Texas Tribune Raised Nearly $4 Million In 2009 But Can’t Rest


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

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