Every(Re)Action | NonProfit Times: Nonprofit News Outlets Grow with Giving Days

July 26, 2021 | Grace Duginski

The NonProfit Times has reported that according to the Institute for Nonprofit News’ recently-released 2021 index, nonprofit news outlets and media is a rapidly growing space. When it comes to funding that rapid growth, we’re proud that the Los Angeles, CA-based INN helps their more than 200 member newsrooms to fundraise with support from EveryAction’s Giving Day division, GiveGab.

From Legacy News Organizations to Nonprofit News Outlets

“Nonprofits rose to the challenge to meet the most intense news year in a generation,” proclaims the INN’s index. 2020 “generated the fastest growth in nonprofit news media since the financial crisis of 2008.” According to INN:

  • One-third of nonprofit news outlets publishing today did not exist five years ago.
  • Nonprofit outlets have launched at an average pace of a dozen or more a year since 2008, with at least 20 launching every year for the past four.
  • INN saw its membership grow 27 percent from 2019 to 2020.

Individual Giving Growth for INN

NonProfit Times points out that this massive growth in nonprofit news outlets was accompanied by “growth across the board in individual giving at all levels, including more first-time donors than ever before.”

“Individual giving is where nonprofit outlets shined in 2020,” confirms INN. “The median revenue from individual giving increased to $118,000, a 41% gain from the prior year based on the Index respondents with comparable 2019 and 2020 financial data.” Other highlights from the INN report’s individual giving findings included:

  • 36 percent of INN member nonprofit newsroom revenue came from individual giving in 2020.
  • Nearly two-thirds of news nonprofits saw increases in individual giving in 2020, and for about half of those outlets the bump was more than 50 percent.
  • 60 percent of individual giving revenue came from major donors. 22 percent came from small-dollar contributors, 9 percent from members, and 7 percent from mid-range donors.
  • Most outlets had seen significantly increased revenue from major donors from 2019 to 2020, but the average contribution per major donor declined from 2019 to 2020—INN attributes this to “new, first-time major donors offset[ting] some of the losses of gifts from existing major donors that needed to retrench for a year.”

INN’s Giving Day: NewsMatch

One strong strategy INN utilizes to help members raise funds from individual giving? Partnering with EveryAction’s Giving Day for NewsMatch. As GiveGab, EveryAction’s Giving Day division, describes it:

NewsMatch is an incredible two-month-long campaign creating awareness around nonprofit newsrooms operating throughout the United States. From November 1 through December 31, members of the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) can encourage their supporters to give back through the NewsMatch site so that their donations can be amplified through matching funds provided by a coalition of funders. Through this site, participating newsrooms are able to create their own unique profiles to share their stories and solicit support for their campaigns. Since the first NewsMatch in 2016, over $100 million has been raised to jumpstart emerging newsrooms and support independent media outlets that produce fact-based, nonpartisan news and information.

The results in 2020 were significant. INN reports that “newsletter appeals drove the vast majority of small- dollar contributions to [Searchlight New Mexico,] particularly during its annual end-of-year giving campaign that coincides with NewsMatch. About 80 percent of contributions came in during the end of year campaign.”

Our Take

INN’s report concluded that for nonprofit news outlets, “this is a springboard moment[… and] there is great urgency to expand this work.” We couldn’t agree more, and we’re proud that our Giving Day division can empower organizations like INN to raise more for their important missions.

Nonprofit news organizations shouldn’t be afraid to demonstrate urgency with a Giving Day event—it worked for NewsMatch! INN testifies, “Collective fundraising campaigns such as NewsMatch leverage relatively modest amounts of national funding to catalyze broad new community support for news. NewsMatch 2020 generated nearly as much in local match funds as national, and many times more in individual donations.

With support from a platform designed to help nonprofits advance their missions and build community around their cause, organizations can raise more funds, more efficiently. Talk to us to learn more.