The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday Sept. 25, 2017 - 11:59 pm (Eastern)
  • Apply For a Grant

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism’s Board of Directors meets three times each year to consider grant applications for investigative projects.

    The deadline for the final round of 2017 applications is Monday, September 25, 2017, (11:59pm Eastern time.)

    Applications should be submitted through this portal:

    investigate.submittable.com. 

    Before you apply, be sure to obtain a “Letter of Commitment” from a news editor, pledging that news outlet will publish or air the story – as long as it meets the publication’s expectations and standards. This letter should not be thought of as an unqualified pledge. If the work is not satisfactory, the news outlet cannot be expected to publish it. FIJ needs this commitment before it makes a grant because it doesn’t have the capacity to help reporters place stories.

    The Board of Directors looks for:  stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing – such as corruption, malfeasance, or misuse of power – in the public and private sectors.

    The Fund encourages proposals written for ethnic media and submitted by journalists of color.

    The maximum grant is $10,000. Grants cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends, as part of the budget.

    It is Fund policy to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants, with the second half of the grant paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. Second half grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion.

    Application requirements include a proposal, resume, work sample, budget, and a letter of commitment from a news outlet pledging to run the story if it is completed as proposed and meets the news organization’s journalistic standards. All application documents must be written in English and budgets expressed in U.S. dollars.

    Guidelines for international reporting grants: To be considered, foreign-based story proposals must come from US-based reporters or have a strong US angle, involving American citizens, government, or business. All stories must be published in English.

    Budget guidelines: Your estimated budget must itemize expenses of reporting such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals, and small stipends. Be specific. Vague line items may be denied. Identify other sources of funding. If you are applying for a book grant, provide detail as to resources available from the publisher, and explain why a grant is needed.

    Disclaimer of Liability: The Fund for Investigative Journalism’s role in assisting journalists is limited to making grants. The Fund assumes no liability for the legal and/or safety risks undertaken by journalists in the course of their reporting.

    Mentors: FIJ now offers a competitive opportunity to be matched with a mentor. FIJ operates this program in partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists, with seed funding from the Scripps Howard Foundation. As part of the application form, we ask that you explain how a mentor can help you and whether you can commit to keep your mentor informed of your progress.  Mentors act as sounding boards, and work with grantees over the length of their projects. If you were previously awarded a grant and are seeking a mentor, please contact FIJ for information on how to apply.

    Questions: Executive Director Sandy Bergo welcomes questions about the application process and requirements by email, email hidden; JavaScript is required, or phone, 202-662-7564.

    Review: The Board of Directors reviews and votes on all eligible proposals. Approximately six weeks after the application deadline has passed, applicants will be notified by email of the board’s decision.

    Between grant cycles: Potential alternative funding sources are The George Polk Grants for Investigative Reporting, liu.edu/polk/grants, The Investigative Fund, http://www.theinvestigativefund.org/, the Pulitzer Center, http://pulitzercenter.org/, and The Society of Environmental Journalists, http://www.sej.org/initiatives/fej-program-guidelines. Contact each organization directly.

    -This page was updated 8-15-17.