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Index Pods

About Pods

Pods is a member-only program that leverages INN’s Index data to deliver benchmarking data for distinct types of nonprofit news organizations – from small hyperlocal community-connectors, to larger investigative powerhouses. Focusing on particular types of nonprofit news outlets allows Pods to provide actionable benchmarking data and peer connections between similar INN’s member outlets. 



Pods is possible thanks to members’ completion of the Index Survey earlier this year. Leveraging Index data on the geographic scope of coverage, estimated audience size, revenue, and staff size, INN’s research team partitioned all members who took the survey into 16 Pods.

We’ve found the geographic scope of an outlet’s coverage to be an effective distinguishing factor as they have been observed to affect revenue streams, staffing capacity, and audience strategy for news outlets. 

The four geographic scope categories are: National + Global, State + Regional, Local, and Hyperlocal. Hyperlocals are local outlets that have an estimated target audience size of less than 100,000. 

We incorporated growth stages as the second dimension in our partitioning scheme: Startup, Small Sustainer, Mid-level Sustainer, and Large Sustainer. See definitions for each of the growth stages below:

This method enables us to identify 16 distinct groups, or “pods” as shown below.

Explore 2024 Pods Benchmarking Data

The benchmarking pages below are members-only resources and require a password to access. Please reach out to Ha Ta, INN’s Research Associate for assistance.



State, Regional

National, Global

How to Join Pods

You must be an INN member and have completed the 2024 Index Survey (covering CY2023) 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. Jump here to explore the INN Index.

Interested in reviewing last year’s benchmarking data? 

Check them out using the links below (password required). Please note, the 2023 Pods program used a different partitioning method to this year. More information about methods are available in the benchmarking data pages below. 

2023 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

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