Nonprofit news organizations have an enormous, largely untapped opportunity to dramatically grow their earned revenue. This was a major finding from INN’s 2020 Index, including data that shows earned revenue makes up, on average, just 11% of reporting members’ total revenue. But, as some members have proven, the potential to earn revenue from sponsorships, events and advertising is huge, with some news organizations generating as much as one-quarter or even one-half of their budgets from relationships with businesses.
In June 2020, the Institute for Nonprofit News launched a pilot program with support from the Google News Initiative (GNI) to help guide nonprofit newsrooms to increase their earned revenue from sponsorships. This partnership evolved into the GNI-INN Sponsorship Lab, an initiative that includes:
- Research within the INN network to establish best practices for earned revenue in the nonprofit news sector.
- Training for a cohort of INN members selected to grow their earned revenue programs with Blue Engine Collaborative, a new consortium of independent consultants and advisers with deep experience in driving audience and revenue.
- Publication of case studies and a “playbook” for nonprofit news organizations to establish or grow their earned revenue programs based on findings from INN members.
The Nonprofit News Guide to Earned Revenue is a playbook written for nonprofit newsrooms who are just getting started with earned revenue programs or looking to build more than just a small percentage of recurring revenue from relationships with businesses. If that sounds like you, you’ll find a lot in here that applies to your work and your organization.
Case Study: How The San Antonio Report Generates Three Times More Revenue than the Average Nonprofit Newsroom
The San Antonio Report generates three times more revenue than the average nonprofit newsroom by bucking the typical reliance on grants and individual donations by managing to generate about one-third of its revenue from sponsorships and what it calls “business memberships.” Read more
Case Study: How Madison365 Stays True to Its Mission While Earning More than Half Its Revenue from Businesses
Madison365 — one of only a handful nonprofit outlets dedicated to serving communities of color in the U.S. — has managed to build more than half of its revenue from event sponsorship, business membership packages and additional advertising. Read more