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Thank you for your interest in applying for a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism. The Fund provides grants to 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.  Below is an overview of the grant application. You can also watch this short video about what to include in the grant application. Basic information and requirements 

  • Grants average $5,000 but can be as high as $10,000. They cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends.
  • The first half of the grant is paid when the proposal is approved and the second half is paid when the story is published.
  • 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. 

Key information to include in the proposal  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:  

  1. 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.)
  2. What is your investigative plan? (Share your general roadmap for tracking down information, including public records, other documents, interviews and your own observations.)
  3. 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.)
  4. Why are you 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.) 

Budget guidelines 

  • Your estimated budget should itemize expenses of reporting such as travel, document fees, equipment rentals (not purchase) and small stipends. The budget should be specific and detailed. 
  • Grants will not cover expenses such as office space rental, office supplies and equipment purchase.
  • Your budget should also identify other sources of funding, if applicable. If you are applying for a book grant, provide detail about resources available from the publisher, and explain why a grant is needed. 

Application Please follow the prompts below to apply. If you have questions or need help completing an application, email grants@fij.org and you will receive a response within one business day.

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