Fund for Investigative Journalism Calls for Grants Application

Sandy Bergo  Executive Director  Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ)
Sandy Bergo
Executive Director Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ)

The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) is calling for applications from  interested persons for grants and fellowships for investigative projects. The FIJ offers special grants under a variety of schemes.

FIJ offers a competitive opportunity that is matched with a mentor. This is done in partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists, with seed funding from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

This call is looking for stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing, such as corruption, malfeasance, or misuse of power in the public and private sectors. It encourages proposals written for ethnic media and submitted by journalists of color. As part of the application form, participants will be asked to explain how a mentor can assist them and whether they can commit to keep their mentor informed of their progress.

FIJ gives maximum grant of $10,000, which covers 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. However, its policy is to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants. The second half of the grant is paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. Second half grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion.

Before applying for the grant, each participant must obtain a “Letter of Commitment” from a news editor who can pledge in writing that the news outlet will publish or air the specific story proposed but must meets the publication’s expectations and standards. The letter must be written on letterhead that includes contact information for the news outlet and the individual signing it. In addition, FIJ needs this commitment before it makes a grant because it does not have the capacity to help reporters place stories.

Applications must include a proposal, resume, work samples and a budget. All application documents must be written in English and budgets expressed in U.S. dollars.

To be considered a foreign-based story, proposals must come from US-based reporters or have a strong US angle, involving American citizens, government or business. All stories must be published in English and have a media outlet in the United States.

Board of Directors meets thrice in a year to consider applications.  The deadline for this call is Monday, Sept. 24, 2018 at 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time and 8:59 p.m. for U.S. West Coast. All eligible proposals are reviewed and voted approximately six weeks after the application deadline has passed,  and applicants will be notified by email of the board’s decision.

For more information, please check this link or contact: Executive Director Sandy Bergo and Director of Operations Bobby Calvan by email,, or phone, 202-662-7564.