Media Impact Funders (MIF)—which advances and catalyzes the work of a diverse range of funders committed to media that informs, engages and inspires—has received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to advance the goals of its Journalism Funders Network. A diverse group of philanthropy organizations working in journalism and media, the Journalism Funders Network works to increase—and improve the efficiency of—philanthropic investments in media in the United States through convenings, reports and other field-building work.
This multi-year grant is part of the Gates Foundation’s global grantmaking portfolio of strategic media and journalism partnerships. The Foundation views media and journalism as a critical component of addressing some of the world’s most urgent health and development challenges. As such, this grant will allow MIF to continue its work strengthening the field of media and philanthropy more broadly, and the growing network of funders interested in supporting journalism, specifically. Because philanthropy is playing an increasingly important role in support of journalism, both at the local and national level, MIF is committed to strengthening connections among members of this core journalism funders network. MIF will expand on its work to knit the community of funders closer together, to show the affinities between their work, and to address areas that are currently being overlooked.
“Support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is extremely important in light of the greatly increased need for journalism to provide evidence-based information to communities, at the same time news organizations are facing extraordinary financial challenges,” said Vince Stehle, executive director of Media Impact Funders. “It also signals the importance of sparking increased philanthropic support for this vital function.”
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is a longtime supporter of MIF. Most recently, in 2017, MIF received $75,000 to identify and analyze trends in global media, gaps in international media funding, and recommendations for future grantmaking. That research resulted in a comprehensive report on the international media funding landscape, Global Media Philanthropy: What Funders Need to Know About Data, Trends and Pressing Issues Facing the Field.
About Media Impact Funders
Media Impact Funders—formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television—began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. The group gained momentum in 1990, just as the word “Internet” was being introduced for the first time. 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. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range of media funding interests such as journalism, documentary film, 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 30 in-person and online events yearly.