The journalism industry’s peak fundraising season is upon us, as news organizations look to convert the spirit of giving into new members, subscribers and donors before the end of the year.
The likeliest “winners” during this final fundraising sprint are the organizations that have been working toward it all year, by producing meaningful journalism, documenting impact, and raising awareness of the opportunities for readers to contribute financially.
That said, it’s not too late for any publisher – nonprofit or for-profit – to prepare an end-of-year campaign, and LION is here to help.
Read our advice for running a successful end-of-year revenue campaign, including three fundraising myths to put to rest.
And don’t miss our latest News Guest episode about measuring and marketing impact, with inspiration and practical ideas from Angie Cirone, former director of journalism sustainability at Richland Source, and Anjanette Delgado, executive editor of the Detroit Free Press.
– Ben DeJarnette, communications manager, and the LION team
14 resources for independent news publishers
The energy around last month’s Independent News Sustainability Summit keeps on humming (thank you, Knight Foundation!), and in case you missed the event – or want to relive it – here are a few resources:
📹 Watch videos from all ten ballroom sessions, including the opening keynote with former New York Times executive editor Dean Baquet.
🗣️ Review the slide decks and other speaker materials from more than 20 sessions.
😫 Get advice on burnout and boundaries from Charlottesville Tomorrow’s Angilee Shah and The Markup’s Sisi Wei, as summarized in an excellent recap by RevLab fellow and LION board member Dan Hu.
✨ Read about 3 takeaways from the Summit, including the impression LION members made at the highest ranks of the industry.
Now here are 10 more ways you can build a stronger, more sustainable news business:
1. Grow your audience and earn reader revenue. More than 175 organizations have chosen BlueLena’s audience management and strategic marketing to accelerate their digital transformation and build long-term sustainable reader revenue models. Learn more» (Sponsored)
2. Switch to a CMS trusted by LION members. Newspack is an all-in-one publishing platform used by nearly 200 independent news publishers to grow audience and generate revenue. Request a demo» (Sponsored)
3. Learn how to build text messaging into your engagement strategy at this Gather lightning talk. (TODAY)
4. Learn leadership skills and tools for navigating change as a woman in media. Apply for ONA’s Women’s Leadership Accelerator. (Deadline: TODAY)
5. If you lead a Black-owned newsroom, develop a revenue strategy in this free, six-month program at CUNY’s Center for Community Media. (Deadline: November 14)
6. Get help earning philanthropic dollars at a workshop led by Chalkbeat’s Chief Revenue Officer Amy Rosenblum. (November 16)
7. Get funding to support reporting on health equity in California. Apply for the California Health Equity Impact Fund. (Deadline: November 18)
8. Connect with leading women in journalism. The Reynolds Journalism Institute is now accepting applications for its 2023 Women in Journalism Workshop. (Deadline: November 18)
9. Apply for seed funding through Indiegraf’s new $3.5 million News Startup Fund. (Deadline: Rolling)
10. Find tools to improve your tech stack. The LION’s Tools & Services Directory features the most popular tools we know about for accounting, publishing, analytics and more.
What we’re reading
Silver linings. How the mess at Twitter could help accelerate the growth of independent online news. (Breaking the News)
Mentor me. How to find the right person to support your career goals and professional development. (NPR)
Spend local. Why community news sites in Chicago now have a golden opportunity to earn more local ad revenue. (Chicago Reader)
Brain trust. Why organizations need four different types of innovators on their teams to thrive. (Harvard Business Review)
Social first. How a fast-growing news outlet is using TikTok to engage its Gen Z audience. (Reuters Institute)
LIONs in the news
The interest in our inaugural LION-GNI Sustainability Audits and Funding program has been incredible, and we’re so excited to support another 25 independent publishers to wrap up 2022:
- California Health Report
- Cardinal News
- CityView Media
- CT Mirror
- Indonesian Lantern Media
- Investigative Journalism Foundation
- L.A. Taco
- La Noticia
- Local Switchboard NYC
- Now Habersham
- Rockland County Business Journal
- The 016
- The Appeal
- The Bedford Citizen
- The Examiner News
- The Southern Maryland Chronicle
- The Tributary
- Trenton Journal
And in other LION news…
The LION Board of Directors has new leadership, including board chair Rebekah Monson, vice chair Gunita Singh and treasurer Jamaal Glenn. Learn more about the changes and how to volunteer for a board committee.
La Noticia was named the best Hispanic newspaper website in the U.S. at the 26th Eppy Awards! The newsroom also placed second in two other categories.
El Paso Matters, LAist, and VTDigger were recognized by the American Press Institute’s Kevin Loker for their creative 2022 voter guides.
NewsMatch is underway for dozens of LION members, and you can donate to them here.
How to reach us
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You can also email us directly at [email protected]