Funding Investigative Journalism Through Donations

One of the ways in which investigative journalism work can be funded is through donations. If you opt to take that route (of financing your investigative journalism work through donations), these are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. Identify the donors you are to work with: Here, you first need to undertake some research, to identify the donors who have a track record of financing investigative journalism work. These could be institutional donors or they could be individual donors.
  2. Develop proposals: The most important thing here is to demonstrate how your investigative journalism work could make a difference, and why it is essential within the society you are targeting. You have to be convincing.
  3. Submit the proposals: This is all about getting the proposals to actually reach the people who can give the donations. Most of the people who can give these sorts of donations tend to have all manner of gatekeepers around them. Yet you have to somehow get your proposal past these gatekeepers, to the main decision- makers.
  4. Await for the proposals to be reviewed: What is essential here is patience – as the amounts of time taken to review the proposals vary from one donor to the next. Of course, if you don’t want to deal with all this proposals business, you can decide to simply set up a ‘Donate’ button on your investigative journalism website. It could be a simple button – you know, similar to the GM global connect login button. Through it, folks who find your investigative journalism work to be worth funding would give their small donations (which can add up to sizeable sums of money over time).
  5. Start receiving the donations: You could have a bank account through which the donations would be coming in. Or if you opted for a ‘Donate’ button, you could have a PayPal or Skrill account through which to receive the donations.
  6. Set up proper accountability structures for the donations: At the end of the day, the donors may want to know how their money was spent, and more specifically whether it was spent for the intended purpose. That is why, right from the outset, you should set up proper accountability structures — and ensure that they are actually properly adhered to.

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