Poynter's 2014 Tax Return Shows Record Teaching Income and Smaller Budget Gap

Institute on track for more gains in 2015

Nov 13, 2015, 15:15 ET from The Poynter Institute

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Nov. 13, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Poynter Institute, a global leader in journalism, reported sharply improved financial results for 2014 and said it anticipates even stronger gains for 2015.

The improving finances of Poynter are being fueled by rapid income growth for its educational programs and strategic cost reductions that put the institute on a path to long-term stability.

Taking into account one-time income from real estate sales, Poynter expects to report a surplus on its 2015 financial report. The 2015 tax filing, which occurs in the fall of 2016, will include income from the sale of an office building in Seminole, Florida and from some of its unused property adjacent to its St. Petersburg campus.

For the year ending Dec. 31, 2014, Poynter's budget gap was $2.2 million, down 35 percent from 2013. The institute showed record teaching income last year and reduced expenses. The detail of the 2014 results were included in Poynter's annual tax filing to the Internal Revenue Service today.

Poynter officials said revenue continues to rise significantly in all major categories this year, including training partnerships with major media organizations, foundation grants, advertising and individual contributions. As a result, Poynter's 2015 operating budget gap will shrink considerably again this year.

The fastest growing of Poynter's revenue categories is training partnerships. This year, Poynter has entered into partnerships to train journalists at some of the nation's largest media and technology companies, including Gannett, McClatchy, Google, The Associated Press, Univision and National Geographic. Poynter now has formed new or expanded corporate training partnerships with more than 20 major media and educational organizations.

Poynter also grew its international teaching work through partnerships with journalism organizations, foundation grants and government-funded training initiatives. Poynter has conducted in-person training so far this year with journalists from 126 countries. The institute was selected to provide training for all 100 journalists in the prestigious international Edward R. Murrow Program for Journalists, and it also was chosen to conduct media training for the Fulbright Scholars. Earlier this fall, Poynter became the home of the International Fact-Checking Network, a group of 75 organizations that fact-check the statements of public officials.

While bolstering its financial status in recent months, Poynter has made key investments in its future. It expects to unveil a redesign of Poynter.org early next year; a remake of its e-learning platform, News University, is underway and it made key strategic hires for its faculty and digital team.

When Tim Franklin assumed his role as Poynter's president last year, he announced a new strategic plan to position the Institute for future growth and sustainability.  The plan included more custom teaching beyond its St. Petersburg campus for media companies and universities, new initiatives for its e-learning site News University, an overhaul of its digital media content and greater use of its campus facilities.

"We still have much work to do, but we've built a lot of momentum in recent months that puts us on a course to long-term sustainability," said Poynter President Tim Franklin. "That's a tribute to the hard work and innovation of the Poynter faculty and staff, and the growing demand for the quality teaching that the institute provides during this time of historic transformation of the media industry."

Poynter launched this fall its first membership program, Poynter Prepared.  The institute began a speaker series with major national media figures that is increasing community engagement and financial support. And, it opened the Innovation Lab @Poynter, a suite of offices that now includes a number of digital startup firms.

"Poynter is transforming itself for the digital age, and its teaching programs are in high demand as news organizations adapt and change," Franklin said. "We've completely overhauled our teaching curriculum for 2016, adding new seminars and events while keeping some of our signature programs. And, we'll unveil a new look for our popular digital platforms in the coming weeks and months. All of these initiatives will help us to help journalists. And, ultimately, it is credible news and information that gives citizens the information they need in self-governing democracies."

Copies of the IRS Form 990 are available upon request by contacting tdyakon@poynter.org.

About The Poynter Institute The Poynter Institute for Media Studies is a global leader in journalism education and a strategy center that stands for uncompromising excellence in journalism, media and 21st century public discourse. Poynter faculty teach seminars and workshops at the Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., and at conferences and organizational sites around the world. Its e-learning division, News University, www.newsu.org, offers the world's largest online journalism curriculum in 7 languages, with more than 400 interactive courses and 330,000 registered users in more than 200 countries. The Institute's website, www.poynter.org, produces 24-hour coverage of news about media, ethics, technology, the business of news and the trends that currently define and redefine journalism news reporting. The world's top journalists and media innovators come to Poynter to learn and teach new generations of reporters, storytellers, media inventors, designers, visual journalists, documentarians and broadcast producers, and to build public awareness about journalism, media, the First Amendment and protected discourse that serves democracy and the public good.

Contact: Tina Dyakon
Director of Advertising and Marketing
The Poynter Institute

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