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The 2020 Media Impact Forum — Earth to World: Cool It
A series of online discussions on philanthropy's role in amplifying media's efforts to address the world's most urgent crisis.
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The 2020 Media Impact Forum — Earth to World: Cool It

Media Impact Funders is tracking funding resources specific to COVID-19. This resource references funding opportunities initiated by funders for inspiration to other funders, as well as potential collaboration opportunities between funders.

We’ll keep adding to this spreadsheet as more resources become available. Email us at info@mediafunders.org if you know of a collaboration, initiative, fund or response that should be added here.

See the List of COVID-19 Funding Resources

You’ll also find details about the online discussions we’ve organized for funders to share their response to COVID-19. Funders, if you missed any of these conversations and would like the notes, please email roshni@mediafunders.org.

March 25 – Supporting journalists during the COVID-19 pandemic

With the rapidly changing situation with COVID-19, journalists are on the frontlines reporting on what citizens need to know to be safe. As such, we hosted a funder-only virtual discussion on these pressing issues and more.

We heard from two journalists about the challenges and experiences newsrooms are facing, and how funders can support them during this crisis. We also heard about a new partnership between the Facebook Journalism Project and the Lenfest Institute for Journalism about a $1 million grant to support U.S. and Canadian local news organizations covering the coronavirus.

Funders had an opportunity to share their thoughts about the challenges and opportunities they’ve faced in supporting COVID-19 reporting.

Contributors:

  • Elisabeth Rosenthal, Editor-in-Chief of Kaiser Health News
  • Samantha Pak, Senior Editor for Sound Publishing’s Eastside publications
  • Dorrine Mendoza, Strategic Partner Development, Facebook

April 02 – Supporting local journalism during the pandemic

With the rapidly changing situation caused by COVID-19 and its far-reaching economic disruptions, local journalism needs our support more than ever. We hosted a funder-only discussion on these pressing issues and more.

This discussion was an opportunity for funders to share what their organizations have done and learn about collaborative efforts from their peers.

Contributors:

  • Molly De Aguiar, President, Independence Public Media Foundation; Member of the Board of Directors of Media Impact Funders
  • Andres Torres, Program Officer, Democracy, McCormick Foundation
  • Duane Heyman, Project Manager, Alaska Center for Excellence in Journalism
  • Teresa Gorman, Senior Program Associate for Local News, Public Square Program, Democracy Fund
  • AmyJo Brown, Project Editor, Pittsburgh Media Partnership
  • Nathalie Applewhite, Managing Director, Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
  • Devon Terrill, Stanley Foundation
  • Danielle DeLuca, Program Manager for Advocacy & Development, Cultural Survivor
  • Kaitlin Yarnall, Chief Storytelling Officer, Senior Vice President, National Geographic Society
  • Simon Kilmurrary, Executive Director, International Documentary Association (IDA)
  • Jennifer Preston, Vice President, Journalism, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Member of the Board of Directors of Media Impact Funders
  • Joy Lin, Vice President, Journalism, Corporation for Public Broadcasting

April 17 – Continuing MIF Dialogue: Media Philanthropy Responses to COVID

Building on our two previous online discussions on this topic, Media Impact Funders hosted another call to hear about ways our peers responded to critical needs and success stories in COVID-19 coverage and media efforts to adapt to new economic realities.

With the rapidly changing situation caused by COVID-19 and its far-reaching economic disruptions, local journalism needs our support now more than ever before. By this point, many nonprofit news organizations have established substantial efforts to provide life-saving guidance for their communities, as well as aggressive efforts to hold public officials accountable for how they are responding to this health crisis. Of special note, public radio is providing extensive COVID-19 coverage, at the national level by NPR, as well as in many local communities through its network of 265 NPR member stations. Philanthropy is helping these media outlets provide this essential information.

Contributors:

  • Katie Brisson and Lenzi Abma of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan
  • Jon Funabiki of Renaissance Journalism
  • Mauricio Palma of Silicon Valley Community Foundation
  • Anne Avis, board member of KQED
  • Feather Houston of the Wyncote Foundation
  • Elizabeth Hansen of the Shorenstein Center
  • Josh Stearns of Democracy Fund

April 29 – International Philanthropy Responses to COVID-19

Building on our three previous online discussions on this topic, Media Impact Funders and the Journalism Funders Forum hosted a call to hear about ways international philanthropies are responding to critical needs and success stories in COVID-19 coverage and media efforts to adapt to new economic realities.

This discussion was an opportunity for funders to share what their organization are doing and learn about collaborative efforts from their peers.

Contributors:

  • Sameer Padania of Macroscope
  • Nishant Lalwani from Luminate
  • Rasmus Nielsen of Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism
  • Alex Jakana from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Nienke Venema from Stichting Democratie en Media
  • Nathalie Applewhite of Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting
  • Jeanne Bourgault of Internews

May 14 – Supporting documentary films & storytelling during the COVID-19 pandemic

Building on our four previous online discussions on this topic, Media Impact Funders in partnership with the International Documentary Association and Doc Society hosted a call to hear about ways funders are responding to support filmmakers and storytellers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Organizations we heard from:

  • Doc Society
  • Ford Foundation
  • International Documentary Association
  • National Geographic Society
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Participant Media
  • The Redford Center
  • Sundance Institute
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Media Impact Funders

Media Impact Funders

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Media Impact Funders traces its roots back to the Council on Foundations, a longtime philanthropy-serving organization. Formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television, MIF began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. Reflecting changes in technology and media behavior over the past decade, it was renamed Grantmakers in Film & Electronic Media (GFEM) and formally incorporated in 2008 to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It had 45 members and was headed by former MacArthur Foundation Program Officer Alyce Myatt. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range media funding interests such as journalism, immersive technologies, media policy and more. Since that time, MIF has grown to more than 80 organizational members representing some of the largest foundations, and holds more than 40 in-person and online events yearly.