WyoFile: Project Summary

WyoFile is an independent news nonprofit doing public-interest journalism in Wyoming. Its audience consists of citizens of Wyoming and those interested in the state’s politics, energy and natural resources.

The nonprofit launched in 2008 and over time it has tried to leverage its email subscription list to raise money. Over the last year, WyoFile has successfully doubled its revenue from individual donors and has more than tripled the number of individual donors from its subscriber base.

Like other smaller news shops that cover a vast area like Wyoming, it faces a constant challenge of reaching the smallest pockets of the state where it could generate support.

WyoFile proposes to use $20,000 from the INNovation Fund as well as $10,192 from other foundation grants to experiment with building a subscriber base in five counties in Wyoming. Its plan is to engage in a digital and grassroots campaign to gain buy-in and followers from those hard-to-reach corners of Wyoming. It will also seek to do this digitally through geo-targeted ads (and traditional email marketing) and through a 10-day bus tour, holding local events in five counties in the state.

What knowledge will be gained from this experiment?

Given the challenges of reaching audiences in a sparsely populated place like Wyoming, WyoFile will marry tried-and-true membership recruitment strategies with a digital approach on a shoe-string budget. If successful, the results will provide a blueprint for future fundraising efforts.