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Business & Strategic Planning

Scan our curated list of articles, tools and providers to support your news business’ strategy

Got questions about the nonprofit news business? Register for our bimonthly News Startup Sessions or bring your strategy and ethics questions to Business + Ethics Coaching with INN’s Executive Director Sue Cross.

Added custom consultation is available for a fee.

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Articulating your value proposition

Business Model Canvas

This tool for creating a business model, introduced in the Startup Guide, can also be used to assess and enhance your current business plans, evaluate new opportunities and develop and implement new strategies and business models.  To learn more about business model canvas, please see the Business Model Canvas videos. Get a copy of the canvas at Canvanizer.

Budgeting and financial projections

IRS requirements

Succession planning and executive transition

Executive Transitions are one of the hardest moments in the life of a nonprofit. Nearly half of leadership transitions fail, largely due to lack of preparation. Preparing for an Executive Transition is about building a strong organization that can survive and even thrive beyond the leader’s tenure. Why wait until your leader is on the brink of leaving to strengthen your organization? Banyan Coaching and Consulting will help you gain the tools you need to build an organization that is durable, resilient and positioned to thrive under the current or new leadership.

Services include:

About: Banyan Coaching and Consulting is a team dedicated to partnering with its clients to cultivate healthy, vibrant and sustainable people, groups and organizations through holistic coaching and facilitation. Banyan designs and facilitates high impact processes that are goal focused and flexible according to the dynamics and emerging needs of the organization. Banyan’s work is focused on helping clients make significant, measurable shifts that result in lasting culture change. Their projects fall predominantly within these areas: leadership development and coaching, team effectiveness, diversity/equity/inclusion, and strategic planning. Learn more at

Rate: Consulting fees are offered on a sliding scale from $1,000-$3,000 per day.

Mission and strategy

The United States has more than 400 nonprofit news organizations, and while they all share a mission of serving the public good, they do so in diverse ways: At some, specialized journalists cover a single topic, in-depth. Others are devoted to covering local news or investigative journalism. This section has resources to help you find, achieve and explain your mission and measure your impact.

Achieving mission and impact

Diversity, equity & inclusion

Assessing information needs

Planning product around mission

Managing your brand

Engaging your community

Our resources are on the Marketing and Social Media Support page.

Other sites with excellent resources on how media organizations can engage their communities:

Measuring your impact

Startup Guide

The Startup Guide is a primer to walk nonprofit news site founders through, in rough order, everything they need to think about.

Info Sessions for Startups: Our monthly one-hour INN Sessions are designed to give you a realistic picture of what the nonprofit startup process entails. Click here to book your 30-minute spot.

If you’re looking for a partner to help you with creating your next strategic plan, growing your audience, planning a startup or launching a newsletter, consider a partnership with The Other Wave. Led by coach Anita Li, The Other Wave provides a range of business- and audience-related services specifically tailored for news organizations. And she offers a discount for INN members who sign up.

Business strategic planning and audience development

Services include:

About: Anita Li is a coach and trainer for INN and works with media organizations around the world. Her company, The Other Wave, can help you through complex situations or help your newsroom make its next great organizational leap. Click here to schedule an appointment with Anita — initial 15-minute consultations are free.

Rate: Consulting fees range from $150 to $250 per hour, based on organization size. INN members qualify for a 10 percent discount.

Example job descriptions

Looking to build your team but want assistance crafting the perfect job description? INN has compiled job descriptions for these commonly-asked-for positions and position categories:

Additional Job Description Resources

If you have suggestions for other positions to add, please email

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