Journalism Guidelines

The brief description below explains our approaches to supporting journalism and the types of projects we seek to fund as part of our 2021-2025 strategy. For any questions you may have about our work or to inquire about applying for funding, please feel free to reach out to [email protected].


The Joyce Foundation’s Journalism Program seeks to deepen the impact of Foundation programs’ investment in policy by supporting journalism that shines a light on conditions we hope to improve, issues related to the Foundation’s core strategies, and success stories that illuminate solutions. We support high-quality investigative, public affairs journalism in the Great Lakes region, including local, state and national media, primarily nonprofit. We also support public affairs journalism training for early career journalists, particularly journalists of color.


What types of journalism grantmaking do you support?

We support journalism organizations, primarily nonprofits, that cover issues in the Great Lakes region related to Joyce program areas. This mostly involves issue-focused projects and reporting positions. We also selectively fund national media coverage of critical issues in our region. In some cases, we support projects that strengthen and diversify the nonprofit journalism field in the Great Lakes region, including support for trusted community messengers. Funded platforms have included digital news organizations, public broadcasters, and podcasts.

What are examples of the journalism you support?

Among recent recipients of our Journalism grants is The Trace, a non-partisan, nonprofit newsroom dedicated to shining more light on the country’s gun violence crisis. With our funding, The Trace has reported on gun violence impacts and gun safety legislation and policies in Chicago and the Great Lakes, collaborating with regional media partners.

Another grant recipient is Bridge Michigan magazine, a statewide news organization, and its sister newsroom, Bridge Detroit, both operated by the nonprofit Center for Michigan. Our funding has supported Bridge’s coverage of the environment and other key issues behind public policy and civic life in Michigan.

Among other news organizations we support are Block Club Chicago, Chalkbeat, Open Campus, and Midwest Energy News. We have funded issue-focused reporter workshops through the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, the Association of Health Care Journalists, Editorial Writers Association, and others.

Do you provide general operating support for news organizations?

Only in rare, limited circumstances. Our journalism funding is primarily issues- and project-based.

Do you fund documentary filmmaking?

No, we do not support documentary filmmaking.

Do you fund journalism education?

We do not support scholarships or general journalism education for students. We support fellowships, and will consider other professional development opportunities for working journalists focused on important issues and policymaking.