Fund for Investigative Journalism Launches New Grant Initiatives to Help Reporters Increase Impact

Fund will provide expedited review for urgent stories on any topic and follow-up grants after initial investigations run

WASHINGTON, DC, February 11, 2021 – To help investigative journalists increase the impact of their reporting, the Fund for Investigative Journalism announced today that it is launching two new grantmaking initiatives: expedited grants for urgent stories and follow-up grants for timely stories after initial investigations. Both new types of grants are available starting today. 

With this expansion, grants for journalists and media outlets are available in three ways:

  • Regular grants, up to $10,000, for investigative stories on any topic. Applications are reviewed quarterly. The next deadline is May 3, and applicants will receive a grant decision in mid-June. 
  • Expedited grants for investigative stories on any topic that are extremely urgent – those where the topic needs critically urgent attention from the public and waiting for the regular grant cycle would either harm the public if the story is not told sooner or render the story moot if it had to wait. Requests for expedited review are processed as they are received and applicants who receive expedited review will receive a grant decision within about two weeks. 
  • Expedited follow-up grants, up to $2,500, for time-sensitive follow-ups to initial investigations that were produced with grants from the Fund. These grants are available to current grantees. They are reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants will receive a grant decision within about two weeks.  

Since last year, the Fund has operated emergency grant programs for investigative coverage related to the COVID-19 pandemic and police practices. Those have been integrated into the expedited grant process, which provides rapid support for stories on any topic. 

“While most proposals will still be reviewed through the regular process, we’ve shown over the last year that investigative journalism related to urgent news can have a big impact when reporters get grants quickly,” said Eric Ferrero, Executive Director of the Fund for Investigative Journalism. “Throughout our 51-year history, the Fund has evolved to help journalists make an impact. That’s more important than ever, which is why we’re opening up more ways for reporters to get grants, when and how they need them.”

All grants are available using one online application form, which has options to request expedited review or follow-up grants. At noon Eastern for the next three Fridays, February 12, 19 and 26, the Fund will hold live webinars with question-and-answer sessions about the new grant initiatives and how to apply for grants. No registration is required for those sessions, and anyone can join directly via Zoom.

In addition to grants, the Fund provides a growing range of other support to grantees, including editorial mentorship, legal assistance (through a partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press) and skills training. 

The Fund’s Board of Directors, all highly accomplished journalists, reviews every eligible grant proposal and decides which ones to support. In 2020, the Fund provided support to more journalists than at any point in its history. View an index of stories published with the Fund’s support over the last 12 months and see highlights of the impact of stories supported by the Fund.