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Index Pods

About Pods

Pods is a new, member-only INN service that leverages INN’s Index data to deliver targeted knowledge to distinct types of nonprofit news organizations – from small hyperlocal community-connectors, to larger investigative powerhouses. Pods provides actionable benchmarking data and establishes peer connections between INN’s member outlets to help inform organizations’ strategic plannings around revenue, expense, and audience & distribution. 

Explore Pods Benchmarking Data

Local Smaller Market Startups/Sustainers/Heavyweights

Local Larger Market Startups/Sustainers/Heavyweights

State, Regional Startups/Sustainers/Heavyweights

National, Global Startups/Sustainers/Heavyweights

What can Pods do for you? 

How are Pods organized? 

Pods is possible thanks to your organization’s completion of the Index Survey earlier this year. INN’s research team leveraged the Index data to sort all members who took the survey into four categories according to the geographic scope and in some cases, their estimated audience size. 

We’ve found the geographic scope of an outlet’s coverage to be an effective distinguishing factor – affecting revenue streams, staffing capacity, audience strategy for news outlets. 

The four geographic scope categories are: National + Global, State + Regional, Local: Larger Market, and Local: Smaller Market. Local news outlets will be sorted into the larger or smaller market category based on a response in the annual Index survey asking for a total audience size estimate. 

Next, we sorted each of those four geographic scope categories into three growth stages: Startups, Sustainers, and Heavyweights. These categories are mutually exclusive. See definition for each of the growth stages below:

Sorting each of the four geographic scope categories into these three growth categories yields 12 distinct groups, or “pods.” 

How to Join Pods

You must be an INN member and have completed the most recent Index Survey (covering CY2022) to join the program. Get in touch with our Research team if you have questions.

Ha Ta, Research Associate:

Emily Roseman, Research Director:

About INN Index

The Index is the most comprehensive study of the state of nonprofit news.

As the nonprofit news field rapidly changes and grows, INN tracks and studies what’s happening behind-the-scenes. Through exploring Index data, you can learn what drives nonprofit news, how it’s funded, who it serves, and how we can continue expanding sources of high-quality information for the public.

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