Fund for Investigative Journalism Announces Partnership With Ida B. Wells Society

WASHINGTON, D.C. November 16, 2020 – The Fund for Investigative Journalism today announced that it is partnering with Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. The Ida B. Wells Society For Investigative Reporting is a news trade organization dedicated to increasing and retaining reporters and editors of color in the field of investigative reporting.

Under the partnership, three of the Fund’s emergency rolling grants will be designated for Ida B. Wells Society members, who will also be able to get coaching and feedback on their proposals before applying. The Fund’s emergency rolling grant programs are for investigative reporting related to the COVID-19 pandemic or police misconduct. The grants are up to $10,000 and cover the expenses of investigative reporting, which can include travel, research or technical assistance, open-records fees, small stipends for freelance journalists’ time and other costs.

In addition to grants, the Fund for Investigative Journalism will provide Ida B. Wells Society members with the opportunity to pitch Board members their proposals and get coaching on feedback before applying. If their applications are accepted, they will also be able to request editorial mentorship from seasoned reporters who work with the Fund, and legal assistance through the Fund’s partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

To be considered, Ida B. Wells Society members should confirm their membership in Ida B. Wells Society when submitting applications.

Following are the criteria for grants:

  • Grants are for investigative stories – those that break new ground and uncover wrongdoing, injustice or malfeasance related to the COVID-19 pandemic or police misconduct.
  • Grants are for U.S.-based freelance reporters or stories with strong U.S. angles. All stories must run in U.S. media outlets, in English.
  • Applicants must have a commitment from a media outlet to publish the story.


The application for the grants is online. Click to apply. Emergency rolling grant applications are reviewed as they’re received, and applicants receive a decision within about two weeks. The first half of the grants will be paid at time of acceptance, and the second half will be paid when stories are published or aired.

Applications should include a short (100-word) summary of the proposed project, fuller proposal (up to 1,000 words) explaining what makes it an investigative story and how the applicant plans to report the story, budget, letter of commitment from a media outlet, resume, clips and references. The Fund’s Board of Directors will review applications and vote on which to approve.

Journalists who have questions or need assistance in the application process can email [email protected] for a response within one business day.