Investigative News Network gets IRS nonprofit status

Investigative News Network
The association, which aims to help nonprofit news sites collaborate and share resources, was approved as a 501(c)(3) organization Friday, 19 months after applying and “following numerous discussions with the IRS over INN’s mission and goals,” according to the group. “We hope the IRS will expedite the processing of applications from numerous nonprofit newsrooms that also have been waiting months, if not years,” said INN CEO Kevin Davis.

Among the sites still waiting to hear from the IRS: SF Public Press (applied in January 2010), The Lens (October 2010), San Diego Newsroom (January 2011) and Arlington Mercury (August 2011). The Chicago News Cooperative didn’t get approved before it ceased operations last month. Besides INN, the IRS recently has granted nonprofit status to two news outlets, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and Centro de Periodismo de Investigativo. SF Public Press’ Michael Stoll said the IRS employee handling his case told him that the application for INN was handled differently because it’s a nonprofit that serves other nonprofits, as opposed to a nonprofit that produces news. But Stoll is hopeful that he’ll hear from the IRS this spring.

Related: Passing the nonprofit test: A guide for nonprofit news outlets on how to get 501(c)(3) status (Nieman Journalism Lab) | Does the Texas Tribune’s nonprofit journalism hurt journalists? (Poynter) || Earlier: IRS delays make it hard for nonprofit news sites to build their businesses (Poynter)

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