Grantmaking in journalism includes film, television, radio, audio, video, and the Internet—all of which include many sub-categories and subdivisions. This being the case, many grants and awards are commingled with other types of funding, so you have to be very sure about what you're seeking for your particular project. Many journalism grants are also issue-specific, as many of the organizations that fund journalism have clearly defined missions and agendas regarding what they fund.
We're keeping up with what journalism funders are doing in the field and everything we learn is contained in this guide, as well as IP's journalism news section. Profiles of all funders and program officers are regularly updated with new information, and we continue to add additional funders.
Alexia supports photojournalists whose work highlights social injustice and promotes cultural understanding.
The first rule of the Sloan Foundation’s media arts grantmaking is that your organization's work has to revolve around science. The second is that your work, whether in books, television, radio, theater, or other media, must explore and promote the how science affects everyday lives.
Media arts grants from Arthur Vining Davis focus on the use of public television programming as an educational tool. The foundation awards grants in all types of subject matter.
Supports journalism at the college level, but the foundation has said it intends to eliminate its journalism grants eventually, so check to see if awards are still available.
The philanthropic arm of the retail electronics giant funds programs that teach technology-based 21st-century skills to teens age 13 to 18. Its support for journalism emphasizes media production skills.
PCLB funds high-quality investigative journalism, professional training, and efforts to make new investigative data-gathering and distribution tools available to journalists.
The Digital Defenders Partnership only provides grants to journalists and bloggers who face an urgent digital emergency” due to their online activities.
Funder created for famed music publisher Max Dreyfus, who worked with American greats like George Gershwin and Cole Porter, provides smaller grants that make a big difference.
This foundation does not make grants to individual journalists and limits its grantmaking to journalism schools and organizations. The foundation likes to center its grantmaking on professional development, investigative journalism and youth education.
If you’re operating in a community that receives FirstEnergy services (and it’s a healthy list), the FirstEnergy Foundation is a supporter of established local media broadcast organizations.
With the motto of “helping stories take flight," the Fledgling Fund's aim is to help smaller films, documentary projects, and "creative media" projects get off the ground and stay aloft. Its goals are centered strictly around social issues like human rights and economic justice, and grants range from $300 to $50,000.
This foundation makes substantial investments in arts and culture, and puts journalism at the forefront of those pursuits. It supports a wide range of journalistic initiatives throughout the U.S. and beyond—but it does not accept unsolicited requests.
Ford tends to focus on projects that work toward the promotion of social justice and the exploration of social justice issues. Media-related programs within Ford’s Freedom of Expression Initiative include Justice and Media, Advancing Public Service Media and Advancing Media Rights and Access.
FIRE supports a range of journalistic projects, which includes print, photojournalism, radio, documentary film, and theater.
Free Press Unlimited supports journalists and media organizations facing attacks, persecution, threats, and harassment.
FIJ awards grants to journalists working to expose corruption, malfeasance and misuse of power.
This corporate funder supports journalism education and training programs, as well as programs to advance technology in the journalism industry. It prioritizes programs that include women, minorities, and college students in the field.
A bit outside the norm, Good Pitch invites filmmakers focused on social justice to pitch their films to a roundtable of like-minded peers. Projects are chosen to receive funding between $5,000 and $1 million.
ITVS likes to fund new programs for public and cable television as well as new media projects on the Internet. ITVS has a special place in its heart for programs that address the needs of underserved and underrepresented television and new media audiences.
This foundation supports health journalism but doesn’t accept unsolicited funding requests for grants. However, there are internships and fellowships available for journalists regarding training in health reporting.
IWMF awards grants to female journalists working in all media formats, including photography, film, and television.
One of the few major funders that supports journalism. Knight's interests include First Amendment rights and journalistic excellence in the digital age.
Awarding national and international grants, the MacArthur Foundation Media Program supports the production of news, documentaries (for television), radio and Internet journalism.
The McCormick Foundation’s Journalism program funds organizations that create and promote relevant, quality, free news content. The foundation also supports organizations working on freedom of the press issues. McCormick makes national grants, but prioritizes organizations located in Robert McCormick’s hometown of Chicago.
NIHCM funds healthcare journalism. Topics of interest include cost and quality of care, healthcare reform, coverage, Medicare and more.
Your organization may qualify for an Omidyar Network grant if your journalistic or media-related work falls into one of the network’s five grantmaking strategies—Consumer/Internet/Mobile, Entrepreneurship, Financial Inclusion, Governance and Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights.
The Open Society Foundations' journalism grantmaking covers issues like media access, freedom of information, health media and freedom in media.
The Park Foundation prioritizes investigative journalism, media policy, public broadcasting and documentary film.
Provides six-month and one-year grants to working print journalists pursuing investigative projects.
Pulitzer supports journalists working on important but underreported stories around the world.
The Rory Peck Trust awards grants to freelance newsgatherers around the world.
Scripps Howard is an approachable funder supporting multimedia education, First Amendment causes, controversial topics, research and career development.
What media artist, especially those working in film and documentaries, doesn’t want a little piece of that Sundance magic? Sundance offers fellowships as well as grants for short films, native films, film music and production.
Sunlight provides grants across the country to journalists and organizations making government more accountable and accessible. Has a big interest in technology and data solutions.
Tribeca is like Sundance’s twin sibling, and its grants are just as coveted by independent filmmakers the world over.
This funder gives out $50,000 grants directly to artistic creators each year. Notably, this organization often regards journalists as artists—a key factor is the creativity and platform with which a journalist reports.
Supports journalism and public media, with a focus on systemic initiatives that link journalistic resources.
Other Notable Funders
Some foundations, a few of them rather large, focus their media arts funding in specific areas of the country. Here are a few notable ones:
American Society of Journalists and Authors: Provides an emergency assistance fund for writers, as well as a number of awards.
Heinz Endowment – Supporting film and video documentary efforts in the greater Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and its surrounding cities.
International Women's Media Foundation: Offers an assortment of grants and awards to back women journalists around the world, including the Courage in Journalism Awards.
James Irvine Foundation: Awarding grants in California only, the James Irvine Foundation gives a few film grants for documentaries.
Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation: Awards $5,000 grants to short films and documentaries that highlight "pressing social issues" such as poverty, oppression, war, famine, and religious and political persecution.
Pulitzer Center: Provides grants to cover hard costs associated with upcoming travel for an international reporting project.
Surdna Foundation: Surdna offers film and video grants nationwide. The few Surdna film and video grant recipients are mid-sized to large organizations.
William and Flora Hewlett Foundation: The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation awards media arts grants to organizations within the San Francisco Bay area.