Getting a Grant: How, Where and Why to Apply for Journalism Funding

Over the past decade, donors and foundations have awarded an estimated $300 million to hundreds of U.S. journalists and media organizations. Those donations have tripled over the years: There’s a growing recognition of the need to support local and regional news in particular, as more newsrooms shrink or disappear. 

But few journalists feel equipped or comfortable dealing with funders and grant applications — it’s just one of those lessons not taught or even mentioned in journalism schools.

Recognizing that deficit, along with the increasing urgency for financial support, The News & Observer (a McClatchy newsroom in Raleigh, N.C.) has developed guidelines for seeking funds — and a “living” directory of journalism grants.

The project was part of The News & Observer’s participation in Table Stakes, a Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund program that guides teams of journalists through newsroom challenges. The News & Observer team developed these tools to help their newsroom and others, including News Media Alliance members, navigate the world of philanthropic funding.

Click the buttons below to be taken to the Grants Directory and Guidebook (both are Google docs).

If you have any questions or would like more information about the grants directory and/or guidebook, please email

Grants Directory

The grants directory, compiled with the help of UNC-Chapel Hill journalism student Elizabeth Thompson, is continuously updated, so check back regularly for updates. Funders and journalists can suggest changes and new opportunities.

Here’s more information about how to use the grants directory.  

Tip: Click the tabs at the bottom of the sheet to view the list of grants organized by type of grant.

Guidebook: Getting grants to fund your journalism.

The guidebook is a resource for journalists who want step-by-step instructions and tips on obtaining financial help for media projects, programs and training.


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