A resource for news innovators powered by American Press Institute
Complexity: Beginner
Article Complexity Bar Graph

Ask for more, more often for membership success

Updates from the News Revenue Hub show that member and donor-driven news organizations are missing money when they set low fundraising goals or restrict their communication with audiences about the necessity and purposes of their fundraising.

“The best predictor of membership loyalty is whether an organization has been talking to their audiences already about their need to raise money. If they’ve established that expectation in any way, although there are some anomalies, that is a great predictor,” said Mary Walter-Brown, CEO of the News Revenue Hub.

Current trends from Hub clients, whether news or journalism trade organizations, reveal a $12 per month average donation and a 20-month average giving period. Based on their work, they estimate each email address a news organization collects translates into $10 in donations.

Those numbers challenge the preconception that member and donor backed organizations can’t raise major money from their audiences.

The Hub’s research suggests that transparency and targeted fundraising communications make the difference. That’s because engaged audiences who know a news org needs financial support, and what that support will fund tend to come through when asked.