Skip to Content

INN Days 2018

June 13-14, 2018

 Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld


Save the date for INN Days 2019 on June 12-13 @ Marriott Marquis in Houston, in conjunction with IRE

INN Days 2018 was presented with the generous sponsorship of The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

Missed the event?
Check out the tweets and read the recap from Nieman Labs.

Download the final conference agenda

Wednesday, June 13
NewsMatch Unpacked

In 2017, national and regional foundations sponsored an extraordinary end-of-year campaign that generated more than $4.8 million in direct support for nonprofit, public service newsrooms and helped drive a total of $33 million in giving to local and investigative newsrooms. We’re out to top it!

Join us in kicking off NewsMatch 2018 during two days dedicated to sustaining journalism as a public service and building the revenue that supports your reporting.

KEYNOTE: Kinsey Wilson, President, WordPress

No tool or technology has been more meaningful in powering the emergence of a new era of independent journalism and lowering the barriers for storytellers and news entrepreneurs than WordPress. Kinsey Wilson became president of the company in March after leading some of the journalism industry’s most significant digital efforts, as head of product and technology and then editor for strategy and innovation at The New York Times, executive vice president and chief content officer at NPR, and executive editor of USA Today. There may be no digital journalist with a greater breadth of perspective on the future of news and technology and how they are intertwined. Join us for a conversation with Kinsey Wilson on June 13 at the NewsMatch Lunch.

INN Days 2018: Keynote, Kinsey Wilson from Institute for Nonprofit News


NewsMatch Unpacked

We kick off 2018! Hear from NewsMatch’s core sponsors and be inspired by lightning talks from INN journalists who excelled in 2017, or used their first campaign to build new fundraising muscles. Get the scoop on this year’s fundraising toolkit, training schedule and match incentives.

Panelists:  John Bebow, Bridge Magazine; James Burnett, The Trace; Dena Drabeck, Oklahoma Watch; Michael Ellis, Scalawag; Lauren Fuhrmann, Wisconsin Watch, Jabari Gray, Youth Radio, Andy Hall, Wisconsin Watch

Moderator: Jason Alcorn, NewsMatch Project Manager

INN Days 2018: NewsMatch Unpacked from Institute for Nonprofit News

A Peek Inside the ProPublica Year-end Playbook

Fundraising is not for the shy. You’ll hear from one of the boldest, liveliest fundraisers in nonprofit news. Learn how ProPublica asks for money with great frequency, a sense of urgency and a good measure of charm. This is an in-depth look at how ProPublica managed the final weeks of its EOY 2017 campaign with takeaways for your newsroom.

Presenter: Jill Shepherd, ProPublica

INN Days 2018: A Peek Inside the ProPublica Year-end Playbook from Institute for Nonprofit News

Converting One-time Donors to Sustaining Members

If you participated in last year’s NewsMatch, you probably saw a nice surge of individual donors. News Revenue Hub shares tips and strategies on how to build those one-time donors into sustaining donors or members, whose monthly support for your news organizations can help ensure a steady source of revenue.

Presenter: Mary Walter Brown, News Revenue Hub

The Four Ps of Sponsorships

Pricepackagepromote and place sponsorships to create the most value for your news organization and your sponsors.

Nonprofit newsrooms see growing sponsorship interest from small businesses, community groups and other nonprofits — and NewsMatch 2018 will match some small business donations as well as individual gifts. Whether you’ve created a news product, event or sponsorship opportunity, learn how to sell it. What is the competitive advantage that your organization, product or event offers to a sponsor and what are the best ways to get advertisers and sponsors to see the value? Ebony Reed, director of the Futures Lab at the Reynolds Journalism Institute and an Associate Professor at the Missouri School of Journalism, will lead this session. Reed has sold advertising, media products and worked as a journalist. She will detail how to figure out market value for products, events and other underwriting opportunities, and how to sell them in a hands-on, interactive 60-minute session. You’ll leave the session with a plan on how to make the sponsorship connection.

Presenter: Ebony Reed, Reynolds Journalism Institute, Missouri School of Journalism
Presentation: Read the article on Reynolds Journalism Institute

BREAKOUT: How to Ask for a Major Gift

This interactive training session helps you learn or polish three techniques that are central to asking for a substantial gift in support of your newsroom.

  1. Setting up the visit
  2. How to make the “ask” – literally
  3. How to respond when a donor says something like: “Let me think about it.”

This session is led by a major gifts specialist who is working with a group of 11 INN members throughout 2018 to build their systems and skills in major gift development. Even if you don’t have a formal major gifts program yet, major gift opportunities can emerge out of smaller individual fundraising. Understand how to act on that, or take this opportunity to refresh your skills.

Presenter: Diane Remin,

BREAKOUT: Build an AR App

Augmented Reality is here. Soon our websites, mobile devices and even glassware will have AR options. As a news industry we need to stay current with the options, and as news leaders, we need to be familiar with the technology as it grows.  Kat Duncan, Senior Video Editor at the Reynolds Journalism Institute Futures Lab, will lead this session on how to build an AR experience to use in events, which many nonprofit newsrooms are offering to build audience, engagement and fundraising. The session provides a strong use case and a broader sense of how your site can use AR to build interactive content for readers and to broaden revenue opportunities. Before this 90-minute session, participants should sign up for a free trial subscription of Zap Works. Sign up at a few days prior to INN Days.

Presenter: Kat Duncan, Futures Lab, Reynolds Journalism Institute

INN Days Reception, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 14
Building the Business Skills that Build News

INN Index: The state of nonprofit news

You’ve shared your data, and the headlines are in. We’ll share early findings from INN Index, the most comprehensive study yet of nonprofit news organizations across the U.S.

Presenter: Sue Cross, INN Executive Director & CEO

INN Member Breakfast & Annual Meeting

Build your network. Visit with your colleagues, INN board and staff members and the INN board candidates, and share your ideas for INN. Cast your vote for board candidates over breakfast and coffee and give us your thoughts on strengthening our growing network.

Moderator: Laura Frank, Rocky Mountain PBS and Chair, INN Board of Directors

Director’s Screening: Dark Money

This political thriller examines one of the greatest present threats to American democracy: the influence of untraceable corporate money on our elections and elected officials. The documentary takes viewers to Montana — a frontline in the fight to preserve fair elections nationwide — to follow intrepid local journalist and INN Member John Adams, of Montana Free Press, working to expose the real-life impacts of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC decision and the way American elections are bought and sold. This Sundance award-winning documentary is directed and produced by Kimberly Reed, presenting the film with Adams and two other INN members featured in the documentary. From a journalist’s view, this film is notable in presenting strong voices from both right and left testifying to the impact of journalism. This is a film that is as important to advocates for news as it is to political finance reform. Join the director and our star members right after the screening in an invigorating discussion of the impact of Dark Money for all of us.

Presenters: John Adams, Montana Free Press; Sheila Krumholz, Center for Responsive Politics and Edwin Bender,

BREAKOUT: Community Engagement Powerhouses

Engagement is part of audience building. Learn from leaders across the network how their community engagement efforts are creating impact with audiences, elected officials and donors. We will look at successful approaches from a startup, from well-established newsrooms finding new ways to stretch their community reach and from a newsroom succeeding in building relationships in underserved areas.

Presenters: Stephanie LuLay, Block Club Chicago; Ben Nishimoto, Honolulu Civil Beat; Halle Stockton, Public Source and Meg Waters, Voice of OC

Moderator: Melanie Sills, Media Advisor

INN Days 2018: Community Engagement Powerhouses from Institute for Nonprofit News

BREAKOUT: Negotiation

Collaborations. Fundraising partnerships. Exploring a merger. Licensing that new software, hiring the reporter you really want. Saving money on your newsroom rent. Recruiting a new board member.  Almost every success you celebrate as a nonprofit news leader draws on a skill set that is rarely taught in J-school: negotiating. From creating the most beneficial and positive partnerships to resolving contentious issues, we’ll help you quickly build four fundamental skills and tactics that help you reach better outcomes with less stress.

Presenters: Fran Scarlett and Sue Cross

BREAKOUT: R-E-S-P-E-C-T: Power Dynamics and Workplace Success Strategies

Well before #MeToo was a hashtag, INN was hearing from women in member organizations asking for tips to use their voices more effectively. Participants at any career stage will come out of this session with a renewed sense of how to navigate the #MeToo aftermath and strategies they can carry back and use throughout the year to be heard and use their authority effectively. This 90-minute session is geared to women but illuminating and welcoming to all. We’ll talk about challenges including:

Participants will create a Powerful Communication Roadmap customized to their own experience. This roadmap will serve as a guide back at the workplace.

Presenter: Madhu Krishnappa Maron, Madhucoach

INN Days 2018: Power Dynamics and Workplace Success Strategies from Institute for Nonprofit News

BREAKOUT: Peer Group Meetups

As the INN network continues to grow, members have turned to peer groups to share ideas with similar organizations or job title holders. This will be a time at INN Days to gather any new or established small groups to brainstorm, share ideas, or vent in person.

Peer groups: rural newsrooms, tribal affairs, development directors. If you have another group you’d like to set up a meeting with at INN Days, here is a time you can get together!

2018 Speakers

Jason Alcorn
Project Manager, NewsMatch

Jason Alcorn is a strategic consultant who works with nonprofit news organizations and philanthropic foundations. He is the project manager for NewsMatch, an annual matching gifts and capacity building program that in 2017 raised $4.8 million for nonprofit news organizations in partnership with Democracy Fund, Knight Foundation and the MacArthur Foundation, and facilitates the Institute for Nonprofit News Emerging Leaders Council. Jason is also an award-winning journalist. He served as associate director of Seattle-based nonprofit news organization InvestigateWest from 2011 to 2016. He is currently an advisor to Migratory Notes and the Listening Post Collective and serves on the program committee for the 2018 Online News Association conference.

Monika Bauerlein
CEO, Mother Jones

Monika Bauerlein is CEO of Mother Jones. She became chief executive officer in 2015 after serving as co-editor (with Clara Jeffery) for nine years. Under her tenure, Mother Jones has grown its audience twentyfold, doubled the size of its staff, established bureaus in Washington and New York, won multiple awards, and launched a campaign to establish a new media business model centered on reader support for investigative and in-depth reporting.

John Bebow
President and CEO, Center for Michigan

John Bebow is president and CEO of the Center for Michigan. Prior to joining the Center in 2006, he worked for 16 years as a professional journalist, mainly as an investigative reporter for The Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Ann Arbor News, and Traverse City Record-Eagle. He covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq for the Detroit News and Gannett newspapers. He also served as editor-in-chief of, Michigan’s largest online news and information service. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Monica, and their daughter, Delaney. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in English from Western Michigan University and a MBA with distinction from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

James Burnett
Founding Editor and Managing Director, The Trace

James Burnett is the founding editor and managing director of The Trace, an independent, nonprofit media company dedicated to shining a light on America’s gun violence crisis. Working alongside a talented team of reporters, editors, engagement specialists, and designers, and he directs strategy, hiring, and fundraising for our two-year-old newsroom as we use investigative reporting to achieve social impact.

Dena Drabeck
Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma Watch

Dena Drabeck is the chief operating officer of Oklahoma Watch. Drabek, a native Oklahoman and former television journalist, leads Oklahoma Watch’s efforts in financial development, marketing and public engagement. Her background as a communications professional includes experience with corporate, nonprofit, government and public affairs in Oklahoma and Washington D.C. She holds degrees in journalism and administrative leadership from the University of Oklahoma. Drabek began her career as a television reporter in Ardmore and Fayetteville, Ark.

Kat Duncan
Senior Video Editor, RJI Futures Lab

Kat Duncan is the senior video editor for RJI Futures Lab. She launched a new video series, Innovation in Focus, which explores emerging tech and tools for journalists. She produces the segments of Innovation in Focus, as well as mentors student videographers on her team.

Duncan came to RJI from the San Francisco Chronicle, where she served as a photo and video editor, video producer and photographer. She led the Chronicle newsroom in producing mobile video and ran the visual intern program. While at the Chronicle she won Photo Editor of the Year (team category) in NPPA’s annual Best of Photojournalism contest and received many awards for her visual work from the National Press Photographers Association.

Michael Ellis
Executive Director and Publisher, Scalawag Magazine

Michael Ellis is Scalawag’s executive director and publisher. From his early days as a political canvasser, Mike has been committed to local community engagement as the root of social transformation. At Scalawag, Mike is committed to developing a new model of independent media to fulfill this mission.

Laura Frank
President and General Manager, Rocky Mountain PBS

Laura Frank is the president and general manager of news at Rocky Mountain PBS. Frank was founder of I-News, the nonprofit investigative news organization that merged with Rocky Mountain Public Broadcasting in 2013. RMPBS News continues to deliver multimedia investigative reports to news outlets across the Rocky Mountain region. Frank, a Denver native, has nearly two decades of experience at daily newspapers and in radio and public television. She was an investigative reporter at the Rocky Mountain News until it closed in 2009. Her stories have won top awards in both print and broadcast, helped release innocent people from prison, protect abused children and win aid for sick nuclear-weapons workers. Frank is an elected member and chair of the INN board of directors.

Jabari Gray
Executive Director, Youth Radio

Jabari Gray is executive director of Youth Radio. Gray joined Youth Radio in 2009 as part of the development team. A graduate from USC Annenberg, Gray began his professional career as an educator in Los Angeles and transitioned into cause-related marketing after a unique opportunity to promote his work on commercial radio.

Since then, Gray has combined his technical skillset with years of creative work in college radio, television voice acting, podcasting, music recording, and film production to successfully evolve his tenure at YR through roles in fundraising, classroom instruction, senior management, and executive leadership. Gray is a 2017 Punch Sulzberger Fellow, sits on the Oakland Thrives Leadership Council, mentors with the East Bay College Fund, and is a member of both the Huguette Clark Family Fund for Protection of Elders and Rotary Club of Oakland #3. He also served on the boards of The Downtown Oakland Association and the Museum of Children’s Arts.

Darryl Holliday
Labs Director, City Bureau

Darryl is City Bureau’s Labs director. He’s A Studs-Terkel award-winning journalist, founder of the Illustrated Press, and  reporter formerly with  DNAinfo Chicago.

Stephanie LuLay
Mangaing Editor and Co-Founder, Block Club Chicago

Stephanie LuLay is the managing editor and co-founder of Block Club Chicago. Block Club Chicago is a nonprofit, digital-first news organization dedicated to delivering reliable, nonpartisan and essential coverage of Chicago’s diverse neighborhoods. By embedding reporters in the communities they serve and engaging with their audience both online and off, Block Club Chicago is able to find and tell the stories that are often overlooked or neglected by traditional news media.

Madhu Krishnappa Maron
Founder, MadhuCoach

Madhu Krishnappa Maron is the founder of MadhuCoach, a coaching and consulting practice dedicated to supporting individuals and organizational leaders on the path to transformation.  She merges expertise as a Human Resources professional with stellar coaching skills and a belief in her clients’ innate resourcefulness to help them envision and make changes they never thought possible. Prior to becoming a coach, Maron spent seventeen years as a Human Resources professional, working with The Associated Press, Standard & Poor’s, Henry Ford Health System (Detroit), the New York City Economic Development Corporation and other organizations.

Maron is credentialed as a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation.  She mentors coaches-in-training and conducts her own program, Creating Meaningful Work, at the New York Open Center.  As a coach, Maron has partnered with clients at American Airlines,, Consumer Reports, HBO and The Associated Press.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan and is a qualified administrator of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator.

A passionate Motown music fan, Maron was born in Detroit, Michigan to immigrant parents from India.  She now makes her home in the Bronx, New York with her family.

Ben Nishimoto
Director of Philanthropy, Honolulu Civil Beat

Ben Nishimoto is the director of philanthropy for Honolulu Civil Beat, responsible for communicating the impact of local nonprofit journalism to prospective individual, foundation and business supporters. Prior to Civil Beat, he was the Vice President of Advancement at PBS Hawaii, where he played a leadership role in the station’s capital campaign while also overseeing annual fund strategies. Ben believes strongly that journalism can thrive as a public good supported by people and communities who value information without agenda or bias. A news junkie, Ben is thrilled to work in a newsroom and among journalists dedicated to making Hawaii — his home — a better place to live.

Ebony Reed
Director of Innovation, RJI Futures Lab

Ebony Reed is director of innovation at the RJI Futures Lab and an associate professor at the Missouri School of Journalism. Ebony Reed collaborates with RJI staff and the Missouri School of Journalism to research and test new platforms for journalism, as well as study new revenue models. She’s also an associate professor at the journalism school where she teaches in-person and online classes that focus on media sales and media management.

Reed has worked for both the business and editorial sides of journalism. She came to RJI from the Boston Business Journal, where she was executive advertising director.

She had a nearly seven-year career with The Associated Press, first as an assistant bureau chief, and later as director of business development for U.S. local markets. As director, she worked with AP directors across the country to find digital and commercial opportunities for the AP.

Prior to moving to the business side of journalism she held editing and reporting roles at The Detroit News and The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. In 2015, Reed received 40 Under 40 honors from the Boston Business Journal, which recognized her as a top business leader under 40. She received an NAACP Image Award in 2013 for her work in the community, success in journalism and commitment to diversity.

Diane Remin
Founder and President,

Diane Remin is founder and president of combines Diane Remin’s nonprofit consulting and fundraising expertise with her business background. Prior to founding, Diane was traveling across the country as a Senior Associate for Biondolillo Associates, Inc., a marketing and development company that creates innovative branded fundraising programs for nonprofit organizations. The company is nationally acclaimed as the “walk-a-thon” experts. The Biondolillo Associates programs have raised over $1 billion for nonprofits nationwide.

Diane holds a BA from Carnegie-Mellon University; MA Ed from George Washington University; and an MBA from Boston University. In addition to being a top-rated workshop presenter, Diane Remin was named among America’s Top 25 Fundraising Experts in 2016 by Philanthropy Media. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals. A nonprofit board member herself, Diane continues to make “asks” for capital campaigns and operating support.

Jill Shepherd
Director of Online Fundraising and Outreach, ProPublica

Jill Shepherd is director of online fundraising and outreach for ProPublica. Prior to ProPublica she oversaw the membership program for Chicago’s NPR-member station, WBEZ. Twice she’s presented as part of a panel on sustaining membership programs for the Public Media Marketing & Development Conference (2010 in Fort Worth, Texas and 2013 in Denver, Colorado). In 2011, she participated in creating a “Social Media Best Practices” manual along with a small group of public media professionals across the country as part of a Corporation for Public Broadcasting project on social media. In 2012 she taught a seminar for online fundraising and email best practices at the Center for Nonprofit Success in Chicago.

Melanie Sill
Media Advisor

Melanie Sill has been a leader and change-maker in senior executive roles at The News & Observer of Raleigh, Sacramento Bee and Southern California Public Radio/KPCC. She outlined ideas in 2011 for what she called “open journalism,” practices of transparency, direct connection and public engagement aimed at making journalism more effective and relevant in the digital age.

Now based in North Carolina, Sill is working as a consultant (Democracy Fund, Institute for Nonprofit News, Membership Puzzle Project and others) and as an independent editor to help creative, talented people build support and structure for independent journalism and information. She has worked actively in public interest journalism, content and staff diversity, open government and First Amendment issues.

Halle Stockton
Managing Editor, Public Source

Halle Stockton is managing editor of Public Source. Stockton was a reporter for the Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune for four years before joining PublicSource in February 2012. She became PublicSource’s managing editor in 2015. The Erie, Pa., native is a graduate of Pennsylvania State University and a proud Daily Collegian alumna. Halle has won several awards for her journalism; most notably, she was named a 2016 finalist for the prestigious Livingston Awards for Young Journalists for a series on psychotropic drugs prescribed to juvenile offenders. She was honored in 2015 with a national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists for a story about a couple with disabilities. She is a member of the Institute for Nonprofit News’ Emerging Leaders Council and is also a graduate of the Leadership Development Initiative, a program of Leadership Pittsburgh.

Meg McCarthy Waters
Development Director, Voice of OC

Meg McCarthy Waters is development director for the Voice of OC and works to develop multiple funding streams to support the news agency’s continued growth. During her lengthy career, she has earned the reputation as one of the top Orange County-based public relations and outreach strategists having served many of the region’s most prominent corporations, public agencies and non-profit organizations. She has a deep commitment to open government, quality journalism, free speech and civic involvement.

She is best known for her work as a spokesperson for the 10 south county cities concerning the reuse of the former MCAS/El Toro. Over the years, she has worked with nearly all of the cities in Orange County, the County Auditor-Controller and the Transportation Corridor Agencies. In the private sector, she has represented several the county’s largest corporations.  Waters also has considerable expertise working with nonprofits and education including the Orangewood Children’s Foundation, UCI, Concordia University, Santa Ana Unified School District, Catholic Charities, the Alzheimer’s Association and many others.

Mary Walter-Brown
Founder and CEO, News Revenue Hub

Mary Walter-Brown is the founder and CEO of the News Revenue Hub, a mission-driven media firm that helps news organizations successfully develop and manage membership programs. Formerly the publisher and COO at Voice of San Diego, Mary is a trailblazer in the nonprofit news sector leading the charge for news outlets to build diverse and sustainable revenue through audience engagement and relationship building. Working with dozens of news organizations around the United States, including The Intercept, The Center for Public Integrity and Politifact, the News Revenue Hub provides a collaborative environment where digital news innovators can experiment, solve problems and trade best practices. Mary is a 2016 graduate of the Punch Sulzberger executive leadership fellowship at Columbia University. She lives in San Diego with her husband and two children.

Kinsey Wilson
President, WordPress

Kinsey Wilson is one of the leading digital news executives in the nation. He has held senior positions at The New York Times, NPR and USA TODAY and played a key role in the digital transformation of their businesses. In March, he left The Times to join Automattic Inc. as president of, overseeing the company’s flagship commercial product, which powers millions of web sites. At The Times, Wilson held dual masthead titles as editor for innovation and strategy and executive vice president for product and technology. A member of the company’s executive committee, he led a team of more than 900 technologists, designers, product managers and editors responsible for guiding the company’s digital strategy and creating products that give expression to New York Times journalism. Widely heralded for the excellence of its digital report, The Times has seen its audience grow to 100 million monthly unique users and more than 2.5 million paying digital subscribers.

Wilson joined The Times in February 2015 after six years in senior leadership positions at NPR. As EVP and chief content officer he oversaw NPR’s worldwide news gathering, programming and digital operations. Under his leadership, NPR became known as a leading digital innovator, pioneering new forms of listening including NPR One, a popular one-touch digital listening platform. During that time, NPR’s journalism was recognized with major honors including duPont-Columbia, Peabody and Emmy awards.

Wilson began his journalism career at Chicago’s storied City News Bureau, covering cops and working the overnight desk. He was a newspaper reporter for 15 years, including seven at Newsday. He moved into executive leadership in 1995 at Congressional Quarterly, where he helped move the organization beyond its weekly magazine roots through the development of a lucrative legislative tracking service. Later, as editor-in-chief of and executive editor of USA TODAY he helped define the standards for online journalism through coverage of major news events including the 2000 presidential election, 9/11, the Iraq War and Hurricane Katrina. Wilson is a visiting fellow at the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University, a trustee of the Poynter Institute and a member of the board of visitors for the Knight Journalism Fellowship at Stanford University. He was an early leader of the Online News Association and president of the organization in 2007. He has served as a juror for the Pulitzer Prizes in journalism.

Wilson is a graduate of the University of Chicago and lives in New York City.

Investigative Reporters & Editors Conference

This year’s IRE conference is June 14-17. Here are the IRE Conference and Registration Details.

INN members who want to attend the IRE Conference must register IRE Conference Registration ($329 until June 12). IRE registration is not required for members who want to attend only INN Days training sessions.

Back to top