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VTDigger: A case study in diversifying revenue

This case study outlines how a nonprofit news organization serving Vermont grew its audience, diversified its revenue base, and secured a game-changing financial investment with an entrepreneurial approach.

This case study outlines in tactical detail how the nonprofit VTDigger experiments with revenue streams and dramatically grew audience and revenue. The piece dives into how its grown to 300,000 monthly users, 19 full-time employees and annual revenue of about $1.5 million. The team experiments with everything from job postings to podcasts.

The “Entrepreneurial Spirit” and “Ideas You Can Steal” sections are particularly applicable to consumer revenue improvements.

Don’t buy into the notion that there’s an ideal number of revenue streams for news organizations. “There’s no limit on ideas here,” Galloway said. “If you told me tomorrow that there was some idea I’m missing, I’d latch onto it. Then I’d think, ‘what’s the ROI?’” The reality is that no two markets are the same; what works in one place for one site may or may not work for you. Be wary of silver bullets (they don’t exist) and instead constantly and continually experiment and test ideas to generate revenue. In other words “fail fast, fail cheap.”