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INN Days 2019

INN Days 2019 featured lessons from news leaders successfully building public financial support for journalism, as well as learnings and tips generated by three years of experience with NewsMatch. The June 12 NewsMatch Day was sponsored by Knight Foundation. INN’s annual meeting on June 13 featured a sneak-peak at the latest numbers on nonprofit news, sessions on diversity and trust, sponsorship, and engaging passive listeners and readers to become active supporters, all sponsored by the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation.

View the agenda below


Accelerating Nonprofit News

June 12-13, 2019
Four Seasons Hotel Houston

INN Days is presented with generous sponsorship from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation

Wednesday, June 12

NewsMatch Day

8:00am                   Registration and check-in

8:30-9:00 am      Breakfast and Networking

9:00-9:15 am      WELCOME : Sue Cross, CEO and Executive Director, INN

9:15-10:15 am      KEYNOTE: Building Your Generosity Network
If you ever wonder how fundraising can feel so rewarding or wonder why you do this work — come get fired up about the coming year! McCrea talks about how to connect money and meaning to mobilize supporters for news. As one of the country’s leading fundraising advisors, she works with many organizations that are successfully building public support for great journalism.
Jennifer McCrea, CEO and Founder, Exponential Fundraising

10:15-11:15 am      Lightning Talks: NewsMatch – The Local Perspectives
Be inspired by lightning talks from INN members who excelled in NewsMatch 2018, or used their first campaign to try new fundraising tactics and strategies. This session is focused on hearing from newsrooms that cover a particular community or region, but the lessons are useful for everybody.
Panelists: Alice Dreger, Publisher and President, East Lansing Info; Joe Livernois, Founding Editor, Voices of Monterey Bay; Laurie Milford, Development Director, High Country News; Teresa Martin, Executive Director, Lower Cape TV; Asraa Mustufa, Digital Editor, The Chicago Reporter

Moderator:      Christina Shih, VP of Business Development, News Revenue Hub

11:30-12:30 pm      Lunch and Learn: NewsMatch 2019
Knight Welcome and Remarks: 
Jennifer Preston, VP of Journalism, Knight Foundation
Jason Alcorn, Project Director, NewsMatch

1:15-1:30 pm      BREAK

1:30-2:30 pm      Email Newsletters: A Magnet for Donors
From newsletter frequency to length, visual appeal and more, this panel will explore best practices in newsletter formats, workflows and why newsletters are a powerful tool in the audience to donor journey.
Presenters:     Rebekah Monson, Co-founder and COO, WhereBy.Us; Rebecca Quarls, Director of Strategy, News Revenue Hub; Tim Windsor, Digital Strategy Consultant, Windsor Digital

2:30-3:30 pm      Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch…!
INN members have been fundraising with NewsMatch since 2016. Hear what organizations that have been participating in the campaign for two or three years have learned and the tips they have for new and returning participants.
Panelists:      Dena Drabek, Chief Operating Officer, Oklahoma Watch; Alison Go, Senior Director of Growth, Chalkbeat; Chelsey Tabakian Odom, Business Operations Manager, Center for Sustainable Journalism
Moderator:      Karen Rundlet, Director, Journalism Program, Knight Foundation

3:30-3:45 pm      BREAK

3:45-4:45 pm      Hunting and Gathering for Fun and (Non)Profit
Join us as we explore the wily behaviors and exotic home worlds of the elusive journalism nonprofit major donor. Or maybe they’re not so strange and hard to find after all: You’ll come away from this session with ideas on how to best use your limited time and resources on where to look for great major donor prospects, and how to begin developing a vibrant community of donors through events, volunteer development, research and more. And we’ll also talk about money and why it’s a loaded topic for so many of us.
Presenter:      Steve Katz, Publisher, Mother Jones

4:45 pm      ADJOURN

5:00-7:00 pm      INN’s 10th Anniversary Reception (Ballroom Lobby)

Thursday, June 13

Building the Business Skills that Sustain News

8:30-9:30 am      INN Annual Meeting – Coffee and Breakfast

Welcome: INN Board Chair Laura Frank, VP News, Rocky Mountain PBS
Meet the candidates: Presentations from INN board candidates
INN Board Meeting:

INN Index: Sneak peak of some very promising headlines and trends!
Go Boldly: INN members will change the future of U.S. news in the next decade. How we take this challenge and win it. Sue Cross, INN executive director and CEO.
Feedback session with INN staff
Announcement of new board members presented by Brant Houston, INN Secretary
Moderator:      Laura Frank, Rocky Mountain PBS and Chair, INN Board of Directors

9:30-11:00 am      How Diversity and Trust Intersect: A Workshop in Inclusive Audience Development
Research conducted by The Trust Project reveals how diversity and inclusion are key indicators of trustworthy content. We’ll go over the indicators and discuss how they can be applied to editorial and audience strategy. The Fault Lines framework will help attendees understand their own Fault Lines blind spots and how those blind spots create perception bias and impact coverage, sourcing and audience. As part of the workshop, participants will brainstorm an audience development and engagement strategy that reaches across the Fault Lines of race, class, gender, generation and geography.
Presenter:      Martin Reynolds, Co-Executive Director, External Affairs and Funding, The Maynard Institute

11:00-11:45 am      Building Strategic Sponsorship Campaign
Learn the key pieces needed to create a powerful and profitable campaign. What pieces do you need in place if you want to offer a special promotion around a product and service? Is a landing page about the promotion, email communication, follow up phone calls part of your plan? Perhaps you also need to offer a complimentary service, training webinar or special contract term. We’ll review the key pieces and talk through them, so you can be best positioned to run multiple campaigns throughout the year. Campaigns are a strategy to grow your prospect list and gain the attention of prospects who aren’t yet on your radar.
Presenter:      Ebony Reed, Director of Innovation, RJI Futures Lab, Reynolds Journalism Institute

12:00-1:00 pm      LUNCHEON: In Defense of Audacious Goals
Like many fellow INN members, Amy Martin founded her podcast and radio show, Threshold, with huge ambitions and very little else. Three years later, she and her team have followed bison across the Montana prairie, camped out on the Greenland ice sheet, and had their microphone mistaken for a chew toy by a sled dog — all as part of their quest to dive deep into complex environmental topics and bring nuance to some of our most highly polarized issues. On paper, it all sounds kind of nuts. But would a more “sensible” plan have been as successful? We’ll explore risk and reward in nonprofit journalism in this adventure-filled talk.
Presenters:      Amy Martin, Founder & Executive Producer, Threshold; Nick Mott, Producer, Threshold.
Season two of Threshold was sponsored by the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.

1:00 pm-2:00 pm      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.
Established Peer Groups: Emerging Leaders, LEAD, Steve Katz’s Major Gifts Masterclass, Rural Newsrooms and Statehouse. Peer groups will be assigned to meet in either the Ballroom or Austin room.

2:00-3:00 pm      BREAKOUT SESSION: New ideas for turning passive audiences into donors (Ballroom)
WBUR’s BizLab is an innovation lab identifying and testing new revenue streams for public media. With funding from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and Knight Foundation, we collaborate with public radio stations across the country on testing new ways of raising funds. In this session, WAMU’s DCist team, Louisville Public Media’s events team, and WBUR’s podcast team will share their learnings from user-centered experiments designed to convert their largely passive communities into active donors. We will break down each experiment into the questions they were designed to answer, get the audience to guess the outcomes, and then provide a recipe for how to replicate the success at a variety of nonprofit news organizations
Panelists:      Lindsy Goldberg, BizLab, WBUR; Tajah McQueen, Events and Special Projects Coordinator, Louisville Public Media; Rachel Sadon, Editor in Chief, DCist, WAMU

2:00-3:00 pm      BREAKOUT SESSION: All news is local news (Austin Room)
A lot of energy (and funding!) is being poured into local news right now, in an effort to plug a hole in our civil society. While this has meant great opportunity for some INN members, it has brought new challenges for others. These newsrooms are playing an increasingly important role in plugging these gaps. In this session, national and local members will discuss ways they have oriented their coverage and their partnerships to thrive in this environment. This session will be interactive and members on both sides of the local/national divide are encouraged to come and bring their stories and questions about how national organizations can be more local — and how local organizations can partner with national organizations to achieve greater scale, impact and reach.
Panelists:      Noreen Gilliespie, Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News, Associated Press; Katharine Mieszkowski, CIR/Reveal; Steve Sapienza, Senior Strategist, Pulitzer Center; Willie Shubert, Global Program Director, MongaBay
Moderator:      Jonathan Kealing, Chief Network Officer, INN

3:00 pm      ADJOURN

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