. If you want to tweak colors or fonts on a template, we can work that out.

Optional features a section to feature special skills or projects participants are proud of. There are also options to use a contact form or add an email address, so people can get in touch.

What is a historically excluded background?

More formally, people who are part of protected classes for employment discrimination. In more direct terms: I'm a straight white man. If you are also a straight white man, The Sunshower Project is currently focusing on other people.

Priority is given to non-white people and LGBTQ+ people.

Age discrimination is real. If you are 50 or over, please reach out.

What is an early stage journalist?

In general, 0-5 years of experience working in newsroom or freelancing for newsrooms. That's not a hard line, so if you've worked 5.5 or 6 and otherwise think you are a fit and could use the help, please reach out.

If you are 50 or over, you do not need to be early in your career.

What's the catch?

The catch is this is a free website. It will be a good free website, on a domain the participant owns, without any additional branding or logos. Each website has a copyright line in the participant's name. It's their website.

Will it be top-of-the-line fancy? No. Will it sometimes take a week to get some updates done? From time-to-time, yes.  

Request your free website