Network News

Case Study: How Madison365 Stays True to Its Mission While Earning More than Half Its Revenue from Businesses

Today INN has released the second case study from its Ignite Sponsorship Program funded by Google News Initiative (GNI). This case shows how Madison365  — one of only a handful nonprofit outlets dedicated to serving communities of color in U.S. — has managed to build more than half of its revenue from event sponsorship, business membership packages and additional advertising. 

This piece was written by Emily Roseman for Blue Engine Collaborative, a new consortium of independent consultants and advisers with deep experience in driving audience and revenue at for-profits and nonprofits, and includes input from Agnes Varnum, deputy director of the Texas Tribune’s Revenue Lab; Steve Shalit, Business Development Director at NJ Spotlight; and Chloe Kizer, a consultant on media operations and growth. The first Ignite Sponsorship Program case study about The Rivard Report was released a week ago. Download the Report
Here are the four most important things you should know about why Madison365 has been so successful at generating earned revenue:

Madison365 leads with its mission in all its business dealings, that is: to produce coverage specifically for communities of color in Madison and Wisconsin at large. Diversity is vitally important from both a moral and business standpoint for Madison365.

INN Shifts Technical Support Services

On July 31, the Institute for Nonprofit News closed INN Labs and is shifting to providing news technology support through a mix of staff and partner companies. 

INN will continue to provide technology support for its members. Kay Lima, as technology director, will help news organizations with analytics, Google Ad Grants, donation flow improvements and other NewsMatch support, as well as assistance for member tech staff postings, RFPs, and with sourcing skilled providers. For details, see our updated Technology Services  page. Technology Office Hours, the popular free weekly sessions for news tech help, continues each Friday. INN will no longer be maintaining the Largo publishing platform and plugins.

Case Study: How The Rivard Report Generates Three Times More Revenue than the Average Nonprofit Newsroom

With funding from Google News Initiative (GNI), the Institute for Nonprofit News has launched the IGNITE Sponsorship Program to enable a cohort of established nonprofit newsrooms to increase their earned revenue from sponsorships. The first plank of this initiative is an in-depth case study of one particularly successful nonprofit newsroom — San Antonio’s Rivard Report — which has bucked the typical reliance on grants and individual donations by managing to generate about one-third of its revenue from sponsorships and what it calls “business memberships.”

Bipartisan Legislation that Would Rebuild Local News

Institute for Nonprofit News has taken the rare step of joining a coalition of local news organizations, journalism funders, reporters and advocacy groups (the Rebuild Local News Coalition) in signing an open letter to Congress in support of an important, bipartisan piece of legislation that would help local news organizations.

INN Members to Collaborate on Examination of COVID-19’s Impact on Rural Education

Thanks to a grant from the Walton Family Foundation, seven members of the Institute for Nonprofit News will spend the next six months examining how COVID-19 is changing the 2020-21 school year. The members, El Paso Matters, Iowa Watch, The Nevada Independent, New Mexico In-Depth, Scalawag, Underscore Media and Wisconsin Watch, will each pursue stories in their local communities, but also look for parallels and similarities across state lines. We expect their stories will pay particular attention to the disproportionate impacts being felt by Spanish-speaking communities, Native American communities and people who live below the poverty line. The reporting will be presented during three periods — one to coincide with the beginning of the academic year, another at the midpoint of the fall semester and a final set of stories near the end of the semester. The news organizations will publish via their own channels, and INN also will work to expand the reach of their reporting through its growing network of distribution partners as well as by outreach to other INN members and other publishers in relevant communities.

WDET’s Courtney Hurtt to Manage NewsMatch Program

Public media strategist Courtney Hurtt joins the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) as the program manager for NewsMatch, the largest grassroots funding campaign for nonprofit journalism. Previously, she led collaborative initiatives to diversify audience and revenue for WDET, Detroit’s public radio station. As associate director of product strategy and operations, Hurtt created “Framed by WDET,” an award-winning series of community exhibitions that have appeared in more than 25 locations. “Independent journalism is an essential service that helps people navigate the world around them,” said Courtney Hurtt. “I am excited to step into a role at NewsMatch and scale support for nonprofit media organizations that provide the news and information that communities rely on.”

Hurtt will manage the NewsMatch program, which combines a matching gift campaign with tools, training and fundraising development for nonprofit, nonpartisan newsrooms that provide public service reporting.

INN/Catchlight Partnership Launches Visual Storytelling Initiative in Chicago

CatchLight, in partnership with the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN), is excited to announce the launch of the CatchLight Local Chicago Initiative — bringing Chicago-based news organizations, local visual journalists, and community members together to harness the power of visuals to better understand the long-term impact of COVID-19 on social equity in local communities.

INN-led “Rust to Resilience” collaboration reaches 13 states and four national outlets

Climate change affects every person on this planet. In the Midwest and beyond, our members provide strong environmental coverage. Based on a conversation with the editor of a member newsroom about potential collaborations, INN decided to pursue a project about the Great Lakes. As with any collaboration, we wanted to help facilitate reporting that told a broader story than any individual outlet could provide. “From Rust to Resilience” was a collaborative reporting project that included six members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (Belt Magazine, The Conversation, Ensia, Great Lakes Now at Detroit Public Television, MinnPost and Side Effects Public Media at WFYI) as well as WUWM Milwaukee.

INN Partners with Google News Initiative to Attract Sponsorship Revenue to Nonprofit Newsrooms

The Institute for Nonprofit News is launching a pilot program funded by Google News Initiative (GNI) that will enable a cohort of well-established nonprofit newsrooms to increase their earned revenue from sponsorships. Currently, income from sponsorship of content or events makes up a small portion of revenue at most news nonprofits, but it has the potential to grow substantially larger.