Where’s the Money? Funding Opportunities for News Ventures

Whether you are starting or running an existing news venture, finding funds to launch or sustain your operation is always top of mind. This week the Hub provides some grant-related resources, tips for searching for funds, and a list of some of the funding opportunities available for different kinds of news initiatives/ventures.

Tips to help find the money:
Finding the money for your news venture can be a lot of hard work. There are many ways to search for funds. The Hub has some additional tips from the usual searches to complement your existing grant-finding activities.

Search locally. When searching for grants for your news venture, don’t limit yourself to the national and international foundations. Check out the landscape locally in your city, state or region. You may be surprised to find that there are are several community or city-based foundations in your town that may be an option for funding your news venture.

Google Alerts. It’s hard to stay on top of the latest news in grants available and visit the relevant websites. Setting up Google alerts can help. Sign up with a Google account or use your existing account and set up specific keywords (e.g. grants, funds, etc.) in the system and you can receive alerts as it happens, daily or on a weekly basis. The alerts are sent to your email account.

Check out the Tweets. Many foundations now post news about their grants and their deadlines on Twitter. Consider following a variety of foundations as another way to stay updated on grant news. If you use a Twitter organization tool like Tweetdeck, you can have columns arranged for hashtags related to #foundations, #grants, #news ventures, etc. that you can follow daily. The hashtag may not result in the best results all the time, but you may find a gem from time to time in what is tweeted about an upcoming grant.

Online Tools. Nowadays, there are several online search tools to look for money or to get information on foundations giving money. Here are some places to check out:
Foundation Center
Grantmanship Center
Charity Navigator

Where’s the Money?
Here are some upcoming grant opportunities:

The McCormick New Media Women Entrepreneurs program
What: J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and the McCormick Foundation are seeking to fund four women-led projects that are related to the field of journalism in 2012. They are providing funds to help support women-led projects related to new web sites, mobile news services and other entrepreneurial initiatives.
When: Deadline to apply is January 27, 2012 ($25 fee to apply)
How much: Up to $14,000 will be awarded to the recipient
Details: http://www.newmediawomen.org/site/proposal_guidelines/

Knight News Challenge
What: The Knight Foundation hosts a Knight News Challenge contest that funds new innovative projects that help to digitally inform communities.
When: Deadline is seasonal. Check website for deadlines
How much: Amounts vary depending on the project proposed.
Details: http://knightfoundation.org/funding-initiatives/knight-news-challenge/

Google Grant
What: Google offers free AdWords advertising for nonprofits.
When: No deadline. Submit your organization at any time.
How much: The value of the advertising is dependent on the performance of the ads in the program. Some grantees can receive up to $10,000 worth of advertising monthly while others may only get $300 worth of advertising monthly.
Details: http://www.google.com/grants
For groups who exceed $9,500 worth of advertisting during any two months in the past year, nonprofits can apply for enrollment in the Grantspro program and receive advertisting worth up to $40,000 a month.

Idea Grants
What: National Association of Science Writers welcomes proposals for projects related to science writing.
When: No deadline. Open to submit a grant proposal any time.
How much: Awards range from $1,000 to $50,000
Details: https://www.nasw.org/idea-grants-funding-individual-or-group-projects

Arca Foundation
What: Arca Foundation is accepting grant proposals for projects that “engage citizens in the promotion of greater corporate accountability, and that work to build a movement to advance a more just economy and Democracy.”
When: February 1, 2012 deadline.
How much: Average grant awarded is $50,000
Details: http://www.arcafoundation.org/index.php

The Hub has a Foundation List of organizations that support journalism-related initiatives. Many of these foundations have letter of inquiry deadlines before you can submit an official proposal. The list is updated often so make sure to check back from time to time.