Support Services for Independent Newsrooms

 

About

INN provides support services for independent newsrooms within its membership network and also some select services for non-members.

Get connected to support services for your media organization that are designed to save you hundreds of dollars through INN and our partners. There are also some select services available to non-members at preferred group rates.

Look at our services list below to get started and fill out the corresponding form to learn how to unlock your requested service.

Next steps and information will then be sent directly to the email address you provide.

If you have any suggestions for additional services you are interested in receiving for your organization, please email services@inn.org.

And if you are not yet a member, please visit our membership registration page.

accounting

FULL-CHARGE BOOKKEEPING SERVICES

INN offers full-charge accounting services for members needing assistance running the day-to-day activities of their "back-office." From paying vendors and recording revenues, to tracking grant expenditures and monthly financial reporting, INN can handle all of your accounting needs.

Services include:

-Client invoicing and charitable gifts recording
-Donor thank you letters for gifts more than $250
-Vendor bill paying
-1099 filings
-Grant tracking
-Monthly financial reconciliations and reporting
-Budget variance reports
-And much more

About: INN’s staff are well versed in the nonprofit world with more than 30 years of experience and has served as Fiscal Sponsor (FS) for more than 35 nonprofit newsrooms since 2012. Because of our robust FS program, INN is well poised to help independent nonprofit news organizations with all of their accounting needs.

Rate: Standard Bookkeeping Rate - $65 per hour

ADVANCED ACCOUNTING CONSULTATION

Need to solve a perplexing accounting question or guidance on Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP)? INN’s Director of Finance and Operations Chip Potts can assist you with these questions and other matters centered around the accounting, finance, and operations of your nonprofit news organization.

Services include:

-Chart of Accounts designed specifically for your organization
-In-depth QuickBooks setup for your nonprofit news organization
-Internal Controls advice
-pre-Audit preparation and support
-Budget and cash flow consultation

About: Chip Potts is INN’s director of finance and operations and has more than 30 years of accounting experience, first as a partner in a Washington DC CPA firm that specialized in audit reporting for nonprofit organizations and government contracting, then running his own accounting and tax practice before serving as the CFO of a local LA community college’s foundation for more than nine years.

Rate: Advanced Accounting Consultation - $100 per hour

Unlock Accounting Services

business planning

BUSINESS COACHING

Looking for business advice and feedback on how to steer your organization forward or a place to chat about your revenue diversification strategies? INN’s Director of Programs & Services Fran Scarlett holds INN Office Hours every other Wednesday.

Services include:



-Assess and enhance your current business plans
-Evaluate new opportunities comprehensively
-Develop and implement new strategies and business models



About: Fran Scarlett is INN’s director of programs and services. She specializes in helping organizations understand and leverage their value propositions to build business models that maximize their potential for revenue growth and long-term sustainability.

Fran has extensive experience in starting and growing businesses. She ran her own management consulting firm, Scarlett Ink Media, providing strategic and tactical consulting to news media organizations with an emphasis on developing new revenue models; product development and cross-platform collaborations.

Rate: Free for INN members, $100 per hour for non-members

Sign Up for Business Coaching

STRATEGIC PLANNING & FACILITATION

Most strategic plans live on a shelf instead of guiding organizational decision-making. Fran designs and facilitates strategic action planning sessions that result in actionable steps intended to move organizations from where they are to where they want to be. The result of a strategic action plan are prioritized strategies, tactics, resource allocation needs and implementation timelines, essentially the operational roadmap that steers your organization to the next level of growth.

Services include:

-Consultation on strategic roadmaps
-Planning sessions and interactive workshops designed to help formulate a strategic plan for your organization

About: Fran Scarlett is INN’s director of programs and services. She specializes in helping organizations understand and leverage their value propositions to build business models that maximize their potential for revenue growth and long term sustainability.

Fran has extensive experience in moving organizations to the next level of growth. She ran her own management consulting firm, Scarlett Ink Media, providing strategic and tactical consulting to news media organizations with an emphasis on developing new revenue models; product development and cross-platform collaborations.

Rate: $500 for half-day, $1,000 for full day plus travel expenses, for INN members. Available to work through a contract with non-members.

Register for Business/Consultant Services

Digital Marketing

SOCIAL MEDIA ADVERTISING

NextGeneration Digital Marketing Agency offers direct ad-buying and/or coaching services to increase your digital engagement, grow your email list and find new donors. MBA Toya Wilson-Smith and her team will help you use Facebook ads and techniques at group rates of more than 50% off.

Services include:
-Finding Facebook lookalike audiences for traffic and donor acquisition
-Creating sponsored posts on Facebook and Instagram
-Facebook ad campaign setup
-Importing email or customer list
-Creation of ad images or video
-Ad targeting research
-Social media consultation

About: NextGeneration Digital Marketing Inc. helps business owners and entrepreneurs combine the power of social media marketing with brand storytelling to develop a consistent lead generation system.

Rate: $85 per hour for INN members, $150 per hour for non-members

Register for Social Media Advertising Services

Event

NYC: RETRO REPORT EVENT SPACE

The Retro Report office in midtown Manhattan, just a few blocks east of Grand Central Station, has an event space available for members to use, which includes a full A/V system and a kitchen. Abundant natural light, panoramic views and sophisticated, modern details all come together in Retro Report’s in-office, event space.

Whether you’re planning a business meeting or training program or seminar, the Retro Report event space includes:  flexible room that comfortably accommodates nearly 100 seated, with standing room sufficient for 120+. The fully carpeted main area includes state-of-the art technology for all types of presentations, screenings, meetings and events. Sliding doors separate the main space from a cafe area where food/drinks can be prepared and served.

Services include:

-Event space with full A/V system with kitchen for up to 90 to 100 people sitting or 120 for standing room
-A/V system includes a projector system used to stream video
-Sound system for music
-Two hand-held microphones

Rate: Free of charge for INN Members.

Sign Up for Event Space at NYC (The Retro Report)

Editorial

DATA SERVICES

The ProPublica Data Store gives you access to the data behind their reporting, which can support INN members in doing the challenging, expensive work of investigative reporting. ProPublica provides free access to the raw data behind their work, as well as premium data products and custom data services.

Services:

-Data sets about health, criminal justice, education, politics, business, transportation, military, environment and more

About: ProPublica Data Store is an ever-expanding clearinghouse for the data used in ProPublica reporting.
Rate: Free

Access Data Services

INFOGRAPHIC & DATA VISUALIZATION SERVICES

Quickly create charts, infographics and engaging data visualizations with no coding or design skills needed with Infogram. These infographics can be instantly published in web articles and can adapt to any screen size (or shared internally, if needed).  INN newsrooms that use the free version of Infogram and can now also be upgraded to a Team Account at a 30% discounted rate. View the examples here. View examples of the enterprise version by INN Members CALmatters and Better Government Association.

Services:

-(Free Version) Ability to create infographics, charts, dashboards, reports, and other visualizations to publish on the web without having to use or pay for freelance design help
-(Enterprise Version) Customized branding with your newsroom's own fonts, colors, icons with options to add objects such as custom maps; create team libraries; bigger library space over the free version; HTML download option; priority support in tickets and chat

About: Infogram was built with the goal of increasing data literacy, giving anyone—and especially the fast-paced media sector—the power to visualize and share data in minutes where content also responds to the screen size.

Infogram was founded in 2012 by Uldis Leiterts, Raimonds Kaze (both journalists) and Alise Semjonova (a designer). Currently, Infogram has more than 4 million users and companies, including INN members and brands such as Techcrunch, Politico, Unicef, Linkedin, Unilever and Amnesty.

Rate: Free account that can then be upgraded to a premium account with own branding at a 30% discounted rate, solely for INN Members.

*Business Team account from 3 to 10 user licenses for INN members = US $1251.6/year to US $2368.8/year
*Enterprise level starting from 10 user licenses for INN members = from US $4057.2/year with option to add extra seats for US $159.6/license

Non-members can also unlock an extra referral discount at 10% off for a for-profit organization and nonprofits can unlock up to 25% discount dependant on team size.

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VIDEO AND ANIMATION SERVICES

Coda Studio, the production arm of award-winning nonprofit newsroom Coda Story, offers a service that can help your newsroom create video content based on reporting.

Services:

-Video content creation
-Production and creation of engaging animations and other easy-to-digest visualizations
-Storytelling consultancy and storyboarding
-Scripting
-Working with newsrooms to turn the text piece into the video and then the final product

About:  Coda Studio currently works with the BBC, World Policy Journal, ProPublica and other media clients.
Rate: Up to 50% off per minute of animation (normally $3,000 per minute) depending on complexity and requirements.

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Fundraising

DONOR RESEARCH SERVICES

Members who have development staff or want to do their own database research on DonorSearch can now receive an annual subscription to DonorSearch through INN at a 60% discount.

Services include:

-INN member subscribers gain full annual access to DonorSearch databases with all available filters, plus the ability to batch screen names through the DonorSearch database for 20 cents per name.

Rate: $1,000 for a 12-month subscription, a 60% discount for INN Members. Batch screening available at 20 cents per record.

About: DonorSearch emphasizes assessments of potential donors’ charitable and political giving, not just the value of their assets. In media, as in politics, the interest and patterns of giving may be more meaningful in identifying likelihood of support over the value of their assets.

Additional Info: Find the details on how it works and read the INN DonorSearch Annual Subscription Agreement.

Subscribe: Donor Research Services

More Info: Donor Research Services

Legal

LEGAL CONNECT REFERRAL SERVICES

INN has partnered with the Media Law Resource Center on a referral service to help nonprofit news media obtain legal help. The service is intended to help member organizations find affordable media law specialists for cases that exceed what they can access from pro bono legal services, state press or other news association services. These specialists will be experienced, young attorneys who will be supervised by the senior lawyers in their firms.

Services include:

-Legal assistance

About: The Media Law Resource Center is a nonprofit membership association for content providers in all media, and for their defense lawyers, providing a wide range of resources on media and content law and policy issues.  These include news and analysis of legal, legislative and regulatory developments; litigation resources and practice guides; and national and international media law conferences and meetings.

Rate: Attorney fees differ by state, but an average rate across the U.S. is $250-$450 per hour.

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LEGAL SUPPORT FOR CAMPUS-BASED JOURNALISM

INN has also partnered with the Student Press Law Center. The SPLC offers legal support for campus-based journalism.

Services include:

-A network of 190 pro-bono referral attorneys on call to assist with legal matters from prepublication review to open-records denials.
-A library of teaching and reference materials covering a wide range of media-law topics including copyright, libel, privacy and access issues.
-An automated fill-in-the-blanks letter generator keyed to each state's freedom-of-information statute.
-Email news alerts about developments in the courts and legislatures affecting press freedom and access to records and meetings.

About: The Student Press Law Center works at the intersection of law, journalism and education to promote, support and defend the rights of student journalists and their advisers at the high school and college levels. Founded in 1974, SPLC is the only organization in the U.S. devoted to providing free legal information and free or low-cost educational materials to student journalists and their advisers.

Rate: Attorney fees differ by state, but an average rate across the U.S. is $250-$450 per hour.

NEEDS JOTFORM MADE AND EMBEDDED

PREPUBLICATION REVIEW SERVICES

The need for a la carte prepublication of review has been one of the most-requested legal services among the INN membership, according to the results of a recent INN study with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

Services include:

-Prepublication review of individual articles pursuant to the terms below. Sheppard Mullin will not be providing any other advice or services to INN members unless they enter into a separate, written agreement with a particular INN member client.

Terms of Prepublication Review agreement:

1. Before any prepublication review project is performed for an INN member for whom we have not previously provided such services, we will be provided with the full formal name of the member, its form of organization and state in which it is organized, and contact information for the person representing the member with whom we will be dealing, so that we can confirm that we have no ethical conflicts. If our review indicates that we have a conflict, we will not undertake the project. Because it can take some time to complete a conflict check, members who have not previously used our services should contact us and provide this information at least several days in advance of when they expect to need our services.

2. Our fees for review and discussion with the member client of any ordinary individual piece will be a flat fee of $500, regardless of the amount of time spent. However, we reserve the right to determine at the outset of a project whether it falls outside normal parameters, that is, whether it is likely to require an unusual amount of time to review and discuss. If, in our opinion, any particular review project is likely to take more than 3-4 hours, we will have the right to require the payment of additional fees (in an amount to be agreed upon between us and the member client), or to decline the project. For the purposes of this matter, in the absence of any agreement to the contrary, we will charge $500/hour for time in excess of two hours. If this is not acceptable to the member client, we will have the right to decline the project. We will not proceed with review of any piece for which a member client will be charged in excess of $500 without prior permission of the member client.

3. As noted, our services will be limited to prepublication review, and will not include any other services, including but not limited to advising member clients with respect to demands for correction or retraction of pieces we have reviewed.

4. Payment of the $500 fee will be due upon our acceptance of the project. If a member client asks us to take on a project that will result in fees of more than $500, a fee deposit of $500 will be due upon our acceptance of the project.

5. While we do not anticipate that any significant disbursements will be entailed in our work for INN’s member clients in connection with this Matter, the member client will be responsible to reimburse us for or to pay in advance any necessary disbursements.

About: Sheppard Mullin is a full service Global 100 firm handling corporate and technology matters, high stakes litigation and complex financial transactions. From its 16 offices in North America, Europe and Asia, they offer global solutions to clients around the world, providing seamless representation in multiple jurisdictions. The firm has more than 800 attorneys.

NEEDS JOTFORM EMBED BY KAY

Nonprofit Management

CHARITY REGISTRATION SERVICES

Charitable registration requirements vary from state to state and are expensive and time-consuming to handle in-house if you are fundraising (including online) in more than a handful of states. Charitable organizations are required to register with states prior to solicitation of contributions. In 41 states, registration is required.

Services include:

-Completing initial/renewal state registration forms for the states where members wish to solicit contributions. This includes attachments, client copies and pre-addressed envelopes.
-Preparing and filing registration extensions with the states
-Liaison between the organization and the State regulators
-Updating States with any organizational changes
-Providing quarterly status reports
-Maintaining current State filing requirements
-Tracking State approvals and deficiencies

About: If you are fundraising nationally, Charity Compliance Solutions, Inc. (CCS) is a full service company aimed at getting and keeping your organization in IRS and state compliance.

Rate: CCS’ negotiated fees for INN members are $120 per state. For members with a national presence who need to file in all 40 states plus the District of Columbia, the maximum fee is $3,995 per year- a savings of more than $800 per year. CCS is not responsible for the state filing fees, late fees or registered agent fees. You must mention INN membership to qualify for the special rate.

Get Started with Charity Registration Services

FISCAL SPONSORSHIP

INN provides fiscal sponsorship opportunities for start-up organizations that meets INN Membership guidelines. Fiscal Sponsorship with INN allows the organization a charitable umbrella while ensuring editorial independence. INN offers fiscal sponsorships to qualifying organizations that apply. To start programs more quickly, many nonprofits–startups and commercial companies converting to nonprofit-status–seek a "fiscal sponsor." A fiscal sponsor is an established 501(c)(3)-certified organization that accepts funds on behalf of the sponsored program and ensures the funds are spent to advance the program’s mission. This allows new nonprofits to receive tax-deductible donations while they are ramping up or their status is pending with the IRS.

Services include:

-Fiscal sponsorship of your organization, short term or long term
-No minimum revenue requirement
-Low administrative fees
-2 hours of accounting services per month included
-Monthly reporting
-Charity registrations in all 41 jurisdictions
-On-line donation forms embedded on your own website (note - this should be doable next week)
-Low on-line donation processing fees
-Thank you letters to all donors contributing over $250

Rates: $500 setup cost to cover bookkeeping and banking enrollment, plus additional fees

Apply for Fiscal Sponsorship

HUMAN RESOURCES

Leadership Coaching

This program is designed to support established and emerging leaders to be more effective, confident and creative. Through individualized coaching over a period of three months, leaders will be better able to deliver results while balancing needs for self-care and reflection.

Services include:

-Goal setting
-Visioning
-Shifting mental and behavioral blocks
-Action steps

About: Madhu Krishnappa Maron is the Founder of MadhuCoach, a coaching and consulting practice dedicated to supporting individuals and organizational leaders on the path to transformation. She merges expertise as a Human Resources professional with stellar coaching skills and a belief in her clients’ innate resourcefulness to help them envision and make changes they never thought possible. Prior to becoming a coach, Maron spent seventeen years as a Human Resources professional, working with The Associated Press, Standard & Poor’s, Henry Ford Health System (Detroit), the New York City Economic Development Corporation and other organizations.

Rate: $725 for INN Members and $900 for non-members/nonprofits

The package includes the following:

-Six one-hour coaching sessions to be conducted via Zoom over the course of 3 months.
-A 30-minute consultation with the leader’s manager to ensure coaching goals are mutually understood and agreed upon.
-Email and phone/text support between sessions

Sign up for Leadership Services

INSURANCE

INN has established relationships with multiple leading providers of insurance for media and nonprofit organizations, leveraging the size of our network to obtain preferred policies for our members and allied journalism organizations. The program is open to all INN members and members of partner networks, including the Local Independent Online News Publishers (LION Publishers) and The Media Consortium. Learn more about these services here: INN Insurance Resources and Preferred Provider.

Services include:

-Media liability, which protects companies and individuals against claims made by clients for inadequate work or negligent actions, often covering court costs and any settlements up to the policy limit.
-Directors and officers, which provides necessary coverage to your officers and board who are assuming personal liabilities in order to serve your organization.
-General liability insurance, which protects against injuries or accidents that may occur on your company’s property.

Get Started with Insurance Services

PAYROLL SERVICES

Heartland Payroll is offering special pricing for all INN Members to help them keep their payroll costs down.

Services include:

-Full tax service where they handle all deposits and filings
-Single points of contact in sales and operations
-Direct deposit
-Electronic onboarding
-New hiring reporting
-Employee portal

About: Heartland provides employee payroll services to entrepreneurs ranging in size from small to large, including
Rate: 30% off normal processing fees. Normal set-up fee of $200 is also waived during this promotion.

Weekly Payrolls: $35 base fee + $2 per check
B/W or S/M Payrolls: $45 base fee + $2 per check
Monthly Payrolls: $55 base fee + $2 per check

Example 1: Bimonthly payroll with 5 employees would cost $55 per payroll or $110 per month.
Example 2: Weekly payroll with 12 employees would cost $59 per week.

Sign up for Payroll Services

Web

INN LABS: THE DIGITAL + CREATIVE AGENCY FOR NONPROFIT NEWSROOMS

INN Labs specializes in web development for nonprofit newsrooms. No other agency has the unique experience of working with more than 100 nonprofit newsrooms to recognize what works, identify what doesn’t, and close the gaps in between.

INN Labs generates tools, design, and code now used by more than 200 news sites, serves as the shared service and development staff hub for more than 50 news sites and supports an active community of more than 700 people working or interested in news technology.

Services include:

-Digital Strategy
-Web Development
-WordPress
-Responsive Websites
-eCommerce
-Subscriptions & Memberships
-Integrations
-Stripe, MailChimp, Salesforce, WooCommerce, etc.
-Design
-Information Architecture
-Visual Design & Branding
-Interaction Design
-Data Applications
-News Application Design
-Data Visualization
-Digital Storytelling & Interactives
-Ongoing Support
-Website Maintenance
-System Upgrades
-General Assistance
-Publishing tools
-INN Labs Publishing Tools
-Custom Plugins
-Group licenses for premium WordPress plugins (list available upon request)
-Discounts on third-party software (list available upon request)

Rate: INN members receive a discounted hourly rate services in addition to discounts on certain third-party integrations and software. Discounted rates are provided to INN’s nonprofit members and other public interest media clients thanks to the generous sponsorship of the Democracy Fund, the John D. and Katherine T. Knight Foundation, and other supporters of the Institute for Nonprofit News.

INN Labs Services