Innovation Key to Funding Nonprofit News

By: Michael Depp | NetNewsCheck

Every Wednesday or Thursday morning, nearly 250 people get together for breakfast just down the street from the state capitol in Austin, Texas, at the invitation of the Texas Tribune. They come as part of an ongoing “Conversations” series put on by the nonprofit news site. The series features talks with many of the politicians, newsmakers and others covered in the Tribune’s stories.

“It has become almost essential for people to go to these breakfasts,” said Tanya Erlach, director of events for the Tribune, noting the networking among lobbyists, state representatives and staffers that has become de rigeur in Austin.

The “Conversations” are among 55 events put on by the Tribune each year. With an annual revenue goal of $600,000, they comprise 16% of the site’s operating budget. Erlach, who was hired away from The New Yorker, where she coordinated events, said that Tribune events are always a reflection of the site’s content, and that they generate revenue through sponsorships that are mirrored on the site.

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