A free conference supporting the growth of the nonprofit news sector
Join nonprofit news leaders nationwide on June 16 and 17 for INN at Home — a virtual take on our annual INN Days. See the full schedule, below. Highlights include:
- Campbell Brown, an executive at Facebook’s news division, in conversation with Neil Shapiro, president of WNET.
- Revson Foundation’s Julie Sandorf telling you how to leapfrog the discouraging words, “we don’t fund journalism” and build support from funders in other fields.
- Salt Lake Tribune’s Fraser Nelson talking about what converting from a for-profit to a nonprofit newsroom actually means, for the Tribune and others that might follow in its steps.
- David Brooks of Weave: The Social Fabric Initiative, describing how local journalists can be community weavers.
- INN Executive Director Sue Cross laying out the state of nonprofit news, including new data on pay scales, revenue and readership as well as how the current crisis has affected the field.
- Connection and community through members-only peer groups, deep-dive panels, and, yes, happy hour and entertainment! Plus, get first notice of the NewsMatch 2020 campaign.
INN at Home will run from 12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. EST on June 16 and 17 via Zoom. It’s free and open to all. Register to attend ‘INN at Home: A virtual spin on INN Days.’ All times below are in EST.
JUNE 16 SCHEDULE
12:00 p.m. - 12:30 p.m.
“Sorry, We Don't Fund Journalism”: Establishing the Value of News in Every Field
Revson Foundation President Julie Sandorf has a vision, the value of news in addressing any social issue. After decades of experience in other philanthropic fields, Sandorf won over “non-news funders” to join Revson in financing the launch of The City as a new local news outlet for NYC. Take a cue from her success in explaining the value of news in any field; leapfrog those discouraging words, “we don’t fund journalism.”
Speaker: Julie Sandorf, President, The Charles H. Revson Foundation
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Town Hall: New Paths for Nonprofit News
To and through the Covid-19 crisis, journalists, civic leaders and social investors are creating new paths for news. We’ll trace the most recent cuts in traditional media, the huge gains in people seeking out nonprofit news reporting during the pandemic, and drawing on new data, possible paths and options for those seeking new ways to provide public service journalism, from local to global investigative expertise and specialized coverage of key social topics. We’ll take Q&A over a moderated online chat.
Speaker: Sue Cross, Executive Director & CEO, Institute for Nonprofit News
12:30 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Breakouts: Peer Group Sessions
- Event Producers
Event producers at media organizations are facing the challenge of pivoting in-person gatherings to virtual ones, and others are seeing virtual events as a new frontier to connect with audiences and earn revenue. For this peer group, we invite all event producers to discuss topics ranging from solving technical hurdles to presenting the best virtual experiences. Led by Revenue Lab at the Texas Tribune, this deep-dive peer group is open to any organization looking for event solutions.
Peer Group Leader: Agnes Varnum, Deputy Director, Revenue Lab, Texas Tribune
- Statehouse Newsrooms
INN and its members have formed a consortium to rebuild citizen access to state government by mapping gaps in public information and building a 50-state news network to fill those needs. The COVID-19 crisis underscores the need for this network and adds urgency as we look to spark and amplify collaborative coverage of the state-by-state fight to rebuild our economy, equity and social safety net. In this peer group, we'll discuss plans, goals and updates on next steps to take. Join us if you work for a state news nonprofit, or if you want to start or support one in your state.
Peer Group Leader: Marcia Parker, Publisher, CalMatters
- Rural Newsrooms
Join other rural newsrooms to discuss and share solutions for the unique issues that are faced by rural newsrooms. The discussion will cover how to reach and grow audiences, best reporting practices, and strategies for generating revenue. All rural INN member organizations are welcomed and encouraged to attend.
Peer Group Leader: Pamela Dempsey, Executive Director, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
- Development Directors
This peer group is for nonprofit news organization staff who devote most or all of their time to fundraising and will discuss three major topics development directors are confronting: 1) How the nonprofit journalism fundraising landscape has changed with the pandemic and the economic crisis: 2) Challenges and new possibilities that are arising during this strange time and 3)Resources needed to foster development professionals so they may better serve their constituencies.
Peer Group Leaders: Steve Katz, Publisher, Mother Jones; Jeffrey Woolverton, INN Network Philanthropy Director, Institute for Nonprofit News
- Newsroom Leaders of Color
This peer group session will focus on discussing the issues facing newsrooms of color as they struggle to provide cultural context to content without being relegated to a news "ghetto."The discussion will dive into how journalists of color and their allies can challenge structural racism in media, even in the most liberal publications, as well as how to "pick our battles" and best strategies for convincing the greater population that news concerning people of color is news that concerns the nation.
Peer Group Leader: Erika Dilday, Executive Director, Futuro Media Group
- National & International Newsrooms
Intended for anyone working at or interested in national or international publications (including single-issue news sites), this peer group will host a discussion on challenges and opportunities for collaboration, as well as the role of this type of news organization within the Institute for Nonprofit News, how the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting our work, and much more.
Peer Group Leader: Todd Reubold, Publisher, Ensia
- Content Collaborative Managers
Collaborations are a large part of how many INN members are stretching scarce resources to do important and impactful reporting in their communities. This peer group is for anyone managing or participating in a collaboration to discuss the challenges, best practices, and tools for a successful and equitable collaboration.
Peer Group Leader: Sumi Aggarwal, Director of Collaborations, Reveal News
- Emerging Leaders 2020 (Invitation only)
The 2020 cohort of Emerging Leaders convenes for the first time.
Peer Group Leader: Sara Shahriari, Director of Leadership and Talent Development, Institute for Nonprofit News
1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.
An Interview with Campbell Brown
Neil Shapiro, President and CEO of WNET in New York, engages in a conversation with Campbell Brown, Head of News Partnerships at Facebook.
2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
State of Nonprofit News
INN provides a quick spin through new data to help news leaders gauge where they’re at with their revenue, operations and outlook. We’ll walk through new findings from the INN compensation study, an accelerated INN Index revenue report showing the state of the field as it entered this crisis year, and a news leaders’ survey on the current outlook for revenue, reporting plans and a growing audience for nonprofit news.
Speaker: Sue Cross, Executive Director & CEO, Institute for Nonprofit News
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
The Public Trust: The Real Meaning of “Nonprofit News,” and Why It Matters
- Part 1: Converting to Nonprofit: Why it means more than changing tax status
Leading The Salt Lake Tribune in its transformation from for-profit to nonprofit news source, Fraser Nelson talks about how and why the shift is more profound than changing tax status, and what true transformation means for commercial news media that convert to 501(c)(3)s.
Speaker: Fraser Nelson, Vice President of Business Innovation, The Salt Lake Tribune
- Part 2: News for Good: It’s time to talk more about news values
What makes nonprofit news different from the flood of information out there? At a time when the public is rethinking trust in journalism, we can’t rest on “nonprofit” as a shorthand for trustworthy. Six news leaders give lightning talks about what being a public trust means in their communities, and how they’ve found success by emphasizing key values of nonprofit news.
Speakers include: John Bebow, President and CEO, Bridge Magazine; Bettina Chang, Co-Founder, City Bureau; Robert Chappell, Associate Publisher, Madison 365; Giles Morris, Executive Director, Charlottesville Tomorrow.
3:30 p.m. - 3:45 p.m.
3:45 p.m. - 4:45 p.m.
Post-Conference Sponsored Session: How Patch Helps Publishers Get More Exposure & Revenues
In 2019, Patch started a partnership program aimed at providing a wider audience for other news organizations. As part of this, Patch also offers a revenue share program. Program members include The Texas Tribune, The Marshall Project, Chalkbeat, Kaiser Health News, and Consumer Reports. This panel discussion will include Patch's Colin Miner along with INN members who have used Patch to increase revenues. Learn how you can join them in the partnership program.
Moderator: Colin Miner, manager news and content partnerships, Patch
7:00 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.
INN House Party
Prepare a cocktail (or two) from our themed recipe list and wind down the day with this easygoing, evening networking event. Enjoy live tunes from the virtual band, roam from room to room, hang out with friends and colleagues and meet new members.
JUNE 17 SCHEDULE
12:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Ready, Set, Goal: Strategic Fundraising Campaigns
Finding funding during the pandemic may seem a daunting task, but Jill Shepherd is here to help you take on the challenge. You’ll come away from this session with a step-by-step approach to creating a foolproof fundraising campaign plan.
Speaker: Jill Shepherd, Director of Online Fundraising and Outreach, ProPublica
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.
- Courting Foundations: How to Attract Them and Keep Them Happy for the Long Haul
Some funding is short-lived but not all funding opportunities have to be. This session will share critical strategies for how to identify and engage funders with issue-focused philanthropy, overcome obstacles to getting foundation funding, and develop pitches that maintain journalistic integrity. Through these tips, learn best practices for finding and maintaining the funding that’s right for you.
Speakers: Candice Fortman, Chief of Engagement and Operations, Outlier Media; Ken Paulman, Director, Fresh Energy; Terry Quinn, Chief Development Officer, Texas Tribune; Wendi C. Thomas, Editor, MLK50: Justice Through Journalism
Moderator: Tracie Powell, Program Officer, Borealis Philanthropy
- Branding is Not a Dirty Word
Branding a news source across multiple platforms is more important than ever. A publication brand that looks as high quality as the reporting behind it will help you reach a wider audience and build a better impression with existing audiences. Our goal for this session is to provide several reasonable, easy-to-execute ways to strengthen your identity at any level of staffing and budget.
Speakers: David Cohn, Chairman of the Board, San Francisco Public Press; Landess Cole, Audience Development Editor, Honolulu Civil Beat; Sharene Azimi, Communications Director, Institute for Nonprofit News
Moderator: Sonya Quick, Digital Editor, Voice of OC
- Your Traffic Has Gone Gangbusters. Are You Prepared to Capitalize on It?
You’ve done the reporting, nailed the headlines, and even drafted a great Twitter thread. But the best scoop in the world won't matter if you don't have a plan to take full advantage of the traffic spike! In this session, we’ll walk through all the components a traffic spike toolkit should have, from newsletter prompts to donate buttons, and everything in between. We'll also talk about tools that can help your team measure the surge and how to do an effective post-mortem after the dust settles.
Speakers: Francie Swidler, Social Media Editor, Colorado Public Radio; Kay Lima, Director, INN Labs; Lauchlin Fields, Web & Engagement Editor, Mississippi Today
Moderator: Evan Mackinder, Director of Audience Development/Product, News Revenue Hub
- Test-and-Learn: How to Experiment Your Way to Dramatic Membership Growth
Using lessons from industry experts, INN members in the inaugural cohort of the Facebook Membership Accelerator used a test-and-learn approach to transform their membership acquisition and retention, experimenting with user experience, marketing tactics, and much more. Come to this session to hear from those who participated in this program so you can copy our successes, avoid our mistakes and generally learn how to grow faster than you thought you could.
Speakers: David Grant, Program Manager, Facebook Journalism Project; Katy Silva, Director of Development, Rivard Report; Tracey Taylor, Co-Founder, Berkeleyside; Lauren Fuhrmann, Associate Director, Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism; Tanner Curl, Development Director, MinnPost
- Leverage Your Reporting into Additional Revenue
From data to news stories, this session will showcase several ways to take existing reporting and turn it into earned revenue for your newsroom using case examples fromINN newsrooms.
Speakers: Celeste LeCompte, Vice President of Business Development, ProPublica; Tom Laskawy, Executive Director, Food & Environment Reporting Network
Moderator: Pamela Dempsey, Executive Director, Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting
- Fundraising for Nonprofit News: The Unique Challenges and Opportunities
As professional fundraisers enter the burgeoning field of nonprofit news, they are faced with unique dynamics unlike with any other nonprofit sector. In this session, our speakers will delve into the challenge of conveying impact and urgency and the need to create broader philanthropic support, to teach how to navigate the uncharted terrain of fundraising in nonprofit news. We’ll also touch on the characteristics of an ideal donor, and how they differ from donors who give to other sectors.
Speakers: Mariko Chang, Major Gifts Manager, Honolulu Civil Beat; Michaux Hood, Development Director, Charlottesville Tomorrow; Loren Lynch, Development Director, Texas Observer; Lisa Baumert, Director of Individual Giving, PRX; Steve Katz, Publisher, Mother Jones
- What's Your Story?: How to Articulate Your Value Proposition to Grantors
Why this? Why now? Why you? These are the questions every organization needs to answer succinctly and compellingly to initiate a conversation with donors. This interactive webinar will help you articulate your organization’s unique value proposition — the things that only you can do or that your organization does best — in a way that defines your place in the journalism landscape and resonates with prospective donors.
Speaker: Bridget Gallagher, Gallagher Group LLC
1:45 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
NewsMatch 2020 Kickoff
NewsMatch is a national gift-matching campaign geared toward growing and promoting fundraising for nonprofit news organizations. Available only to organizations that are members of INN, the fifth cycle of NewsMatch will pool funds from foundations and corporations to match donations from major donors and individual readers at newsrooms across North America.
Speakers: Kip Dooley, Project Coordinator, NewsMatch; Mukhtar M. Ibrahim, Editor, Sahan Journal; Elizabeth Hambuchen, Membership & Marketing Coordinator, Mississippi Today; Julie Drizin, Executive Director, Current; Christina Shih, VP business development, News Revenue Hub.
3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Closing Remarks: How News Coverage Can Connect People
News is a common good for people of vastly differing situations and opinions. As such, it has the power to connect people around their shared interests. David Brooks of “Weave: The Social Fabric Initiative” and a columnist at The New York Times wraps up the conference with closing remarks on the importance of news in these fraught times.
Speaker: David Brooks, Chairman, Weave: The Social Fabric Initiative
If you have any further questions, you can reach out to Abby Schlenk
The Institute for Nonprofit News would like to thank Knight Foundation and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation for making INN at Home possible.
INN thanks these organizations for sponsoring INN at Home:
Microsoft has been a trusted partner with the news industry for 25 years. Through the Microsoft News ecosystem, we partner with 4,500 media outlets and curate the 170,000 stories, photos and videos to more than a half billion people in 180 countries in 31 languages. Through our AI for Good initiatives, Microsoft provides technology, resources, and expertise to empower those working to create a more sustainable and accessible world. Learn more here.
Patch is a hyperlocal platform that allows people to share local news and events in more than 1,000 communities around the country. In 2019, recognizing that the local news landscape is changing, Patch started a partnership program aimed at providing a wider audience for other news organizations. As part of this, Patch also offers a revenue share program. Program members include The Texas Tribune, The Marshall Project, Chalkbeat, Kaiser Health News, and Consumer Reports. Learn more here.
INN also thanks along with the generous circle of foundations and other funders providing general support for INN programs:
Craigslist Charitable Foundation, Democracy Fund, Facebook, Google, Joyce Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, McCormick Foundation, Open Society Foundation, Peter and Carmen Lucia Buck Foundation, Present Progressive Fund (part of Schwab Charitable), Spitzer Charitable Trust and Trinsons Foundation