One of the Knight Foundation’s latest reports is “Finding a Foothold,” looking at 18 non-profit news organizations and how they remain sustainable. Some key takeaways from the report show that, luckily, there’s not just one way to survive; both small and larger organizations are experimenting with various strategies and the majority of non-profit news organizations broke even this year.
This study was a follow up to a 2011 report called “Getting Local,” in which they noted that many non-profit startups had yet to find a working business model. Mayur Patel, VP for Strategy and Assessment, told me over the phone that that hasn’t really changed. And that’s OK:
We’ve seen people experiment with various approaches, but there isnt a clear cut way about how to do this in the long run. We have seen some really interesting progress — a lot of the non profits we looked at in the first study moved much further along reducing their reliance on foundation funding and we see two emerging pathways how people are doing this. On the one side you’re starting to see a lot of local and state based news ventures move away from a reliance on foundation funding and branching out by securing corporate sponsorships. On the other, you have the national investigative news organizations that publish less frequently reduce their reliance on foundation funding by ramping up their individual donor base.
Some other key trends Patel noted: Read more