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Case Studies

INN is a network where every member’s success (and setbacks) drives growth of the field.

Through case studies, INN highlights how individual nonprofit news outlets are developing new ways of building businesses, audiences, diverse staffs, and services for the public. Cases are one way this innovative and collaborative field identifies best practices for the future of news.

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Case Study: How Sahan Journal built community support to grow revenue by 50% in one year

A news startup for and about immigrants and people of color leveraged NewsMatch to increase donations year-round.

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Case Study: How Sahan Journal built community support to grow revenue by 50% in one year

Compared with other local and state news outlets also founded in 2019, Sahan Journal has brought in roughly quadruple the median amount of revenue.

How to host an intern: Advice from nonprofit news leaders

INN members lead the way in creating valuable internship programs for the next generation of journalism leaders

Case Study: How Grist leverages sponsored content to build 360 advertising packages

Grist’s fiscal year 2021 (which started in October) is already impressive, with a 72% growth in sponsored content revenue so far this year.

Case Study: How Block Club Chicago built a robust newsletter advertising operation

From the start of the Lab in October 2020 through May 2021, Block Club grew its earned advertising revenue 10% year over year (YOY) and drove a 15% increase in average revenue per client.

Case Study: How VTDigger launched sponsored virtual events

In 2020 VTDigger grew revenue from sponsorship and underwriting by more than 10%, a particularly important triumph in the face of the pandemic and financial uncertainty.

Case Study: How Bay City News raised major donor revenue in a time of hardship

Bay City News, an independent local news outlet that covers the San Francisco Bay Area, raised more than $200,000 from local supporters in 2020, including several major funders.

Case Study Series: How nonprofit news organizations are addressing diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI)

Examples of source tracking, internal culture change, and editorial collaboration.

Case Study: How Madison365 Stays True to Its Mission While Earning More than Half Its Revenue from Businesses

Madison365 makes more than half of its revenue from event sponsorship, business membership packages and additional advertising.

Case Study: How The Rivard Report Generates Three Times More Revenue than the Average Nonprofit Newsroom

The Rivard Report is a standout among nonprofit news organizations in local sponsorship, with a third of its overall revenue from business relationships.

Case Study: Mother Jones magazine follows the readers to digital growth and nonprofit donor support

How did Mother Jones grow its audience, revenue and reporting staff in a period when most news magazines downsized, and many closed altogether?

Case Study: VTDigger is a rising star in nonprofit news

In the second least populous state in the country, VTDigger is averaging nearly 300,000 monthly users, has a staff of 19 full-time employees and an annual budget over $1.5 million.

Case Study: Modest investments generate major returns

All participating organizations in INN’s Major Gifts Coaching Program increased major donor funding, ranging from 9 percent to 367 percent increases.

Case Studies: Community Engagement

Community and public engagement projects are central to the public service journalism provided by many nonprofit news organizations in the INN network.

More of INN’s research

INN provides actionable research on nonprofit journalism for our members, partners and the wider field. Our research captures the progress and setbacks across the nonprofit news field and highlights the best practices and success stories that emerge from our members.

INN Index

Recurring survey of members’ revenue, audiences, staffing, DEI and other indicators

Guides

How-to playbooks for practitioners, including guides for launching a new outlet, converting to a nonprofit, and growing earned revenue 

Research from our peers

Useful data and examples from the field of nonprofit news

Compensation Study

This data is our benchmark for the nonprofit news industry; the 2020 survey collected input from 91 INN members of all sizes.

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