+ Crisis/emergency funding
In this section of the GFMD MediaDev Fundraising Guide you will find tools and resources about emergency funding.
For crisis and emergency funding and resources for Ukraine, see the Resources for Ukraine section. For a Ukrainian translation of this Guide, please visit the Ukrainian MediaDev Funding Guide.
Civil Rights Defenders provides protection grants to HRDs and CSOs, including journalists, including financial assistance for relocations, equipment, transportation and various other aspects.
The Committee to Protect Journalists' Journalist Assistance program dispenses emergency grants to journalists in distress worldwide through CPJ’s Gene Roberts Emergency Fund.
The fund was renamed in honour of Gene Roberts, the veteran U.S. journalist and former chairman of the CPJ board who was instrumental in the creation of the Journalist Assistance program.
The program also raises funds for journalists from outside sources and collaborates with other freedom of expression organizations.
The NGO Docudays and Docudays UA festival team has initiated a fund to support Ukrainian filmmakers documenting the events of the war in Ukraine right now: recording war crimes, filming footage for the international media and for their future films which will later give the world a more in-depth perspective on the situation in Ukraine.
The fund helps filmmakers by providing them with the most necessary filming equipment (e.g. batteries, hard drives, memory cards, chargers, adapters, microphones, replacement of damaged lenses, etc.) and covering expenses for fuel, medicine and first aid kits, as well as basic needs in emergency situations (one-time payments of up to 4,000 UAH).
Help is provided primarily to Ukrainian filmmakers who are currently filming actively, participating in the organization of the filming process or the development of filmed footage.
Requests are processed on a first-come-first-served basis. Assistance is provided depending on whether funds are available.
ECPMF provides no grants at the moment, but temporary relocation of journalists/media workers at risk to Leipzig, Germany (up to 6 months). Individual guidance and financial support in exile for journalists who arrived in Germany are guaranteed as part of the Journalists-in-Residence (JiR) Programme which includes: Visa assistance; Shelter; Health insurance; Psychosocial support; Stipend. For more information contact [email protected]
The European Endowment for Democracy (EED) is an independent, grant-making organisation that supports people striving for democracy in the European Neighbourhood - the Eastern Partnership, Middle East and North Africa, the Western Balkans and beyond. In exceptional and clearly justified situations, EED may process a limited number of requests on an urgent basis. You can apply for support on the EED website. To request emergency support you should tick the box at the bottom of the application form and provide a brief explanation as to why your request is urgent, and the potential consequences if you do not receive funding urgently. You can apply for support through the secure application form on the EED website:
However, applicants whose security is particularly at risk, and do not wish to submit information via the online application form can submit their application directly by using end-to-end encrypted emails below: Protonmail email: [email protected]
Freedom House provides assistance to journalists and media staff as well as civil society organisations working on media/press freedom at risk.
Through various programmes they provide urgent advocacy and resiliency grants, and preventive security training to ensure that civil society organizations are able to continue working even in hostile and unpredictable environments.
Freedom House administers several funds which offer emergency assistance to organizations and individuals around the world who are under threat because of their human rights work. See more under Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund. Through the fund Freedom House supports requests for:
- Improving physical security of home or office
- Temporary relocation, including for dependents affected by the threat
- Medical expenses, including psycho-social support
- Legal representation and trial monitoring
- Humanitarian assistance and dependent support
- Equipment replacement if confiscated or damaged
Free Press Unlimited manages the international Reporters Respond Fund. This international emergency fund provides direct assistance to journalists and media outlets, enabling them to resume work as quickly as possible when faced with a crisis situation.
Short-term support is provided irrespective of the medium and the area covered by the journalist or outlet and covers, among other things:
- Medical assistance: for injuries sustained in the course of the journalists work;
- Subsistence costs: short term support for journalists who are not able to work, or costs to temporarily flee an unsafe or vulnerable situation;
- Legal defense support: legal representation for journalists facing prosecution, disputable lawsuits, or any other form of legal intimidation related to their work; cover the costs of judicial proceedings; assist media workers that have been arbitrarily detained or imprisoned (and their families);
- Psycho-social support: advice, referral, and funds to seek psychosocial assistance;
- Work provisions: replacement of confiscated or destroyed equipment due to a work-related emergency;
- Family support: temporary support for family members of journalists who are unable to work, who are imprisoned, or who are deceased;
- (Preventive) safety measures: security advice, digital tools such as VPNs for digital protection, PPE protection materials like face masks, and safety equipment like bulletproof vests.
In 2001 Frontline Defenders launched its Protection Grants programme to provide rapid and practical financial support to human rights defenders at risk.
The amount of assistance varies according to the particular circumstances of the applicant but may include medical and rehabilitation costs, subsistence costs or relocation costs.
Protection Grants can pay for provisions to improve the security and protection of human rights defenders and their organisations including, but not limited to:
- improving physical security of an organisation or individual, digital security and communication security;
- supporting legal fees for HRDs who are being judicially harassed
- paying for medical fees for HRDs who have been attacked or who have suffered a medical condition as a result of their peaceful human rights activities
- providing family assistance for imprisoned HRDs or family members who are at risk because of a HRD's activities
Grants are for amounts up to a maximum of €7,500. The organisation provides an encrypted online security grant application form.
The International Federation of Journalists is the world's largest organisation of journalists represents 600,000 media professionals from 187 trade unions and associations in more than 140 countries. The organisation organises collective action to support journalists, promotes international action to defend press freedom and social justice, fight for gender equality in all its structures, policies and programmes, and opposes discrimination.
The IJF's Safety Fund is a lifeline for journalists facing violence, persecution and threat or needing medical treatment. The Safety Fund offers financial assistance in a range of emergency cases such as threats, violence and threats thereof, prosecution, settlement in exile and illness.
Defending Journalism (DJ) Safety Fund
The Defending Journalism (DJ) Safety Fund for emergency relocation, family, legal and medical support. To provide immediate support for journalists who are victimised as a direct result of their journalistic work.
The fund is used in cases where:
- A journalist has been killed or rendered otherwise incapable of sustaining his/her family;
- A journalist is in need of immediate protection as a result of a direct threat (relocation, safe houses, evacuation out of the country or region);
- Urgent legal or medical assistance is required.
Support is given only in the short-term, and no longer than 6 months, covering the immediate needs of the individual or his/her close relatives. It cannot be used as humanitarian support to journalists in cases where individuals are affected by natural disasters.
The International Women's Media Foundation is an organization that is dedicated to strengthening the role of women journalists. The organization provides safety training, byline opportunities, and emergency support tailored to women journalists and photographers around the world.
The IWMF Emergency Fund was established in 2013 to provide women journalists with a lifeline of support in times of crisis.
The fund provides women journalists with:
- Small grants for psychological and medical care for incidents directly related to threats and crises caused by one’s work as a journalist;
- Three months of temporary relocation assistance in the event of crisis or threat;
- Legal aid to counter threats of imprisonment or censorship;
- Non-financial assistance in the form of information about additional access to resources.
To be eligible for the emergency fund candidates must meet the following criteria:
- Be a staff or freelance woman reporter, working in any medium, whose primary profession is journalism;
- Have worked full-time as a journalist within six months of applying for assistance;
- Apply for assistance with a crisis situation directly connected to work as a journalist.
The Black Journalists Therapy Relief Fund (BJTRF) was started by Sonia Weiser in May 2020. The fund is designed to provide financial assistance for Black journalists facing financial hardship who are unable to pay for the mental health support they need during this time. While publications ask Black journalists — both freelance and full-time staff members — to put their lives at risk to report on racial injustices and embed themselves within the protests, they rarely provide resources for these same journalists to process the trauma incurred both on the job and in daily life. BJTRF will consider supporting Black journalists globally who:
- are employed full time, part-time, freelance, or as an intern;
- were laid off/furloughed due to COVID-19 or who quit due to harmful workplace practices;
- are former journalists suffering from lasting emotional or physical trauma from their time in the field.
The Lifeline Embattled CSO Assistance Fund is a consortium of 7 international NGOs providing emergency assistance grants to civil society organizations, including journalist organizations, facing threats due to their human rights work, and rapid response advocacy and resiliency grants to address broader threats to civic space and freedom of association and assembly. The fund is administered through the two human rights organisations Freedom House and Front Line Defenders.
Backed by 17 governments and foundations, their short-term grants address security, medical expenses, legal representation, prison visits, trial monitoring, temporary relocation, equipment replacement, and other urgently needed expenses to, among others.
Both Freedom House and Front Line Defenders provide emergency assistance to CSOs and their staff members through the Lifeline Embattles CSO Assistance Fund. Each organization has its own criteria, and can be contacted for more information. Please note that Lifeline will not support duplicate requests.
The Fix, a UK-based media industry publication and consultancy with Ukrainian roots, is partnering with Are We Europe, Jnomics, and Media Development Foundation, as well as multiple media partners from across Europe. The group is working with a growing list of Ukrainian media, including Ukrainska Pravda, Zaborona, Detector Media and others.
If you are representing independent media covering the war, want to be a part of the campaign and receive financial or any other help, please send a short description of your media and the list of urgent needs to the email [email protected] (bear in mind immediate support on the ground is extremely difficult to provide).
If you are a freelancer operating in Ukraine, please feel free to email as well. Although the consortium cannot offer any guarantees, they are looking into providing support to freelancer colleagues. This is more difficult for various administrative and governance issues, but they are working to solve them.
The Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) tracks, monitors and reacts to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries.
The MFRR is organised by an alliance led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), the Institute for Applied Informatics at the University of Leipzig (InfAI), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT). The project commenced in 2020 and is funded by the European Commission.
Threats against journalists and media workers often require urgent and swift responses to ensure the safety of those targeted but also to help journalists and media workers threatened with prosecution, just for doing their job. The alliance participates in supporting journalists on these issues by providing legal and practical support, public advocacy, and information to protect journalists and media workers.
The National Endowment for Democracy (NED) is a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world.The NED Ukraine team is working around the clock to find ways to support partners in the country.
If you are the victim of a DDOS attack, NED can refer your organisation to Cloudflare, an American web infrastructure and website security company that provides content delivery network and DDoS mitigation services. Cloudflare offers pro-bono protections against DDOS attacks for organisations referred by NED.
For access to emergency funding, journalists and media workers can write to [email protected] with ideas and proposals for quick access to contingency funds.
The New Democracy Fund supports new and existing civil society partnerships in regard to strengthening democratic development in the Eastern Neighbourhood Countries.
The organisation has a Rapid Response Fund for civil society organisations, human rights defenders, artists, filmmakers, and journalists in emergencies, conflict, and serious political or legislative change.
In response to the crisis in Ukraine following the Russian invasion, The Rapid Response Fund has implemented two fast tracks for “Emergency assistance funds to individuals and groups under threat”:
- For grants up to DKK 200,000, one member from the Selection Committee and one Assessor or where this is not possible at least two persons from the Admin Group of NDF approves the application in parallel with the no-objection procedure by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark.
- For grants between DKK 200,000 and DKK 400,000, the application will in addition to the procedure described above also be approved by the Selection Committee in a ‘silent procedure’ to be decided within 24 hours. In these cases, the applications can be rudimentary described and budgeted.
The New Democracy Fund is temporarily closed for applications.
PEN America expanded its long-standing Writers’ Emergency Fund as part of efforts to support the literary community at a time when the health and livelihoods of so many are at risk.
PEN America distributed grants of $500 to $1,000 based on applications that demonstrate an inability to meet an acute financial need, especially one resulting from the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.
"October 15, 2020 Update: The response to the PEN America Writers’ Emergency Fund has been enormous, a reflection of the impact the pandemic and the ensuing economic crisis have had on the literary community. We are proud to have mobilized a five-fold increase in funding and distributed grants to more than 500 writers. We have now secured additional funding to resume grant-making for a limited period. The fund is open again on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible applicants who have not previously received a Writers Emergency Fund grant. We will accept applications until our available funds are exhausted."
Reporters Without Borders is one of the world’s leading NGOs in the defense and promotion of freedom of information.
RSF provides financial assistance provides financial and administrative assistance to professional journalists and citizen-journalists to help them defend themselves, and help the families of imprisoned journalists.
RSF provide also provides a complete health insurance and repatriation for journalists and reporters for almost any country, war zone included.
Rest and refugee scholarship is a new project run by RSF Germany and taz-Panter-foundation, which is a non-profit organization linked to „die tageszeitung“ (taz), the daily newspaper in Berlin. They invite journalists from countries in crisis or war to stay in Berlin. They offer them a time of refuge and rest up to three months.
Since 1995, the Rory Peck Trust has given support to freelance journalists and their families when they need help. This includes freelancers who have been seriously injured, threatened, imprisoned, detained, forced into exile or killed as a result of their work.
The Rory Peck Trust manages a Crisis Fund that provides grants to freelance journalists to help with costs associated with an immediate crisis, either personal or in cases of force majeure such as natural disasters or political and civil unrest.
Applications from freelancers based in Ukraine are encouraged. A grant from the Crisis Fund can help with the costs of temporary relocation and temporary accommodation as well as safety kits including flak jackets and helmets etc. These applications will be treated as a priority.
The Solidarity Fund Poland is one of the key actors in Polish development cooperation sector. The Fund recently announced a grant competition for Polish NGOs (partnerships with other countries is welcomed).The aim is to support repressed people, think-tanks and media from Ukraine and Belarus.
It is possible to apply for small and large grants. Co-financing awarded under small grants ranges from PLN 50,000 to PLN 250,000. Small grants are recommended to organizations that have not yet cooperated with FSM. Co-financing awarded under large grants is up to PLN 1,500,000. Large grants are recommended to organizations that already have experience in cooperation with FSM or experience in the implementation of high-budget projects in the Eastern Partnership countries.
The Urgent Action Fund’s Rapid Response Grants resource the resilience of human rights and gender justice movements by supporting the security and advocacy interventions of activists when a swift response is needed. Specifically, Rapid Response Grants offer quick, flexible funding to respond to security threats or unexpected advocacy opportunities experienced by women, transgender, or gender non-conforming, activists and human rights defenders.
Urgent Action Fund accepts applications in any language using online, text and mobile funding applications 365 days of the year. We respond to applications within 24 hours of submission. Decisions are usually made within 1-10 business days. (Translation needs may increase the time to decide.) Once a grant is approved, funds can be wired within 24 hours to 10 business days, dependent on need.
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a US-based international, non-profit, non-governmental organization that works with women leaders in the areas of economic empowerment, women's political participation, and human rights.
Vital Voices operates three urgent assistance funds. Two of these funds are for women in crisis and managed by the Crisis Response Team. The third fund, dedicated to survivors of gender-based violence, is managed by the Global Network and Regional Engagement Team.
Vital Voices Crisis Response.pdf
Freedom of Expression Urgent Assistance Fund
The Freedom of Expression Urgent Assistance Fund provides urgent funding to women and girls who have been harmed, experienced violence, or have experienced an acute threat to their wellbeing while exercising their right to freedom of opinion and expression. Some examples of this include participation in protests, publication of articles or opinions, and expression of opinions that result in threats to their safety and work.
The Fund accepts referrals from both inside and outside the Vital Voices Network in every region of the world except the U.S. and Canada. Individuals can apply directly, or through intermediaries, to the Fund by reaching out to the Crisis Response Team.
The Crisis Response Fund
The Crisis Response Fund supports women leaders and activists who have recently experienced a crisis.
The Fund offers case management support and multipurpose cash transfers to be used within 9 key service areas:
- fiscal sponsorship
- legal support
- mental health support
- multipurpose cash
- physical health
- safety & security
The Fund also offers grants to organizations that support crisis-affected women and girls. The Fund accepts referrals from both inside and outside the Vital Voices Network in every region of the world.
Referring partners and individuals can apply directly to the Fund by reaching out to the Crisis Response Team.
Voices Against Violence Urgent Assistance Fund
The Voices Against Violence Urgent Assistance Fund provides urgent assistance to survivors of extreme forms of gender-based violence and harmful traditional practices. The Fund supports individuals with small, short-term emergency funds.
These are for expenses that include, but are not limited to:
- medical expenses
- psychosocial support or counseling
- emergency shelter or other safe accommodation
- temporary relocation expenses
- temporary livelihood
- dependent support.
Individual survivors of gender-based violence can request emergency assistance directly or through intermediaries such as civil society organizations, services providers, and/or community or faith-based groups. Get in touch with the Global Network and Regional Engagement Team.