Published on Feb. 1, 2023
MONTCLAIR, N.J. — The New Jersey Civic Information Consortium is excited today to announce an open call for grant proposals, plus three key areas of additional investment for 2023.
This year marks the Consortium’s third round of grant funding. The Consortium builds on the foundation laid by public media in the United States, and reimagines how public funding can be used to address the growing problem of news deserts and misinformation, and to support more informed communities.
In its first two years, the Consortium received $2.5 million in public funding and $600,000 from foundations, including the New Jersey Local News Lab Fund, Democracy Fund and New Jersey Health Initiatives, a statewide grantmaking program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. With that money, the Consortium awarded a total of 53 grants to support a geographically and racially diverse group of 35 local news organizations, media startups and news outlets that serve and represent urban, suburban, rural, BIPOC and immigrant communities.
The funding also has enabled the Consortium to support training programs and general operations of the organization.
“On behalf of the Board of Directors, we are very excited about the terrific work of our grantees from 2021 and 2022, and are looking forward both to building on that work and supporting new and innovative projects and programs in 2023,” said Interim Executive Director and Board Chair, Chris Daggett. “The bedrock of our democracy is civic engagement, and civic engagement is most productive when residents are well informed.”
In 2023, the Consortium will allocate $3.95 million in the following areas:
— Continued investment in current grantees. The Consortium intends to renew funding for some of its current grantees. All current grantees will be invited to participate in interviews in February and March to assess their needs and capabilities for grant renewal.
— Investment in ecosystem infrastructure. The Consortium intends to help small, hyperlocal and community-focused news organizations improve their technology stacks and revenue capabilities. It will also fund organizations that provide services to the information ecosystem in the state. The request for proposals is now open to the public.
— Community-led grantmaking. The Consortium is thrilled to pilot a community-led grantmaking initiative to support news, information and civic engagement in 2023. Details about this opportunity will be shared later this month.
— An open call for projects supporting the journalism pipeline, civic engagement and election-related work. Grants up to $100,000 will be awarded from a $1 million pool.
Beginning today through March 31, the Consortium — a first-in-the-nation initiative to grow access to local news and information — is accepting applications for its spring 2023 open round of funding, focused on:
— The journalism pipeline, including high school, community college and university programs. The Consortium encourages collaboration among and between such groups, and seeks to especially prioritize projects that address information gaps and news deserts, educate aspiring media makers of color, and/or serve marginalized communities.
— Programs/projects that encourage/support civic engagement in New Jersey communities, especially those that have been traditionally marginalized.
— Nonpartisan civic voter information, election reporting, and election-related projects, particularly those that address mis- and disinformation and seek to get trustworthy, relevant, and timely information to the public toward more informed and participatory elections.
A full list of eligibility requirements and frequently asked questions can be found on the Consortium’s website at njcivicinfo.org/guidelines2023.
TO APPLY: Visit our application portal. Note that this year’s application is different from last year’s, as the Consortium has moved to use Foundant’s platform for its grantmaking. To begin the process, all grantees — even returning grantees — will need to first create an account.
Any questions? Let us know: Email [email protected].
For more information about the Consortium, please visit our website at njcivicinfo.org.