October 5, 2021

The newsroom part of building a newsroom isn’t usually the problem for new publications. Many start with an audience in mind, a mission and a few journalists.

The trouble often comes with technology and funding.

On Tuesday, News Revenue Hub and Google News Initiative announced a new, open-source product to help newsrooms with technology that makes it easier to get funding. It’s called News Revenue Engine, and it will be released early next year.

According to a blog post from News Revenue Hub vice president of technology Daniel Craigmile, News Revenue Engine will do the following:

– The platform will integrate Stripe and Mailchimp, giving newsrooms sophisticated tools to raise revenue and sync data with email marketing systems, to set up automated campaigns and split audiences into different groups for targeted appeals.

– It will also integrate with Salesforce, but this will not be required.

– It will provide more payment options through integrations with Google Pay, Apple Pay, Microsoft Pay and Automated Clearing House (ACH)/direct debit.

– It will delegate more control to membership managers so they can create fundraising pages, view reports against Hub client benchmarks and manage payments.

– Contributors will have the ability to manage payments, generate tax receipts, and more. It will also streamline the onboarding process for Hub clients, allowing them to spin up and start raising money within days

– The News Revenue Engine will support internationalization, making it easier for contributors to see fundraising pages in their native languages.

– Data portability: organizations who use the News Revenue Engine will own their data and have the right to transfer it to other services.

Starting in mid-October, 11 newsrooms will take part in a pilot with News Revenue Engine. They are: Canopy Atlanta, Capital B, Detourx Detroit, El Paso Matters, El Timpano, Fostering Media Connection, India Currents, Outlier Media, Southerly, The Current and The Objective.

News Revenue Hub, a nonprofit that’s working to help newsrooms become financially stable, has worked with more than 70 newsrooms since 2016, crowdfunding more than $42 million. According to Craigmile’s post, “last year, Hub newsrooms averaged a 55% increase in member revenue and a 23% increase in email subscribers.” Local newsrooms, both for-profit and nonprofit, are increasingly turning to philanthropy as growing a revenue stream.

“One of the key reasons the Hub is building the News Revenue Engine is to cover more newsrooms, especially those serving communities of color and those in the early stages of development,” Craigmile wrote. “The Hub’s most diverse class yet, the News Revenue Engine pilot includes 45% Black, Indigenous, and People of Color-led organizations; 45% that serve BIPOC audiences; and 63% are startups that have been in business for five years or less.”


Editor’s note: Due to an error in the press release, a previous version of this story contained the wrong link to The Current. It has been corrected.

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Kristen Hare teaches local journalists the critical skills they need to serve and cover their communities as Poynter's local news faculty member. Before joining faculty…
Kristen Hare

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