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I was prepping for a case study interview with LION member Christiaan Mader this month when I noticed some fancy graphics in The Current’s citizen budget guide – and it turns out you can use them, too. 

The graphics are from DrawKit, which uses a pay-what-you-can model to make professional graphics available for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.

Here are a few of the illustration packs that you can get for free (or whatever you’re able to donate) and that might be especially useful in the coming months: 

Big thanks to Christiaan for sharing this tip! Now here are 18 other resources and opportunities to help you build a stronger, more sustainable news business.

Earn more revenue

  • Unlock your organization's subscription revenue potential. Sign up for Zephr's free mini-training series to access a series of short videos from industry experts and hear their tips on how to build a thriving subscription business. (Sponsored)
  • Give branded content a try. This four-week bootcamp will help you get started with branded content and find your first clients. (Week of August 29)
  • Get free marketing advice at this SCORE workshop where “no question is too basic and no question is too hard.” (September 6)
  • Make collaboration pay off. Read this new guide on how journalism collaboratives make money. 

Improve your business operations

  • Protect your business from hackers by learning these three lessons from an independent local publisher who was the target of a ransomware attack.
  • Find tools to improve your tech stack. The LION Tools & Services Directory is a compilation of the most popular tools we know about for accounting, publishing, analytics and more.

Increase your impact

Check out these grants, awards, fellowships, and conferences

  • Help your freelancers pursue more ambitious projects by telling them about this grant opportunity from Investigative Reporters & Editors. (Deadline: August 29)
  • Expand your newsroom’s visual journalism. CatchLight Local helps subsidize full-time visual journalists in California newsrooms for up to three years, and they’re now expanding to support more publishers. (Deadline: September 7)
  • Connect with other rural entrepreneurs at the Radically Rural summit in Keene, New Hampshire, and use the code JOURNALISM for $20 off your registration. (September 21-22)

Become a LION member

“While other associations have worthwhile benefits, LION provides exactly the right tools for our outlet and I am kicking myself for not joining sooner.” 

That’s what Auburn Examiner founder Elizabeth Miller says about her LION membership – and we’d love to show you why more than 400 independent publishers have joined her as members. 

Need more info? You can learn more about LION membership on our website, or by emailing with questions about how LION can support you.

– Ben DeJarnette, communications manager, and the LION team

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What we're reading

Sales pitch. Why there’s no escaping sales when you work in digital media, and how independent publishers can learn to embrace it. (The Rebooting)

Off the charts. How the reversal of Roe v. Wade has led to a spike in readership for publications aimed at women. (The New York Times)

Still ‘underserved.’ What researchers in Philadelphia learned about news deserts and the types of organizations that are (and aren’t) helping to address them. (RQ1)

Founder files. What a LION member has learned about launching and running a news business – and his advice for founders just getting started. (Indie Reporter)

Democracy debrief. What Margaret Sullivan sees political journalists doing right and wrong as she winds down her media column. (The Washington Post)

LIONs in the news

The Local News Initiative’s “State of Local News” report has some big LION energy this year, especially in the sections that look ahead to the future. 

  • AZ Luminaria, Benito Link, Block Club Chicago, Carolina Public Press and San José Spotlight are all featured as bright spots in the emerging digital news space.  
Kudos to all these newsrooms, and thanks to the Local News Initiative for featuring them!

In other LION member news...
  • The Kansas City Defender is featured in Nieman Lab for its work serving young Black audiences across the Midwest.

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