Starting a Nonprofit News Organization

Introduction: Why This Guide Was Created

The journey from editor or reporter to founder of a nonprofit news operation is an exciting one filled with many unknowns and lots of opportunity.

At INN we field numerous questions from individuals who want to embark on this journey: How do I assess the need for my brand of journalism? How do I find funding for my concept? How do I decide between fiscal sponsorship vs. filing for 501(c)(3) status?

We certainly provide answers to the questions, but we realize answering questions or directing people to the INN website and other industry resources doesn’t necessarily provide a comprehensive view of what is entailed in getting a sustainable independent newsroom off the ground.

The Startup Guide is our attempt to curate the information and tools we think are essential to launch an independent newsroom and leading a successful enterprise well beyond startup.

The areas of focus include business planning, audience development, revenue generation and nonprofit management. All to support those who want to start a sustainable nonprofit news organization.



Fran Scarlett is INN’s chief knowledge officer and business coach. She specializes in helping members build their business models to maximize their potential for revenue growth and long term sustainability.