Revenue Models and Revenue Generation

Nonprofit sites that distribute news directly to consumers are most likely to rely on reader revenue, which can come from individual donors, membership and subscriptions. Reporting services that distribute more through other publications or broadcasters that already have built an audience may rely more on syndication fees and training and professional services. Both types of nonprofit news organizations also may get revenue from foundations and grants, events, major gifts and advertising and sponsorships.

The INN Index 2018, based on surveys of 88 news organizations and data from the full INN membership, found a majority have more than two revenue streams. Total revenue came 57% from foundations, 33% from individual giving, including memberships, 3% from events and 3% from ads and sponsorships. Local and state organizations received significantly more individual donations than others. Regional, national and global organizations tend to get more foundation funding.

We introduced the eight revenue models in our Startup Guide, along with an overview:
How Will You Earn Revenue. Another overview is in an hourlong video, INN Town Hall (February 2019).

Foundations and Grants

Major Gifts

Individual Small Donors, Reader Revenue and Membership




Training/Professional Services

Other Revenue Generation Information