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NewsMatch 2019 Lightning Talks

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INN Days 2019 Presentation:
Lightning Talks: Because of NewsMatch...!
INN members have been fundraising with NewsMatch since 2016. Hear what organizations that have been participating in the campaign for two or three years have learned and the tips they have for new and returning participants.

Published in: News & Politics
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NewsMatch 2019 Lightning Talks

  1. 1. NewsMatch 2019: The Local Perspective
  2. 2. Teresa Martin Lower Cape TV Joe Livernois Voices of Monterey Bay Alice Dreger East Lansing Info Asraa Mustufa The Chicago Reporter Laurie Milford High Country News
  3. 3. The Local Perspective: Voices of Monterey Bay
  4. 4. NewsMatch is Our Friend
  5. 5. Covering Monterey & Santa Cruz Counties Established Nov. 2017 Mission: To cast light on the important issues that shape Monterey Bay with engaging news and investigation delivered from multiple platforms. To bridge cultural, linguistic and socioeconomic gaps through investigative reporting and engaging and nuanced storytelling.
  6. 6. The Pop-Up Kickoffs Free Mexican buffet and entertainment at the Haute Enchilada Social Club on Nov. 16, 2017. Nearly 70 people and nearly $2,500 raised (before match). Second annual NewsMatch Kickoff, again with Mexican buffet and entertainment at the Haute Enchilada, on Nov. 1, 2018. About 80 people and about $1,500 raised.
  7. 7. Revenues NewsMatch 2017: $18,301 NewsMatch 2018: $22,184 2018 Bonus: $2,500 Ineligible or late: $2,200 _______ Total $85,660
  8. 8. Opportunities ❏ Pay freelancers ❏ Stipends for editors ❏ Grant/Donor Coordinator ❏ Social Media Specialist Challenges ❏ Members? Yay or nay? ❏ 501 c3 ❏ Sustaining other donor drives
  9. 9. The Local Perspective: High Country News
  10. 10. The Local Perspective: Chicago Reporter
  11. 11. ● ● ●
  12. 12. ● do a lot with a little ● target different types of donors ● Templates ● Focus on email
  13. 13. ● creative process ● get to know our audience deepen the relationship ● they don’t know to give What we learned
  14. 14. What’s next? ● a mindset a year-round effort ● get to know your team and learn about your goals, strategy and operations ● experiment ahead of NewsMatch 2019
  15. 15. The Local Perspective: East Lansing Info
  16. 16. We bring East Lansing the news.
  17. 17. ELi basics: • 501c3 founded in 2014 • Focused on East Lansing (pop 50K) • Strictly nonpartisan: & factual • “News brigade” –> Modeled on David Carr’s conception of local citizen journalism • We do grassroots media literacy by engaging our audience in news production
  18. 18. ELi’s NewsMatch stats: • NewsMatch virgin in 2018 • $15,000 local match (raised in Oct.) • Raised $53,130 during NewsMatch • +$25,000 from NewsMatch • +$5,000 in NewsMatch bonuses • 567 total donations • 401 unique donors • 112 first-time donors
  19. 19. ELi is a local news brigade.
  20. 20. ELi is a local news brigade. Demand that we recognized: • Meaningful info for voters • Government transparency • Public schools transparency • Means of local info transfer without opinion and endless argument • Investigative news service
  21. 21. ELi is a local news brigade. Supply in response to demand: • To date, 140 citizen reporters (some volunteer, some paid) • Steady team of about 12 of us (with 1 FT) • Steady, meaningful news • “Ask ELi” investigations • Run on less than $100K/year, donated by readers
  22. 22. Before NewsMatch launch: • Focused constantly on transparency for readers/donors • Obtained $15K in commitments from core donors
  23. 23. Before NewsMatch launch: • Focused constantly on transparency for readers/donors • Obtained $15K in commitments from local donors (enabling us to have $40K in match dollars) • Tried to figure out how to explain this blended match (thanks, Jason!)
  24. 24. Before NewsMatch launch: • Focused constantly on transparency for readers/donors • Obtained $15K in commitments from local donors (enabling us to have $40K in match dollars) • Tried to figure out how to explain this blended match (thanks, Jason!) • Worried. A lot.
  25. 25. During NewsMatch: • Reported repeatedly on progress
  26. 26. During NewsMatch: • Reported repeatedly on progress • Made videos explaining what we do, where your money goes
  27. 27. During NewsMatch: • Reported repeatedly on progress • Made videos explaining what we do, where your money goes • Struggled mightily with data
  28. 28. During NewsMatch: • Reported repeatedly on progress • Made videos explaining what we do, where your money goes • Struggled mightily with data • I personally hit up everyone without a CoI. Repeatedly. And asked reporters to do the same.
  29. 29. During NewsMatch: • Reported repeatedly on progress • Made video explaining what we do, where your money goes • Struggled mightily with data • I personally hit up everyone without a CoI. Repeatedly. And asked reporters to do the same. • Kept troops’ spirits up! (Events!)
  30. 30. Post-NewsMatch:
  31. 31. Post-NewsMatch: • Thanked everybody!
  32. 32. Post-NewsMatch: • Thanked everybody! • Slept for 3 days.
  33. 33. Post-NewsMatch: • Thanked everybody! • Slept for 3 days. • Struggled with data.
  34. 34. Post-NewsMatch: • Thanked everybody! • Slept for 3 days. • Struggled with data. • Now working on continuing to engage, engage, engage
  35. 35. Post-NewsMatch: • Thanked everybody! • Slept for 3 days. • Struggled with data. • Now working on continuing to engage, engage, engage • Using every struggle as an opportunity for fundraising education.
  36. 36. Thank you! EastLansingInfo.org We bring East Lansing the news. (And teach why high-quality non-partisan journalism matters…and requires money!)
  37. 37. The Local Perspective: Lower Cape TV
  38. 38. Lower Cape TV & News Match: What We Learned Teresa Martin • 12 June 2019
  39. 39. Meet Lower Cape TV BECAUSE LOCAL MATTERS! Independent nonprofit Bringing local reporting & local voice To issues, events, & challenges of our rural coastal communities. Mobile and digital formats Allow our community to “be here from anywhere.” ARTS LIGHT
  40. 40. Lower Cape TV meets NewsMatch How did we do? We were newbies …. But we were no longer alone. Validation + context Match made a real difference Results: +80 new donors …. $XX,XXX
  41. 41. Lower Cape TV NewsMatch activities What did we do? Learned & took action …. Conf calls for structure Planned 12 weeks Dedicated a person List cleaning Direct email Direct snail mail Social Media Website Live Events Evaluated and adjusted … And accepted this all as a process! LEARN ACT EVALUATE ADJUST BE KIND!
  42. 42. NewsMatch lessons What did we learn? • One step at a time … Others might be ahead, but we need to focus on where we are • One step is better than 0 steps … We have to start, to DO. We’ll never be perfectly “ready” • Steps have stumbles … We make mistakes. Get over it. • Steps find unexpected paths … Postcard mailing didn’t bring $, but it did bring surge of app downloads.
  43. 43. NewsMatch followup • Prepare all year… Weekly meetings for focus, funding mix, list/Salesforce development • Join INN Major Gifts cohort to learn techniques … Learning more about “how” How have we changed? • Dedicate time/staff… Doesn’t happen ‘on the side,’ dedicated person, develop board “growth committee” • Continue message sharpening… Who we are, what we do, funding priorities, funding audiences, “sales” materials • Improve processes… Online giving, cash (!?!), social media giving, accounting integration, follow up and thank you, making this a seamless cycle
  44. 44. Lower Cape TV & News Match: Thank you! Teresa Martin • 12 June 2019 tmartin@lowercapetv.org
  45. 45. Q&A
  46. 46. NewsMatch 2019: Because of NewsMatch...!
  47. 47. Rígel Lugo Centro de Periodismo Investigativo Dena Drabek Oklahoma Watch Alison Go Chalkbeat Chelsey Tabakian Odom Center for Sustainable Journalism
  48. 48. Because of NewsMatch...! Oklahoma Watch
  49. 49. WHO WE ARE Statewide, Investigative Public-Policy Focused Established in 2010 Staff Size: 7
  50. 50. BECAUSE OF NEWSMATCH... 2018 $25,000 matched + $5,000 bonus 200 Donations 184 Unique donors 93 New Donors 2017 $21,287 matched 174 donations 151 unique donors 89 new donors 2016 $16,300 matched 89 donations 83 unique donors 52 new donors
  51. 51. HOW WE DO IT HOW WE DO IT ● Plan Ahead ● Political Donor Lists ● Community Influencer Lists ● Personal Phone Calls
  52. 52. WHAT WAS DIFFERENT ● Parental Leave ● Contract Help ● Reporter Appeals ● Shorter Campaign
  53. 53. OUR TAKEAWAY Build Relationships: Cultivate donors throughout the year, so they are primed to give during NewsMatch.
  54. 54. Because of NewsMatch...! Center for Sustainable Journalism
  55. 55. Total yield: $17,627.80 New Donors: 46 Total donors: 46 Total yield: $61,720 New donors: 153 Total donors: 179 250% 232% 290%
  56. 56. Lunch & Learn Series
  57. 57. Because of NewsMatch...! Centro de Periodismo Investigativo
  58. 58. • • • •
  59. 59. • • •
  60. 60. • • • • • • • • •
  61. 61. Because of NewsMatch...! Chalkbeat
  62. 62. People Love Deadlines Alison Go @alisonmaego Head of Growth at Chalkbeat
  63. 63. Hi. We’re Chalkbeat! By the numbers ● 500k unique readers ● 40k newsletter subscribers ● ~60 staffers, 40 reporters ● 7 bureaus + national desk ● $9m budget
  64. 64. Here’s what we did in 2018 ● Joined News Revenue Hub 👋, and launched a “membership” program ○ We’ve done small donor campaigns previously, but this is the first year with an official program ● On top of NewsMatch, received five other matches. In total: $47,300 ● Ran an eight-week campaign, starting Nov. 8 ○ Previously we started on Giving Tuesday ● Sent 16 emails (34 different versions!), plus three shoutouts via our daily newsletters. Our list size is 34k ● Created “Match Week” ○ We wanted to test to see if localizations made a difference. “Match Week” was a marketing term we made up to concentrate those localizations into a short period of time. ● Sweepstakes for tickets to To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway ● We offered sleek Chalkbeat water bottles to recurring high donors
  65. 65. Our stats Metric Number Goal/Benchmark Projected revenue raised $41k, $88.3k including matches $35k ($27k was 2017; assumed 30% increase) Number of donors 415 (1.2% cvr) 660 (2% cvr) Average donation amount $74 single / $132 m. recurring Percent recurring 37% Emails delivered 601k Includes newsletter shoutouts Projected revenue per email sent 6.8 cents 10.4 cents - public media; 4.2 cents - all nonprofits Unsubscribes 1% 1% is normal Email open rate 18.64% 16% nonprofit average; 19% education nonprofit Email CTR 1.24% .43% nonprofit avg Click to open rate 6.65% Unknown
  66. 66. Key takeaway 1: Think you’re sending too many emails? You’re probably not. Key takeaway 2: We love NewsMatch because we love that it helps create deadlines ● Deadlines for small donors ● But also deadlines for major donors
  67. 67. Deadlines = $$$, but deadlines also = 😰😰😰 Slope of anxiety 2015, 2016, 2017 2018
  68. 68. 2019 spring campaign: $8k raised, more than half on the last day 😰😰😰
  69. 69. What else did we learn? What worked ... What didn’t - Sending lots of emails - Urgency - Match Week - Swag (sorta) - Local customizations: The effort required to send unique emails was definitely not worth it - To Kill a Mockingbird sweepstakes (but we still believe in sweepstakes!) EMAIL PERFORMANCE “Philosophical” subject lines had the best open rates, but urgency messaging had the best click to open rates. Best-performing subject lines (open rate) ● Every child deserves a quality education (11/14) - 25.19% ● A world without Chalkbeat (11/20) - 23.35% ● Education is a public good (12/19) - 22.22% ● We tell the story of education in America (11/5) - 21.41% ● Ed nerds support other ed nerds (12/13) - 21. 24% Best performing email content (click to open rate) ● When every $1 turns into $4: Donate by midnight to multiply your impact (12/8) - 8.71% ● #GivingNewsDay: You give some, you get swag (11/27) - 8.16% ● Our partners will 4x your donation. (It's Match Week!) (12/4) - 8.08%
  70. 70. Here’s what we learned for next year ● Never miss an opportunity to talk to major donors ● The #1 focus is still the size of our email list; a perfectly executed campaign barely matters if our email list is small ● With time at a premium, we will make smarter trade offs next time: We choose more emails that are short and snappy vs. fewer emails that are perfectly and beautifully crafted. ● Don’t be shy asking for support. Do it often and do it clearly. ○ And don’t forget buttons. Show people where to click. ● No more local customizations, especially as we grow ● We want try sweepstakes again, but it can’t be geographically constrained
  71. 71. Thanks!
  72. 72. Q&A

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