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Case study series: How nonprofit news measures impact

May 26, 2022

What is the impact of nonprofit news? In this case study series, leaders from four of INN’s member news organizations tell us how they define, track and measure the impact of their work.

The range of responses from these four outlets – a large, global outlet (the Pulitzer Center), a small statewide organization (The Maine Monitor), and two local organizations (City Bureau in Chicago and Resolve Philly in Philadelphia) –  reveals how the impact of nonprofit journalism cannot be understood or measured by a one-size-fits all approach. 

Emerging across the nonprofit journalism sector are different types of news outlets working toward and achieving different types of impact, from enabling civic engagement and connecting residents with critical services, to performing a watchdog role and uncovering corruption. 

Pulitzer Center’s Impact

How the Pulitzer Center measures impact globally and locally

The Maine Monitor’s Impact

How The Maine Monitor measures impact in a small state

Resolve Philly’s Impact

How Resolve Philly measures impact at a community level

City Bureau’s Impact

How City Bureau measures the impact of civic media strategies in Chicago

How to Use These Cases 

INN members: Nonprofit news outlets are frequently called upon to demonstrate their impact – from funders, board members, audiences, and even their own staff. We hope these cases provide useful examples for how your news organization can think about, articulate and measure the impact of its work. 

For journalism funders: The funding community often seeks ways to measure the impact of its investment. We hope these cases demonstrate how that return on investment can take on different shapes and sizes across types of nonprofit newsrooms. 

This series was facilitated by INN’s Emily Roseman, with responses from various INN member newsrooms and editing by Louis Freedberg. 

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