OVERVIEW: The Fund for Investigative Journalism prioritizes groundbreaking stories that expose wrongdoings such as corruption, malfeasance, and misuse of power.
IP TAKE: This funder is approachable and accepts grant applications three times per year. Potential grantees should be aware that grants from the fund are rather modest, so this may not be a good resource for those undertaking costly projects.
PROFILE: The Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) was founded in 1969 by the late Philip M. Stern, a “public-spirited philanthropist who devoted his life to ‘balancing the scales of justice.’” It seeks to help “to finance exposes of harmful and wrongful conduct, such as corruption at all levels of government; corporate, governmental and press nonfeasance, misfeasance and malfeasance; abuses of civil and human rights and of the environment; unsafe medical technologies; and improper donor influence on research in academe.” The fund awards grants to authors, freelance reporters, and small publications that produce groundbreaking stories to expose transgressions or wrongdoing such as corruption, malfeasance or misuse of power.
Grants average $5,000 with the first half paid out upon approval and the second half paid out according to the original proposal. FIJ warns that second-half payouts are not guaranteed if the projects are not completed in a timely matter. The fund has also partnered with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists to offer mentors who work with grantees over the length of their projects.
Foreign-oriented proposals are accepted, but those stories must come from U.S.-based journalists or have a “U.S. angle involving American citizens, government, or business.” In addition to its grantmaking, the fund also considers small stipend requests from its grantees.
To learn more about the type of work supported by FIJ, explore its Grantees page.
The FIJ board meets three times per year to consider grant applications. While submission deadlines are subject to change, they typically fall in March, May, and September of each year.
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