inewsource: Project Summary

inewsource produces data-driven investigative coverage from San Diego in a collaborative model, distributing through partners including KPBS public television and radio, PBS NewsHour and various community news outlets, as well as through its own web site.

In a past project, inewsource began a major donor initiative. In the course of that, it identified a separate donor category that requires a different approach: the occasional reader or small donor that may be converted into an ongoing supporter at a more significant level. inewsource proposes to create and institute a year-around sustaining donor program, including campaigns built around events and a range of steady, frequent communications.

The project will generate protocols and campaign materials to strengthen donor affinity and increase the conversion of occasional donors and event attendees into major, ongoing contributors. These will be combined in a donor affinity development kit that can be shared and easily localized or adapted by other nonprofit news organizations.

While many news organization have identified similar potential donor bases and run campaigns targeting them, many are one-off campaigns built around an event, a high-profile story, or a few set points of the year. Reviewers found this proposal promising in that it builds a deeper, broader program of year-round communications and donor outreach. The approach fits well with news organizations and if successful, holds the promise of building a broader sustaining donor base over time.