Fund for Investigative Journalism Accepting Proposals for Investigative Stories Grants

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Eric Ferrero
Executive Director,Fund for Investigative Journalism. 

The Fund for Investigative Journalism is accepting proposals for grants to cover the expenses of investigative stories that break new ground and uncover wrongdoing in the public or private sectors.

The FIJ provides grants and other support for reporters to produce high-quality, unbiased, nonpartisan investigative stories that have an impact. Freelance journalists, staff reporters and media outlets are eligible for grants, and their investigations can be for print, online or broadcast stories, books, documentaries or podcasts.

FIJ provides four types of grants:

  • Regular grants: for grants up to $10,000, reviewed three to four times a year. The next deadline is, September 7, 2022;
  • Expedited grants: reviewed on a rolling basis and applicants receive a decision within about two weeks. In rare cases, FIJ provides expedited review for proposals that are extremely urgent and cannot wait for the regular review cycle.
  • Follow-up grants: FIJ accepts proposals for timely follow-up coverage to original investigations that were produced with grants from the Fund. Grantees can apply for expedited review for follow-up grants up to $2,500.
  • Emergency Grants: Threats to Democracy in the U.S.: These grants are for stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing related to threats to democracy in the U.S. for up to $10,000. FIJ will review proposals on a rolling basis. Grant decisions can be expected within 2-4 weeks of submission of application.

Journalists whose proposals are accepted will be notified (and receive first payment) in October.

Interested journalists are advised to register for the FIJ 30-minute webinar on August 12, at 11:30 a.m. Eastern to learn more about how to apply for a grant; visit the online application portal: https://investigate.submittable.com/submit; view a short video with proposal tips from a past grantee and a member of the Fund’s board: http://fij.org/how-to-get-a-grant-webinar/; read answers to frequently asked questions about grant applications: http://fij.org/grants-faq/; learn more about how to request mentorship in the application process from a past grantee: http://fij.org/new-past-grantees-provide-peer-mentorship-in-applications-process/; or email grants@fij.org for more information.

The grant application must include the following components:

  • Brief summary (100 words or less)
  • Full proposal (1,000 words or less) that explains what makes this an investigative journalism project, what the applicant’s investigative plan is, what the story will uncover that’s new, and why the applicant is uniquely suited to do the story
  • Budget for the project
  • Resume and references
  • Letter of commitment from a media outlet to publish the story

The Fund’s Board of Directors, all of whom are accomplished journalists, reviews grant proposals and decides which ones to approve. Journalists who receive grants are also eligible for other support, including editorial mentorship, free legal help and training.

For an index of stories published over the last year with support from the Fund for Investigative Journalism, go to: https://fij.org/index-of-grantees-stories/. For highlights of the impact of stories supported by the Fund, go to: http://fij.org/impact/.

Deadline for submission of proposals is September 7, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern.