Research Proposal

Non-Profit Newspapers


To understand local nonprofit newspapers in the US.

Early Findings

  • The Institute for Nonprofit News has 209 members. Not all of these are newspapers but most are in some form.
  • Interestingly, in 2018, INN only had 165 members, so it has grown substantially in recent months.
  • "To be a member of INN, an organization must be organized as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or be fiscally sponsored by a 501(c)(3) (such as INN). It also must be transparent about funding sources and produce investigative and/or public-service reporting."
  • Between 2010-2015 (the latest available statistics), 6,568 organizations donated over $1.8 billion to nonprofit media outlets in the US. Around of half this was received by PBS and NPR, but 4.5% (or $80 million) went to local nonprofit news organizations.
  • The biggest states with active local nonprofit news outlets are Texas, Minnesota, Illinois and California.
  • The newly-established The City has a $4 million annual budget. At his current rate, it will run out of money in 2.5 years if donations do not continue.
  • Bloomberg states there are "around" 200 local nonprofit news outlets, employing around 2,200 journalists.
  • Some nonprofit newspapers are sustainable, which implies the majority are not - yet. ProPublica and The Texas Tribune both increased their revenue last year.
  • INN found that, despite this, only around 10 nonprofits news outlets closed last year.
  • Funding tends to come from organized rounds, small donations from readers, large philanthropist donations, funding from charitable organizations and coalitions with other nonprofits as part of much larger funding drives.
Prepared By
Megan B.
3935 assignments | 5.0