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Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ) Grant

Grants to USA Journalists for Expenses
Associated with Investigative Reporting

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Fund for Investigative Journalism (FIJ)

Deadline Date:

09/23/19 U.S. Eastern Time, or 8:59 PM on the U.S. West Coast.


Request a Grant Writer

Grants of up to $10,000 to USA journalists to cover costs incurred while investigating and writing groundbreaking stories. Funding is intended to cover expenses such as equipment rental, document collection, and travel. Requests for small stipends will also be considered.

The FIJ Board of Directors looks for stories that break new ground and expose wrongdoing, such as corruption, malfeasance, or abuse of power in the public and private sectors.

FIJ encourages proposals written for ethnic media as well as those submitted by journalists of color.

FIJ now offers a competitive opportunity to be matched with a mentor. FIJ operates this program in partnership with Investigative Reporters and Editors and the Society of Environmental Journalists, with seed funding from the Scripps Howard Foundation.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 178022

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants average $5,000 but can be as high as $10,000.

Term of Contract:

The project deadline is one year from grant notification.

It is Fund policy to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants, with the second half of the grant 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.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

FIJ grants are intended to fund American reporters and American investigative reporting.

To be considered, 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.

FIJ cannot help you rent office space, purchase office supplies, or buy equipment. However, FIJ will cover the cost of equipment rental. FIJ also will not cover budgets that are submitted without itemized details.

Pre-Application Information:

Applications are taken 3 to 4 times a year. The next application deadline is Monday, Sept. 23, 2019. All application deadlines are set at 11:59 PM U.S. Eastern Time, or 8:59 PM on the U.S. West Coast.

The Board of Directors reviews and votes on all eligible proposals. Approximately six weeks after the application deadline has passed, applicants will be notified by email of the board’s decision.

Before applying, be sure to 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 you propose – as long as it meets the publication’s expectations and standards.

This letter should not be thought of as an unqualified pledge. If the work is not satisfactory, the news outlet cannot be expected to publish it. FIJ needs this commitment before it makes a grant because it doesn’t have the capacity to help reporters place stories. The letter must be written on letterhead that includes contact information for the news outlet and the individual signing it.

If you are book author applying for a grant, a signed book contract from a publisher serves as the commitment.

The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press is offering free pre-publication vetting of stories. You will be asked on the application form if you would like to apply for the pro-bono service. Keep in mind that only a limited number of FIJ grant recipients will be selected to participate.

Previous grantees may apply however if a grantee has received several grants over the years, the board may take a pass on future applications.


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Online application portal:

Sandy Bergo, Executive Director

The Fund for Investigative Journalism
529 14th Street NW
13th Floor, Washington, DC 20045

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming