The nonprofit online Texas Tribune wanted to raise $9 million and break even by 2013.

But, as Adweek points out, a year shy of that goal, the news outlet has raised $11 million and is “approaching profitability.”

“We couldn’t have imagined it would be this good,” says TT’s editor-in-chief Evan Smith.

Meanwhile, traffic is up, the money is rolling in (last year’s “Festival of Ideas” conference netted $400,000), and the New York Times is a client. The Tribune projects hitting profitability this year on $4.5 million in revenue.

The Texas Tribune keeps 31 staffers (16 writers) out of the poorhouse. This is up from the last time we checked in on them when the site employed 27 people.

In the following Media Beat clip, mediabistro interviews Smith on the Tribune’s business model: