The American Press Institute is offering micro-grants and free expert support to news organizations seeking to strengthen their coverage of Election 2020 in service of the American electorate. Micro-grants will be awarded in amounts from $2,000 up to $10,000 USD. The pool of available funds is up to $110,000.
The grants are part of API’s Trusted Elections Network, a consortium of more than 200 journalists and experts on election-related misinformation, election administration challenges and other threats to secure, trusted elections. Funding for this initiative comes from Craig Newmark Philanthropies.
We are interested in supporting efforts that promote communities’ understanding of how to vote and the overall election process and address mis- and disinformation at the local level.
You can apply for two types of support:
- Project grant funding: The money can be used for developing new products, such as election guides; audience engagement efforts, like text message information campaigns; editing and reporting capacity; support for developing products in multiple languages; or a special project related to election and misinformation coverage.
- Expert coaching coordinated by the American Press Institute: Coaching from among API’s network of experts and advisers is intended to help newsrooms strengthen existing products or coverage plans. Coaching could include support for developing an engagement strategy or help understanding changes in election administration. Please note that this option provides awardees with in-kind services and does not grant direct funding directly to news organizations.
News organizations may apply for both grant funding and expert advising. See the application below. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
We held a Q&A event Sept. 4 to answer questions related to the application, funding process and projects we might be interested in. The recording below should answer some common questions that you may have:
Requests will be approved on a rolling, first come first serve basis, up to 11:59 p.m. ET Monday, Sept. 14 (ET).
All U.S. local news organizations, either non-profit or commercial, are eligible to apply. We welcome applications from daily or weekly newspapers, public or commercial radio, TV, or digital-only news sites, and those serving urban, suburban or rural populations, including specific ethnic, racial or religious demographics. Requests must support activities related to election coverage or election-related misinformation coverage that serve audience information needs, and in line with API’s mission, offer insights for other news organizations. Newsrooms receiving funding must submit a brief report of their activities to the American Press Institute by December 11, 2020.
How much funding can we request?
We’re looking to fund support requests in the range of $2,000 to $10,000. We will consider smaller or larger requests in special circumstances. Larger requests may be given priority if they involve multiple newsrooms. Funding must be reserved for activities from the time of disbursement until November 30, 2020. No funds may be used for lobbying, unspent funds will be returned to API and records are subject to audit. Specific terms will be laid out in an official grant agreement.
What does expert guidance entail?
The majority of API’s work focuses on helping publishers transform their organizational culture. As part of this, we have deep experience in working with publications to understand their particular strengths and challenges, and matching those news organizations with people or other groups that can help them make meaningful, necessary change for their journalism or business. One good example of this “just-in-time” advising is our Community Listening Fellowship, which helped news organizations start more of their journalism from a place of listening, by way of support from an expert adviser in engagement. Our goal is to help publications that desire to improve their work on these election topics take the right steps for them, including around new techniques for sharing content, engaging audiences, and more.
Please submit your application in the form below.
If you’d like to review the application questions before beginning your application in Typeform, consult the Trusted Elections Network Fund application questions PDF.