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Sustainability Resources

DDJThe literature on successful management of nonprofits, fundraising, and revenue diversification for media organizations is growing quickly, along with the nonprofit media sector. Most of the available material, however, is U.S.-specific, with little focus on the many challenges outside the States. such as smaller and often government-controlled ad markets, weak incentives for donating, and different traditions of philanthropy.

GIJN is assembling a resource page of materials that can be readily adapted to diverse conditions around the world. Have an addition? Send it to us at Here’s our list so far:

GIJN’s Sustainability Survival Guide offers a wealth of tips on models of investigative journalism nonprofits, how to set up a nonprofit center, and diversify revenue.

Another GIJN resource page on fundraising gives tips on how to set up a development strategy, by fundraising ace Bridget Gallagher. See also veteran fundraiser Armando Zumaya’s post, Seven Ways Small and Medium Nonprofits Limit Their Fundraising.


Be sure to check out the Community Journalism Executive Training site by INN. U.S.-oriented, but useful resources on creating business plans, budgets, media kits, and more.

Financing Quality Journalism: Research into Existing and New Models to Finance Quality Journalism and Possible Strategies for Moving Forward, by Pieter Oostlander, Teun Gauter, and Sam Van Dyck (2015), includes an appendix of “52 ways to make money with quality journalism.”

Publishing for Peanuts: Innovation and the Journalism Start-Up is a 2015 report by a team at Columbia University. Commissioned by the Open Society Foundations, the study profiles 35 media outlets around the world and an “Innovation Index” of practices.

Global Investigative Journalism: Strategies for Support, by GIJN’s David E. Kaplan (2013), includes a survey and explanation of investigative journalism nonprofits worldwide, with profiles of successful organizations.

What do you think is the secret of a successful startup? captures short interviews with innovators from around the world at the Global Investigative Journalism Conference, 2015.

knightThe Knight Foundation has done a series of reports on nonprofit media development, with a good summary and survey here: How Nonprofit News Ventures Seek Sustainability. Again, U.S.-centric, but some useful lessons.

The Impact of Charity and Tax Law/Regulation
on Not-for-Profit News Organizations is a 121-page report that goes into detail on relevant laws in five countries: Australia, Canada, Ireland, United Kingdom, and United States.

In German, see Nonprofit Journalismus, a site by GIJN member Netzwerk Recherche, and the report Gemeinnütziger Journalismus weltweit.

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