What does it mean — and what does it take — to convert a for-profit news outlet to a nonprofit organization?
INN’s Quick Guide to Converting a For-profit to Nonprofit News Outlet aims to help publishers figure out the challenges and opportunities presented by restarting their news business as a tax-exempt 501(c)3 corporation. This practical guide provides expert insights into the conversion process — with tools and resources for further exploration — and raises many questions for publishers, such as:
Becoming a nonprofit news outlet is one proven and successful strategy for preserving news in the face of changing economics that have seen nearly two thousand newspapers shut down in recent years — but it is not the right structure for everyone. Other legal structures to consider include a Public Benefit Corporation, a subsidiary entity owned by an existing charity, ownership through a nonprofit association, trusts, hybrid for-profit/nonprofit partnerships, or a cooperative with employee ownership.
INN’s Quick Guide to Converting a For-profit to Nonprofit News Outlet is not meant to be comprehensive, nor should it be considered legal advice; it is meant as a kind of extended FAQ to help publishers rethink their business model and find resources for making a change.
This guide was written for the Institute for Nonprofit News by Kate Butler and Fraser Nelson.