The Fund for Investigative Journalism

Supporting investigative reporting projects around the world

  • Next Application Deadline

    Monday Sept. 26, 2016 - 5pm Eastern Time
  • Newsroom

    FIJ Grantee from Kenya Reports on Investigative Reporters and Editors Conference

    July 13th, 2016


    It all began with a tweet from a lady working in an organization concerned about governance of water bodies such as rivers. On responding to the tweet, she informed me of the danger that was being posed to Lake Turkana in Kenya due to the construction of Gibe 111 dam in Ethiopia, urging me to follow up on the story. I went a notch higher and presented a proposal to the Fund for Investigative Journalism to investigate the story, which was accepted. It is because of this investigative series that highlighted the plight of Kenyans and even Ethiopians that I landed an opportunity to attend the Investigative Reporters and Editors conference in New Orleans in June 2017.

    It was a time for the crème de la crème in investigative reporting globally to converge in New Orleans to share their work and share ideas on how to make investigative reporting better. Sessions explored several themes ranging from data journalism, health reporting freelancing and business journalism. I was happy to be a panelist in the session on uncovering stories on the environmental beat, alongside other journalists from the Society for Environmental Journalists (SEJ). I was able to share my work in environmental reporting in Kenya with conference participants.

    My presentation focused on Gibe III dam in Ethiopia, its connection to Lake Turkana in the North of Kenya and the predicament facing residents who rely on the Lake for water for domestic purposes. The audience applauded the Turkana reporting for the series #Lake TurkanaUnder Siege, saying it was an important avenue for the vulnerable community to share their plight. Read the rest of this entry »

    “Writing That Makes a Difference”

    June 24th, 2016

    project_thrift_12 (1)Francesca Lyman’s investigation of a for-profit thrift store chain which does more than $1.2 billion in business a year, while masquerading as a charity, has won an Arlene Award for Writing that Makes a Difference. The award comes from the American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA), which honors outstanding nonfiction work produced on a freelance basis each year.

    The story was reported for InvestigateWest with support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism.

    ASJA is the professional association of independent nonfiction writers, founded in 1948, with more than 1200 members who have each met exacting standards of professional achievement.

    June 1st, 2016

    FIJ and Schuster Institute Launch Initiative
    for Diversity in Social Justice Investigative Reporting


    Without greater diversity in journalism, some very important stories are never pitched, some assignments never made, facts never gathered, and serious abuses of power never uncovered.

    Through a collaboration underwritten by a Ford Foundation grant, The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) and the Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University have joined forces to broaden opportunities for independent investigative reporting by women and journalists of color. Four independent, U.S.-based reporters with strong proposals to investigate significant systemic or social justice issues will be selected.

    The selected journalists will receive competitively awarded grants from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, which will provide up to $9,000 to pay the expenses of reporting a specific investigative story, covering costs such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals, and small stipends.

    Recipients will also be awarded Schuster Institute fellowships, which will give them access to paid research assistance, the extensive offerings of Brandeis University’s library and technology services, mentoring, editorial guidance, and opportunities for pro bono, media-related legal advice from a major New York firm. The Schuster Institute will help publicize the fellows’ work through press releases, social media and the Institute’s websites. As a fellow, they will join our “Newsroom Without Walls,” a community of Schuster Institute fellows and research scholars who regularly share ideas, advice and support. The fellowships do not require residency at Brandeis University and the fellows are not paid.

    The work must be completed within one year.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Investigative Grants Awarded

    May 3rd, 2016

    (Washington) – The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) has awarded $60,600 in grants to journalists working on 13 projects in the United States and around the world. Grants from FIJ help freelancers and reporters working for nonprofit news organizations cover expenses such as document retrieval, travel to develop and interview sources, and equipment rental fees.

    The grantees are: Read the rest of this entry »

    Investigative Reporting Grants: Application Deadline Approaching

    May 3rd, 2016

    (Washington) The Fund for Investigative Journalism is currently accepting applications for its Monday, May 16 (5 pm Eastern time) deadline. Applications are submitted online. The online form and instructions are available here: Apply for a Grant.  The deadline for the Fall grant cycle is September 26, 2016.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism makes grants to freelance and independent reporters who have ideas, sources, and tips, but need resources to pursue investigative stories. A typical grant is $5,000 and covers reporting costs such as travel and data retrieval; small stipends are also considered.

    Call 202-662-7564 or email email hidden; JavaScript is required with any questions.


    Park Foundation Supports Investigative Journalism

    April 1st, 2016

    (Washington) The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is proud to announce that it has received renewed funding from the Park Foundation, the Ithaca New York based foundation. The Park Foundation, a major supporter of public interest media,  environmental concerns, and other sustainability issues, has been an FIJ supporter since 2010.

    The Park Foundation awarded $50,000 which will allow FIJ to make eight competitively awarded grants and launch as many domestic investigations by independent investigative reporters during the coming year. The grants will be awarded during the course of three FIJ grant cycles starting in May and continuing through early 2017.

    During the past year, Park funding has been responsible for investigations by FIJ-supported journalists of immigration detention centers, failures of the criminal justice system, environmental hazards, and much more.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism, founded in 1969, makes grants to independent investigative journalists to cover the costs of reporting, such as document retrieval, travel to develop and interview sources, and rental fees for multi-media production equipment. A typical grant is $5,000.

    In 2015, FIJ grantees produced more than fifty investigative stories in the United States and around the world.

    FIJ relies on the support of individuals and foundations. Donations can be made online,, or by mail to the Fund for Investigative Journalism, 529 14th Street, NW, 13th floor, Washington DC 20045.


    $50,000 Grant to FIJ from craigslist Charitable Fund

    February 23rd, 2016

    (Washington) The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is pleased to announce it has received a $50,000 grant from the craigslist Charitable Fund.

    The charitable fund is financed by donations from Craigslist Inc., the online classified listings site founded by Craig Newmark in 1995.

    Based in San Francisco, the private foundation makes millions of dollars in grants each year to nonprofits active in areas such as environment, justice, non-violence, and journalism.

    The craigslist Charitable Fund has also contributed support to such venerable journalism organizations as ProPublica, the Sunlight Foundation, the Center for Investigative Reporting, and the Poynter Institute.

    The support received by FIJ was unsolicited and is unrestricted.

    “This gift is welcome support that helps us underwrite investigative journalism. Resources for such work are shrinking, while the need for sharp investigative reporting is only increasing. We are grateful for this recognition of our work in supporting talented, independent journalists,” said FIJ president Ricardo Sandoval-Palos.

    The Fund for Investigative Journalism, founded in 1969, makes grants to independent investigative journalists to cover the costs of reporting, such as document retrieval, travel to develop and interview sources, and rental fees for multi-media production equipment.

    In 2015, FIJ grantees produced more than fifty investigative stories in the United States and around the world.

    High-Impact Journalism

    December 30th, 2015

    FIJ Grant Recipients Continue Long Tradition of Uncovering Untold Stories

    The hundreds of journalists we’ve supported over the years have made a tremendous impact. But the most significant beneficiaries are the readers and communities who use the reports that grants from the Fund help produce to inform decisions, advance change, and support social progress.

    Beyond Seymour Hersh’s groundbreaking investigation of the My Lai massacre that marked one of the Fund’s first successes, projects we’ve supported deliver impact in communities across the country and around the world.

    In 2015, FIJ-sponsored reporters produced more than 50 investigative stories. We are proud of their work and the impact generated by recent stories.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Happy Holidays!

    December 7th, 2015

    Season’s greetings from the Fund for Investigative Journalism!

    During this holiday season, we at FIJ wish you joy and good health. As 2015 comes to a close, we hope you will reflect on all the good things that have transpired over the year.

    We at FIJ are especially grateful for the work done by investigative reporters across the country and the globe – dedicated watchdogs who have made our world a better place because of their reporting.

    Imagine a world without investigative journalists. Investigative reporting exposes wrongdoing, advances reform, enlightens and informs decisions. It also has the potential for changing lives.

    The sad news, of course, is that there are fewer people doing this kind of work because traditional newsrooms continue to reduce their commitment to investigative journalism.

    As a result, freelance reporters have had to fill the void – sometimes financing their projects out of their own pockets.

    donateThat is why we are so thankful for the generosity of our funders – and to friends and colleagues like you –who have contributed to FIJ over the past year. Because of you, FIJ in 2015 awarded 50 grants, averaging $4,400, to investigative reporters hailing from Brooklyn to Seattle, and from Mexico City to Ibadan, Nigeria.

    FIJ grant recipient Ana Arana used her award to help finance six months of reporting on the violence that has plagued Juarez, Mexico.

    Read the rest of this entry »

    Giving Thanks

    November 20th, 2015

    With gratitude for their advice, hard work, and financial backing, the board and staff of the Fund for Investigative Journalism would like to acknowledge the many individuals and organizations that have supported the work of investigative reporters throughout the year.

    Major Supporters:

    The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation

    The Reva & David Logan Foundation

    The Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation

    The Park Foundation

    The Green Park Foundation

    The Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation

    The Gannett Foundation

    The Nara Fund

    The Herb Block Foundation

    Connie Rydberg and Nirav Kapadia

    Shari and Charles Pfleeger

    Sally Collier and Bob Caiola


    David Biello

    Michael Beckel

    Rose Ciotta

    Marla Cone

    Dianna Hunt

    Chuck Lewis

    Ingrid Lobet

    Fiona Macleod

    Josh Meyer

    Deborah Nelson

    Ron Nixon

    Judy Pasternak

    Ricardo Sandoval Palos

    Michael Sorkin

    Steven Rich


    Catalogue for Philanthropy – Greater Washington

    Investigative Reporters and Editors

    Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University

    Society of Environmental Journalists


    Eric Fingerhut, Pro Bono Attorney, Dykema

    Leigh Riddick, Pro Bono Financial Advisor, Kogod School of Business, American University

    Bobby Caina Calvan

    Bridget Gallagher

    Bev Orr

    Thanks to all!