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 final round of 2017 applications are due Monday, September 25, 2017, (11:59pm Eastern time.)

    Applications should be submitted through this portal: investigate.submittable.com once applications re-open (on or around July 1, 2017.) In the meantime, the most important document to be obtained to qualify for a grant is the “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. However, 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. Grants average $5,000 and cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends.

    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 US angle, involving American citizens, government, or business. All stories must be published in English – either by an English language publication or outlet, or by an outlet that has an affiliation with an English language site.

    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: In partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists, mentors are recruited for successful grantees, upon request. Mentors act as sounding boards, and work with grantees over the length of their projects. Mentoring grantees is an important part of the Fund’s program to support independent journalists.

    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 3-28-17.