Are you looking to get your journalism project off the ground or simply have a great idea and in need of funding? Obtaining your own funding is a crucial step for any journalism project. Funding will help you develop your ideas and see them become full stories.

This list of journalism grantmakers will assist you in finding the funding opportunities you need.

Open Society Foundation for South Africa (OSF- SA)

Open Society Foundation for South Africa’s Information, Expression and Accountability Programme seeks to protect the free flow of information and enjoyment of the right to freedom of expression and to promote a transparent and accountable public sector and private sector and the incorporation of human rights into their activities. OSF-SA seeks to strengthen public interest media through; supporting investigative and original journalism that holds public and private power to account; supporting an independent media and press freedom, and supporting efforts to hold media accountable.

How to apply: In 2019 OSF-SA will have one open call for Expressions of Interest, that will be open to any eligible organisation or any organisation that has received funding for one year or less. New and interested organisations that are not currently funded by OSF-SA, or only for one year or less, and who have new and innovative project proposals will still be encouraged to submit an Expression of Interest to OSF-SA. Through a dedicated Expression of Interest call that they will publicly release by mid-February 2019 on the OSF-SA website, and which will remain open until April 2019.

The OSF-SA Programme team will review all Expression of Interests and shortlisted organisations will be invited to apply with a detailed budget that will be considered by end 2019.

Previous Grantees: Africa Check, AmaBhungane, Corruption Watch, GroundUp, Mail &, Guardian, Media Monitoring Africa, Oxpeckers Investigative Environmental Journalism, Health E-News, Human Rights Media Centre.

Taco Kuiper Grants

The Taco Kuiper Grants programme gives support to print journalists in South Africa to pursue investigative stories in the public interest. Taco Kuiper Grants are made to encourage investigative journalism in South African print media.

A fund of up to R350 000 is available annually. Grants are available for print journalists or print publications seeking pre-publication help for investigative reporting of public interest. Any amount will be considered. The grants are made by the Valley Trust and administered by Wits Journalism in memory of the late publisher Taco Kuiper.

The fund only accepts projects, including book projects, dealing with contemporary issues that affect South Africa. The fund will not award educational scholarships or grants for professional training. Applications can be from individuals, teams of individuals or a publication.

How to apply: The applicant must write a letter which sets out the subject to be investigated, how and when the work will be undertaken, why the support of the fund is required and a budget. The letter should be supported by a short resumé for each individual involved and, wherever possible, a letter of commitment from an editor or publisher to consider publishing the final product. The deadline for applications or proposals is the 18th of February 2019.

Previous Grantees: See Taco Kuiper’s previous grantees Here to see the kind of projects they have previously funded.


Luminate is a global philanthropic organisation focused on empowering people and institutions to work together to build just and fair societies. Luminate works with its investees and partners to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in, and shape, the issues affecting their societies, and to make government, corporations, media, and those in positions of power more responsive and more accountable.

Luminate does this by funding and supporting innovative and courageous organisations and entrepreneurs around the world, and by advocating for the policies and actions that will drive change across four impact areas: civic empowerment, data & digital rights, financial transparency, and independent media.

Luminate was previously the Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative at Omidyar Network and is now part of The Omidyar Group. To date, it has supported 236 organisations in 18 countries with $314 million in funding. Omidyar Network is a philanthropic firm that invests in entrepreneurs who are committed in the advancement of themselves and their communities and the world around them through social good

In October 2018, Luminate spun out of Omidyar Network, where the team supported a global portfolio of highly impactful organisations over 10 years as the firm’s Governance & Citizen Engagement initiative. The organisations referenced below are now supported by Luminate.

How to Apply: Luminate actively looks for opportunities that align with their impact areas, values, and the countries they work in. Read about the process Luminate takes to invest in a cause on their grants and investments page.

Previous Grantees: Luminate (then Omidyar Network) has provided financial support for the South Africa Media Innovation Program (SAMIP) which was launched by Open Society Foundation of South Africa (OSF-SA), Omidyar Network and Media Development Investment Fund in 2017.

Omidyar Network Supports Fact-Checking in Africa with Grant to Africa Check

You can read up on projects and organisations Luminate has previously supported on Luminate’s News & Insights page.

Claude Leon Foundation

The Claude Leon Foundation is a charitable trust established in 1963, and supports many organisations in the fields of education, media, human rights and youth development. The foundation supports non-governmental organisations that are at the forefront of defending democracy and better education in South Africa and promoting good governance and effective service delivery.

How to apply: Please Note that the Claude Leon Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or applications for funding.

Previous Grantees: Claude Leon Foundation funds many organisations in the media field including Corruption Watch, Right 2 Know, AmaBhungane, Street Talk, GroundUp, Notes from the House, Wits Justice Project, University of Cape Town Chair in Constitutional Governance.

Open Society Foundation- Programs for Independent Journalism (OSF PIJ)

The Open Society Foundations Program on Independent Journalism aims to support journalistic endeavors where those efforts are among the few sources of independent, ethical information and are committed to journalism’s fundamental role in creating and maintaining healthy, democratic societies.

The programme supports promising initiatives led by individuals or collectives that strive to improve journalism under difficult circumstances, such as autocracy, violence, repression, or poverty, or in moments of great opportunities, such as first democratic elections, peace agreements, or massive social mobilisations.

The programme also supports those enterprises that seek to further engage their audiences, experiment with storytelling, develop new sources of revenue, or network with peers across borders or invisible frontiers set up by extremist groups or organized crime. They prioritise initiatives that offer transferable and replicable models in the field.

Open Society Foundation – Program for Independent Journalism has four portfolios of work, two of which support journalism initiatives directly — “opening journalism” and “investigative journalism,” while the other two support the protection and safety of journalism, and seek to share knowledge and good practices in the field.

How to apply: Visit their grants page to find out which grants are still open for applications.

Previous Grantees: JamLab, African Investigative Journalism Conference, Sound Africa, MAP Kibera Trust, Africa Uncensored Limited , Ouestaf News, amaBhungane, Africa Investigative Publishing Collective. More previous grants.

Before considering applying for funding take a look and read all instruction on the respective funder’s websites. Take some time to familiarise yourself with each grantmaker’s strategic grant-making focus areas, selection criteria, grant cycles and grant-making process.

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