Skip to Content

Leadership Development

With two extraordinary programs available exclusively for INN members, the nonprofit news field is not only growing skilled organizations, but skilled journalists.

Did you just launch a nonprofit news outlet? Do you have an idea for the next great local news website? The INN Springboard builds the capacity of leaders who have recently launched, or have firm plans to found, a nonprofit news organization. See the 2020 cohort announcement: INN Welcomes 13 Participants to Nonprofit News Springboard Training Program; 2022 applications open in March.

Challenges abound when starting a new nonprofit news outlet or navigating the early days of a launch. That’s why INN created this program where participants will learn business planning strategies, gain exposure to multiple funding streams, review financial resources for early-phase nonprofit news outlets and connect with a supportive community of peers and nonprofit news leaders.

Cohorts are selected from among eligible applicants by a panel of INN and industry leaders. In 2021, the group will meet remotely for four half-day training sessions.

The program is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and offered at no charge to the participants.

If you have questions, please email Sara Shahriari at

Nonprofit news is growing rapidly, and so is demand for people with the vision and skill to lead the field. INN formed the Emerging Leaders Council in 2017 to identify and support current and future leaders in nonprofit news through a professional development program.

This program teaches leadership, management and business tools that yield immediate results, and it creates space for participants to develop and launch a project with help from a supportive network.

This program is for full-time staff at INN member organizations who can advance the nonprofit news sector throughout the next decade. We encourage the nomination of individuals mid-level in their careers who have the potential to lead their own or another organization, or leaders of small organizations who want to develop their ability to run larger nonprofits.

In particular, we seek candidates who:

Show potential to lead a nonprofit news organization
Express interest in management strategies and building business leadership skills
We want to retain in nonprofit news
Reflect the diversity of the communities they serve
Will invest in the peer group as well as draw from it

Throughout the four-month program, participants will come together once in person for a workshop designed for nonprofit leaders, and they will meet twice monthly via videoconferencing for project development and follow-through, leadership and business skills discussions.

Applicants must be nominated by their Executive Director/CEO, or if they themselves are the director of a small organization, nominated by their board chair. The cohort will be selected from among the eligible nominations by a panel of INN and industry leaders.

Applications have not yet opened for a 2022 program.

If you have questions about the program, please email Sara Shahriari at

Back to top