NewsMatch 2019 Analytics how-to guide now available

Use this step-by-step guide to build your news organization’s NewsMatch campaign

The Institute for Nonprofit News has launched a how-to guide on working with web analytics to provide newsrooms participating in NewsMatch 2019 with easy-to-use tools and examples to develop their fundraising programs.  Nearly 200 INN members are participating in the nonprofit news annual fundraising campaign, which runs Nov. 1 through Dec. 31. The weeks leading up to the Nov. 1 launch are a critical window to prepare newsrooms’ campaigns.

NewsMatch and INN have developed a portfolio of tools and resources to help member newsrooms have a successful NewsMatch 2019 campaign.  Among the tools is the just-launched guide, “INN Google Analytics 101: Goals, Conversions, and Campaign Tracking, based on Google Analytics’ widely used tools. The guide and tools are free. INN Labs specialists will be available to answer questions and help members during office hours. The tools will be useful in gaining information to advance newsrooms’ ongoing fundraising and relationship-building with potential donors.

Data on a news organization’s audience and donor behavior is a critical element for news organizations to develop their fundraising program.  This information is also key for discussions with potential funding organizations and donors. The guide gives newsrooms a roadmap to thinking through what information they need, how to set targets, how to develop the tracking tools to measure performance against those targets, and how to evaluate and adjust based on the data. It is written for non-technical readers and does not require programming staff to use.

After using these guides, a journalist with a basic understanding of Google Analytics should be able to set up campaign tracking, goals, and conversions for their website and answer questions such as:

  • Which campaigns are driving the most traffic, and then donors, to your site?
  • How does website behavior differ (e.g., number of pages viewed) for readers arriving on the website based on different campaigns?
  • Which calls to action get the best results (for instance, signing up for email newsletters, making a donation, or increasing site engagement)?
  • Where are donors coming from outside of special campaigns?
  • What is a donor’s user journey on your website?

Configuring Google Analytics to answer these questions over the course of NewsMatch will help newsrooms improve their online donations throughout 2020 and prepare for next year's campaign.

NewsMatch 2019 fundraising is a key mission for INN,  which works to develop fundraising skills to diversify and sustain journalism funding. News nonprofits are relatively new to the fundraising community, and fundraising is a new skill for many newsroom leaders.  So, INN is working with NewsMatch to raise the profile of nonprofit newsrooms in the donor community, and to build fundraising capacity among nonprofit newsrooms. This is key to ensure communities have reliable news sources into the future and citizens can count on independent investigative reporting to watch out for their interests.

This first guide was produced by Medill/Northwestern Prof. Rich Gordon for INN. Future guides will address other aspects of Google Analytics setup.

NewsMatch is a national matching-gift campaign to promote giving to journalism among U.S. donors, created by the Knight Foundation in 2016.  In just three years, NewsMatch has helped nonprofit newsrooms raise more than $15.8 million and helped to bring 95,000 first-time donors to nonprofit news.

The national call-to-action will launch on Nov. 1, 2019, when donations up to $1,000 to 198 nonprofit news organizations will be matched. Donors will be able to contribute between Nov. 1, 2019, and December 31, 2019, at  and directly on the websites of participating newsrooms.

To learn more:

INN NewsMatch resources:

NewsMatch 2019 announcement:

About INN:
The Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) is a growing national network of more than 240 nonprofit news organizations dedicated to providing investigative and public service reporting. INN was founded in 2009 to foster a new collective of newsrooms serving the public interest. Today it functions as an innovation network, helping members develop new ways to support journalism and engage communities, providing business, technology and leadership support and a framework for collaboration. INN’s work helps newsrooms bring investigative and civic news to more people, hold the powerful accountable and strengthen democracy.
About NewsMatch:
NewsMatch is a national matching-gift campaign to grow fundraising capacity in nonprofit newsrooms and promote giving to journalism among U.S. donors. It is supported through an open collaborative fund at The Miami Foundation and offers a simple, turnkey platform for foundations of all sizes to support quality news.