The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is seeking applications for its Grant Program to support journalists for investigative stories that break new ground – which means they uncover wrongdoing in the public and private sectors and reveal information that was previously unknown or hidden.
The Fund for Investigative Journalism was founded in 1969 by the late Philip M. Stern, a public-spirited philanthropist who devoted his life “to balancing the scales of justice,” in the words of a friend. Stern was convinced small amounts of money invested in the work of determined journalists would yield enormous results in the fight against racism, poverty, corporate greed and governmental corruption.
The maximum grant is $10,000. Grants cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends, as part of the budget.
The Fund’s Board of Directors reviews every grant application carefully and votes on which to approve. The narrative proposal in the grant application should answer four key questions clearly and directly:
What makes this an investigative journalism project? (Explain what wrongdoing it would uncover in the public or private sector that has been previously hidden or unknown.)
What is your investigative plan? (Share your general roadmap for tracking down information, including public records, other documents, interviews, and your own observations.)
What will you uncover that’s new? (Distinguish what new information your investigation would uncover or expose, as opposed to what information you’ll report on that’s already public.)
Why you are uniquely suited to do this? (Share any experience you have covering the relevant field or issues, or what background you have that qualifies you for this investigative journalism project.)
While most applicants are freelancers, all journalists can apply for grants. The Fund encourages proposals written for ethnic media as well as those submitted by journalists of color.
The Fund provides grants for print and online articles, television and radio stories, documentaries, podcasts, and books.
To be considered, foreign-based story proposals must come from US-based reporters, have a strong US angle involving American citizens, government, or business, and must be published in English, in a media outlet in the United States.
Applications must include a brief summary (100 words or less), proposal (1,000 words or less), budget, resume, clips, references, and letter of commitment from a media outlet to publish the story.
For more information, visit http://fij.org/apply-for-a-grant/