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Newsrooms join Major Gifts Cohort Program to build donor revenue

May 19, 2023

Nearly two-thirds of participants in INN’s Major Gifts Cohort Program report seeing growth in major donor revenue in the year after completing their training. This year’s cohort of 12 news organizations hopes to match or exceed that success rate as they embark on an eight-month intensive training that provides newsrooms with resources, guidance and practical experience necessary to launch or grow major gifts (donations of $5,000 or more). 

India Currents Publisher & CEO Vandana Kumar (center) speaks with attendees at a community event in 2022. India Currents is one of 12 news organization participating in this year’s Major Gifts Cohort Program.

“Since its inception, the Major Gifts Cohort Program has helped many INN newsrooms move beyond a reliance on grant funding to the building of a more diversified funding stream with a robust base of major donors,” said Stephanie Schenkel, director of network philanthropy at INN. “The process to get them there is clear, easy to follow with donors, and has been tested over time.”

INN’s Major Gifts Cohort program is designed for organizations that have already begun to lay the groundwork for a major gifts program. Participants are asked to cultivate at least five donors during the program.

Even small investments in major donor programs can reap major results. In 2022, the total major donor revenue from organizations participating in the Major Gifts Program was 382% higher than that of the overall member base.

After the initial three-month training series, newsrooms receive five additional months of coaching with Diane Remin, president of as well as peer mentoring, to support them as they start visiting with donors and asking for gifts. 

The 2023 Major Gifts Cohort includes:

Learn more about the services available through INN’s Network Philanthropy Center.

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