A little grist for the news fundraising data mill today as John Thornton, chairman and founder of the Texas Tribune provides some details on how the new non-profit is raising money beyond initial major funding. The nonprofit ended the year with nearly $4 million, exceeding its 2009 fundraising goal of $3.5 million. Where did the money come from?
— Major donations: Texas Tribune started with $1 million from Thornton, a general partner of Austin Ventures, and his wife, then added $1.1 million from foundations, plus $150,000 over three years from billionaire T. Boone Pickens and other sizeable gifts.
— Individuals: More than 1,500 individuals have contributed between $50 and $5,000 with an average gift of $98. (That works out to about $147,000.) That hasn’t budged very much since the non-profit news organization launched in Austin last November with 1,340 founding members and an average gift of $94.
— Corporations: The Tribune has 68 corporate sponsors, most at the $2,500 level before Tribune launched. Again, that suggests little has budged since the launch. The Tribune hopes to change that; Thornton writes that “in the coming months, we intend to become far more sophisticated in the way we market corporate sponsorships of both our site and our events series, TribLive.”
— Subscriptions: No new subscription numbers for the Texas Weekly, which had roughly 1,200 subs at $250 a year as of November. The Tribune‘s acquisition of the weekly not only brought in its editor Ross Ramsey, but helped the new outlet kick off with a subscription product. Another “very targeted subscription offering” in the early stages. Thornton: “We