INNovation Success Stories

The Institute for Nonprofit News has distributed more than $1 million in INNovation Fund grants of up to $35,000 to nearly 40 nonprofit news organizations over the last three years. Funded by Knight Foundation, with Democracy Fund joining in the latest round, the grants are designed to cover initial costs for a news organization trying an innovative project to build revenue, audience or both.

The stories below illustrate what can happen when public service newsrooms have access to seed funding to try new things. Not all succeeded, to be sure. These were experiments and some failed. But the overall finding is clear: giving seed funding to public service newsrooms to try new things can bring reliable news coverage to more citizens, deepen community ties, give more people a public voice, and generate money to support strong reporting.

Testing audience engagement tools

Bitch Media
Award Amount: $15,000

How a health fair raised revenue and grew audience

Connecticut Health Investigative Team
Award Amount: $20,000

Coming Soon
Symposium for NJ Cities

New Jersey Spotlight
Award Amount: $35,000

Coming Soon
Event series journalism

Carolina Public Press
Award Amount: $25,000

Training writers to cover their community

Seattle Globalist
Award Amount: $17,210

Coming Soon
Speakers Bureau events

The Lens
Award Amount: $7,500

Investigative film festival

100Reporters
Award Amount: $35,000

Coming Soon
FERN Talks & Eats

Food & Environment Reporting Network
Award Amount: $35,000