Next deadlines: 9/9 for regular grants, 9/20 for seed grants

Call for Proposals: Regular grants Sept. 9, seed grants Sept. 16

The Fund for Investigative Journalism is accepting proposals for both regular grants (up to $10,000 for full investigative stories) and seed grants for early reporting (up to $2,500). Proposals for regular grants are due on Sept. 9 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern, and applications for seed grants are due on Sept. 20 at 11:59 p.m.

Application forms, instructions and an FAQ are online at Details on both grants are below.

Regular grants

The Fund provides grants of up to $10,000 for stories on any topic that break new ground and uncover wrongdoing in the public or private sectors. 

Grants are paid directly to freelance investigative reporters or media outlets for expenses related to investigations, including travel costs, records-related fees, document collection and analysis costs, reporters’ time and other expenses. Grants can be used for print or online articles, television or radio stories, books, podcasts and documentaries.

To be eligible, applicants must have a letter from an outlet committing to run the story. Journalists submit a proposal explaining why the story is investigative, sharing initial findings and outlining the investigative plan. The application also includes a budget explaining what expenses the grant would cover.   

Seed grants

The Fund provides grants of up to $2,500 for initial reporting and research that can help flesh out and define investigative stories. The grants are primarily for freelance journalists, and they can be used to cover open-records fees, travel, research, the reporter’s time and other expenses.

Journalists do not need a commit to publish. These grants are intended to help yield initial findings that reporter can use to secure a commitment to publish and apply for a full grant from the Fund or other sources. Journalists submit a shorter narrative explaining the investigative story idea and what expenses the grant would cover.

The Fund’s Board of Directors, all accomplished journalists, reviews grant proposals and decides which to approve. Applicants will be notified of decisions in mid-November. For regular grants, journalists receive half of the total grant at the outset and the other half upon publication. Seed grants are paid in full at the outset.