Skip to Content

Explore Membership

Members of INN gain access to resources, training opportunities and tools that develop journalists’ business skills, help them achieve success and sustainability, expand audience reach and build new models for news. 

See where our members are located.

INN member newsrooms produce quality journalism that promotes positive civic engagement, provides a forum for diverse views — including those historically underrepresented in media — and holds accountable those in positions of public trust.

When an organization becomes a member, all staff gain access to the network and its benefits. We hope you’ll learn more and consider joining us!

What are the benefits of INN membership?

Here are some of the ways INN membership supports your success, whether you are an established enterprise, a growing newsroom or still in the concept stage:

For all members

For members in startup and growth spaces

For established members

Who can join INN?

INN membership is open to independent, nonprofit news organizations that:

How do I join?

Organizations apply to join INN and then are vetted by INN staff to ensure they meet standards for ethics, transparency, independence and quality of journalism. Applicants are approved for membership by leading journalists on the INN Board of Directors.

Once accepted, members will be asked to pay INN dues, which range from $150 to $1,000 per year and are based on the organization’s annual revenue. View dues scale.

Before applying, please, read through the information below to confirm your organization is a good candidate for membership. Additional information can be found on our FAQ page. You’re also welcome to schedule a one-on-one call with INN’s membership team before submitting your application. by emailing membership@inn.org.

Types of Membership

Full Membership

INN is a network of independent newsrooms. Members generally have their own 501c3 designation. If fiscally sponsored, they must have editorial, programmatic and operational independence from their fiscal sponsor.

Full membership is open to organizations that:

Affiliate Membership

INN loves our partners and peer organizations! INN is honored to count as affiliate members many organizations that aren’t primarily newsrooms, but share the INN mission of advancing public service journalism. We are proud to include as affiliate members such support organizations as the Center for Cooperative Media, Military Veterans in Journalism, the Investigative Editing Corps and News Revenue Hub. 

Why become an affiliate?

What qualifies? 

Affiliate membership is available to organizations that are not primarily newsrooms, but advance nonprofit, public service journalism in other ways. For example, they might include:

What wouldn’t qualify:

Affiliate organizations may participate in most INN network programs and INN services. Affiliate[s] do not vote on bylaws or elections to the INN Board of Directors, nor can they run for the INN board. Affiliates and non-publishing members of INN do not qualify for NewsMatch.

Provisional Membership

Most members are accepted after they have a track record of news coverage, and most publications should wait until they have launched to apply. News organizations in planning stages can participate in most INN programs even before they become members. In special circumstances, provisional membership may be available to select qualifying news startups, led by established journalists, for up to one year before launch of publication. Publications seeking provisional membership should include with their application a publication or strategic plan that indicates they will meet membership requirements once publication begins, make sure they meet the following standards and have them in place before applying:

Editorial Independence & Transparency

Public trust in journalism is essential. To build and maintain trust, journalists and their organizations must be truthful, transparent and independent in their reporting in order to best serve the public.

All INN members share a commitment to transparency and, by becoming members, agree to publish policies regarding fundraising, donations and conflict-of-interest on their websites, in an effort to maintain reader trust. These policies must specify what kind of funding the publication will and won’t accept.

As an INN member, a publication agrees to:

INN encourages all members to adopt, publicize and share with donors and other relevant partners their policies on editorial independence, conflicts of interest, ethics and privacy. Members are welcome to adopt or adapt INN’s standard of editorial independence and share that with donors. The editorial independence and samples of these other types of policies can be found on INN’s Ethics & Practices page.

Prospective members applying for membership should include an explanation of any variance from these standards with their application for the board to review. INN may investigate, at its discretion, any complaints or any evidence that it discovers that would suggest that a member organization has violated membership standards and/or the membership agreement.

Application process

The Institute for Nonprofit News’ staff and board members will be considering membership applications across three cycles in 2022:

All membership applications are reviewed by INN’s membership team and then go to INN’s Board of Directors for approval. Applications that need further consideration are forwarded to INN’s Membership Task Force, which typically meets one time per application window.

Applicants pay a $75 nonrefundable application fee.

Am I ready to apply?

Organizations will be asked to provide specific links and information in order to qualify for full membership. Review the checklist below (download a copy here). If you’re able to check off each item, then submit an application for full membership. If some items are missing, but you plan to fulfill them soon, submitting a provisional membership application will give you time to do so. Applicants considered for full membership:

Before you apply, be sure to download a reference copy of either the application for full/affiliate members or application for provisional members in order to prepare your answers in advance.  (The documents are for reference only. Applications must be submitted via the online forms below.)

If you have any questions about the process or qualifications for membership, please reach out to membership@inn.org.

Back to top