UN agencies
For a searchable list of current funding opportunities see the GFMD website.

UN agencies

Many disburse grants through local missions, focusing on areas such as training, advocacy and programme development.
The funding ceilings are generally modest and the administrative burden can be disproportionately high.
Some of the calls for proposals are unrealistic about what can be achieved for the amount of funding on offer.
The UN agencies that most commonly fund media projects are:

UNICEF - United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund

UNICEF works in the world’s toughest places to reach the most disadvantaged children and adolescents – and to protect the rights of every child, everywhere.
Funding opportunities: The UNICEF Innovation Fund quickly assesses, funds, and grows open-source digital public goods that have been developed in new and emerging markets. It provide early stage funding and support to frontier technology solutions that benefit children and the world.
Home | UNICEF Innovation Fund
Themes: UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, safe water and sanitation, quality education and skill building, HIV prevention and treatment for mothers and babies, and the protection of children and adolescents from violence and exploitation.
Types of funding: Programmatic
Amount of funding: N/A

UNESCO - United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in Education, the Sciences and Culture.
Funding opportunities: UNESCO administers the Global Media Defence Fund, which is a Multi-Partner Trust Fund with the goal of enhancing media protection and improving the access of journalists to specialized legal assistance which takes into account the gendered nature of threats against journalists.
Themes: Media freedom, investigative journalism, tackling impunity for crimes against journalists and enhancing freedom of expression.
Types of funding: Grants
Amount of funding: The Global Media Defence Fund was made possible thanks to the initial major donations by the United Kingdom and Canada and their respective pledges of £3 million (USD $3,7 million) over five years and of 2 million Canadian Dollars (USD $1,500,000) to the Fund for its first year of operation. Additional donations have been received by the Czech Republic, Latvia, and Luxemburg.

International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC)

The IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries.
Funding opportunities: IPDC is funded almost entirely by UNESCO member states for work in developing countries. IPDC distributes about $1 million annually in small grants, and supervises a variable amount of “Funds-in-Trust” for specific projects suggested and funded by various governments.
Themes: Media pluralism and independence, promoting the safety of journalists, supporting law reform fostering media independence, capacity building for journalists and media managers.
Types of funding: Grants
Amount of funding: $1 million - annually
View profile on the CIMA website (Last updated March 2017)

UNDP - United Nations Development Program

UNDP works in 170 countries and territories to eradicate poverty while protecting the planet. We help countries develop strong policies, skills, partnerships and institutions so they can sustain their progress.
Home | United Nations Development Programme
Funding opportunities: The Fund's program for journalists relies entirely on financial support from U.N. Missions, foundations, organizations and individuals.
Themes: UNDP works to eradicate poverty and reduce inequalities through the sustainable development of nations, in more than 170 countries and territories.
Types of funding: Programmatic and grants
Funding Windows | United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Development Programme
Amount of funding: N/A

UNDEF - United Nations Democracy Fund

UNDEF funds, helps design, manages, mentors, and generates projects that contribute to strengthening democracy.
Democracy Fund |
Funding opportunities: UNDEF supports projects that strengthen the voice of civil society, promote human rights, and encourage the participation of all groups in democratic processes. UNDEF projects are two years long. Applicants can request a grant of a minimum of 100,000 US dollars and a maximum of 300,000 US dollars. The large majority of UNDEF funds go to local civil society organizations.
Applying for an UNDEF project grant and selection process | Democracy Fund
Themes: Media and freedom of information, youth engagement, rule of law and human rights; strengthening civil society interaction with government and community engagement.
Types of funding: Core grants
Amount of funding: 100,000 - 300,000 US dollars


For a searchable list of current funding opportunities see the GFMD website.
If an organisation or an opportunity is missing, get in touch!
Last modified 4mo ago