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SPJ Foundation Grants
SPJ Foundation Grants Proposal Guidelines and Procedures

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This year, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation will have two grant cycles:

– One is for time-sensitive projects related to the 2020 election ONLY. The deadline for these proposals is January 3, 2020, with funds distributed in early February 2020.
– All other proposals (including those for 2020 election projects that are less time-sensitive) are due February 16, 2020, with funds distributed in early August 2020. Applications for these proposals can be found here.

Processing the Grant Application
Grant Monitoring
The Application
Follow-up: Grant Recap Report
Guidelines for continuing funding

I. Guidelines

The Society of Professional Journalists Foundation (formerly Sigma Delta Chi Foundation) seeks, accepts and manages funds for educational and training projects for the Society of Professional Journalists.

The SPJ Foundation Board is responsible for the investment, management and disbursement of Foundation funds.

The SPJ Foundation allocates funds to grantees periodically (usually once a year) on the basis of:

—Written requests and recommendations from the Board of the Society of Professional Journalists.
— The availability of SPJ Foundation funds.
— The relevance and value of the request, as judged, independently, by the SPJ Foundation Board.
— Evidence of the sound use of funds in projects requiring periodic funding.

The SPJ Foundation gives preference to projects with multiples funders/partners and/or have a regional or national impact.


II. Processing the Grant Application

Applications are first reviewed and discussed by the SPJ Foundation's Grants Committee.

The Committee may request additional information if necessary.

Proposals are evaluated against competing proposals and the committee makes recommendations to the SPJ Foundation Board. The board votes to approve or deny funding.

Any grant approved will be administered according to the instructions of the SPJ Foundation Board.


III. Grant Monitoring

The trust placed in the SPJ Foundation — by its own donors and contributors and its status as a tax-exempt charitable organization — requires fiscal integrity.

Requirements for grant recipients include the following:

—The grant must be used in accordance with the goals and purposes set forth in the grant proposal, for purposes clearly identified as educational and as charitable under applicable state and federal laws.
— When projects or programs are operated for less than the anticipated budget figures, all excess (unexpended) funds and any earned interest must be returned to the SPJ Foundation.
—All grant recipients must submit a midterm (six months) and a final (annual) narrative report — the grant performance report — describing the process of the program or project as well as a financial report detailing how the funds have been used. These performance reports will be reviewed by the board to determine if the program or project is progressing as anticipated and to verify that the expenditures are in accordance with the grant proposal. If these reports are not submitted or reflect discrepancies, additional funding may be withheld.

The SPJ Foundation maintains the right to order an independent audit or to recind funding for noncompliance.


IV. The Application

You may now apply for grants using our online form. Deadline: February 16, 2020.


V. Documentation

As part of your application, please provide the following documents:

— your organization’s 501 (c)(3), IRS exemption letter or 501 (c)(3) application

— your organization’s most recent year-end financial statement

You will be asked either to upload or email the documents when you apply.


VI. Follow-up: Grant Recap Report

Grantees are required to submit a Grant Recap Report.

Within 30 days following the expenditure of the grant, or within one year — whichever occurs first – grantees submit a brief Grant Recap Report which includes the following:

— How have the funds been used?
— How have the goals of the program or project been accomplished?
— Who was served?
— What was the impact?
— Submit any brochures, news articles or products created by the grant.
— If the grant funds have not been spent and the grant purpose not achieved, explain and provide a time table for completion.

Grant Recap Reports are shared with the Grants Committee.

Submit the Grant Recap Report to:

Grant Recap Report
SPJ Foundation
3909 N. Meridian St., Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46208


VII. Guidelines for continuing funding

The funding of ongoing projects will be reviewed, annually, by the Grants Committee based on:

— A recommendation to continue funding from the SPJ Board for SPJ programs.
— A review of the program/project’s Recap Report.
— The availability of Foundation funds.
— The Grants Committee’s independent determination that the program or project funds have been administered effectively to date and determination that the program or project remains relevant to SPJ goals.


Direct questions about the SPJ Foundation’s grants or grant proposal procedures to foundation@spj.org or call 317/927-8000.

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Society of Professional Journalists
Eugene S. Pulliam National Journalism Center
3909 N. Meridian St., Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46208

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