Indiegraf’s Guide to Revenue Campaign Best Practices

How to talk about money — and ask for it — with your audience.
Photo illustration of bills, credit card and a hand holding a stop watch. Revenue campaign best practices 2023.
Photo by Monstera Production on Pexels.

The clock is always ticking for small and independent publishers to raise enough money to reach long-term financial sustainability. Planning and executing a revenue campaign — or more likely, several per year — can be challenging and time-consuming, especially for teams without capacity. We’ve rounded up five resources from our archives to help set up your publication’s next revenue campaign for success.  

1. Tips & Tricks for Reader Revenue Campaigns

Not sure where to start when it comes to revenue campaigns? Start with expert advice and examples straight from the Indiegraf team and network of partner publishers. This article shares all the learnings, tips and tricks you’ll need on the not-so-delicate subject of asking for money.

2. Why you should talk money with your audience

Should we tell our readers what it actually costs to produce journalism? The Discourse’s Lauren Kaljur explores this complicated question with insights from independent publications like The Tyee and The Independent and how they’ve approached sharing finances with readers. If you’re grappling with these questions ahead of a revenue campaign, this article is a must-read. 

Tip: Supporters and donors like to know where their money is going, so it’s good to build your ask around a specific goal.

3. Let’s Talk About Audience Surveys

When planning a revenue campaign, surveying readers can provide valuable insights that could inform its messaging or focus. Surveys can help better serve your audience’s information needs and understand what your audience needs to support you in return. Plus, you can use this opportunity to collect positive testimonials that could help make the call-to-action that much more compelling. 

4. Mixtape Made With Love: Behind Tone Madison’s local music compilation campaign

In this case study, Tone Madison publisher Scott Gordon explains the creative strategy behind its end-of-year fundraising campaign in 2022. The publication released a digital album compilation featuring local musicians and generated $600 in less than a day. More than just a fun initiative, the campaign was also an exercise in community building that stems from the outlet’s unwavering coverage of the local arts and music scene. 

Peterborough Currents founding members campaign banner. Revenue campaign best practices 2023.

5. Here’s how Peterborough Currents raised $20,000 from readers

In another case study, we dive into exactly how the independent news outlet rallied supporters before they even had a website. Peterborough Currents tapped the help of Indie Audience to help create a strong launch strategy that raised more than $20,000 in just a few short weeks. We share the lessons from their successful Founding Member campaign in this article. 

Great journalism alone isn’t enough to grow your reader revenue. Making your first business hire can be intimidating, but it’s also critical to building a news business. Indie Audience strategists design and implement reader revenues campaigns. Book a meeting with us today and learn more about how we can help your publication on the path to sustainability. 


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