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Financial Sustainability

SANEF’S Financial Sustainability PROGRAMME

Funding Resources for Journalists and the Media Industry

Updated 02 September 2020

The pressing need for good reporting during the COVID-19 pandemic has encouraged a growing list of donors to offer grants to journalists. In addition, offers of aid to publishers are also being made available in light of the increased financial pressures on small businesses.  A number of funding deadlines have passed but please see below for those that are open.


The South African National Editors’ Forum’s Media Relief Fund for journalists has paid 277 recipients who have lost their livelihoods as a direct result of the COVID-19 national disaster. These individuals received R5000 each via the Nedbank Sendimali in two tranches of R4000 and R1000. A new round of applications will be opening this week.

The Social Justice Initiative (SJI) will continue to act as a fiscal host for the fund and they will still play an oversight role to ensure that all funds are fairly and transparently distributed.

Applicants who were not successful in the first round are welcome to try again.

To process the applications, SANEF has set up a team that includes media stalwarts Mathatha Tsedu and Joe Thloloe, Wandile Fana from the Association of Independent Publishers (AIP) and Melody Emmett from the freelancers’ association (SAFREA). Anlo Financial Solutions, a financial services company will assist with processing.  The fund was launched on the 02nd of July 2020.

Henry Nxumalo Grants for Investigative Reporting (Previously the Taco Kuiper Grants)

Henry Nxumalo Grants are made to encourage investigate journalism in South Africa. A fund of up to R630 000 is available annually. Grants are available for print or online journalists or publications seeking pre-publication help for investigative reporting of public interest. Any amount will be considered.

The grants are administered by Wits Journalism, funded by the Millennium Trust, in memory of the pioneering investigative reporter Henry Nxumalo . Journalists with an investigative project can also approach the Henry Nxumalo Grant Fund for backing to do such a project. Details are to be found here

  • The National Geographic Society has launched an emergency fund for journalists around the world who wish to cover COVID-19 within their communities. Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 will be given “for local coverage of the preparation, response, and impact of this global pandemic as seen through evidence-based reporting.” The National Geographic fund “will place particular emphasis on delivering news to underserved populations”. The fund is interested in “local and even hyper-local distribution models,” and wants to see stories “of inequities that COVID-19 has brought to light.”  Writers, photographers, videographers, audio journalists, cartographers, filmmakers, and data visualization experts may apply for this funding.
  • International Women’s Media Foundation (Global)– The IWMF’s Journalism Relief Fund is open to women-identifying journalists in dire straits — journalists who have faced significant financial hardship, lost work, were recently laid off or who urgently need assistance to avoid severe, irreversible outcomes. This fund will provide small grants of up to $2,000 per request. Note: Special consideration will be given on a case-by-case basis to those who have greater financial need.
  • IMF announces COVID-19 youth fellowship contest

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday announced its IMF 2020 Annual Meetings Youth Fellowship Contest, which is open to bloggers, vloggers, journalists, communications experts, young professionals and students ages 20 to 32.

The IMF said the contest “provides an opportunity for young participants to become part of the global efforts to build forward better and join the IMF at the forefront of the response to the (coronavirus) crisis” which is “likely to increase poverty and inequality, expose weaknesses in healthcare systems, weaken job prospects and opportunities that the young desperately need.”

“Participants will have a firsthand experience of the IMF virtual Annual Meetings. They will participate in virtual training led by IMF experts and media professionals from Politico and others to boost their skills as multimedia storytellers in the current economic environment focusing on building a better future for youth. At the end of the training, participants will submit a final piece (blog/article or video) and 4 winners will be chosen to participate in an IMF youth panel discussion and have their work featured on IMF channels,” the Washington DC-based Fund said in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington D.C.

Participants can apply online by September 24, 2020, and present their work in video format (max. 3 minutes) or text format (max. 800 words) on policy priorities to address the current crisis and build a path towards creating more jobs and economic opportunities for youth and a greener and more equal recovery.

“To help participants gather the information they need, those selected to participate will be provided with: A virtual capacity building program: sessions on media and video storytelling by Politico and other media outlets; discussions on current global economic issues including inclusive growth, inequality, fintech and climate change, as well as access to all open seminars, press conferences and meetings,” the IMF said.

Selected participants will be chosen to join the fellowship program; of those, 4 finalists will be selected to participate in a panel discussion and have their video or article featured on

SANEF will be updating this list regularly. Please notify us at if there are any further funds or funding that you know is available.