“Passion projects” – Small Grants Competition (round I)

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Internews in Moldova SENSE project is announcing a small grants competition for regional independent media outlets which are interested in improving their content or business and engagement strategies.

These projects will help the grantees achieve “quick wins” by supporting a specific initiative that is driven by the outlets’ internal priorities and ambitions and has the potential to unlock new revenue streams, improve the quality or relevance of reporting, or increase the outlets’ engagement with or reach a target community. The outcomes of the project should encourage future growth, experimentation, and development. Grantees will receive mentoring from project team to implement their projects effectively. Illustrative projects may include but are not limited to:

  • launching a new website section;
  • producing a series of long-reads on a locally relevant topic told from a human angle (e.g., entrepreneurship, environment, youth leaders, education, etc.);
  • hosting an offline promotional event (e.g., in-person talks with journalists, anniversary events etc.);
  • introducing new content formats that use different platforms and technology to engage audiences (e.g., livestreaming, podcasts, short videos and mini-docs, crowdsourcing);
  • launching directories of local businesses, public utilities, and classifieds etc.
  1. Conditions for obtaining a small grant

The applicants should submit a pitch (up to 500 words) explaining what the project is about and which goals they set out to achieve. We do not limit in any way the formulation of the ideas and goals. The application will specify how the new project will help the improvement of the media outlet’s content or how it will boost the business etc. The full online application form can be found HERE.

Internews will hold an information session after the launch of the competition to clarify requirements and expectations with potential applicants.

  1. Project duration and budget parameters

Internews will offer five small grants of approx. 3,000 USD each to support applicants’ “passion projects”. Grants will cover expenses needed for projects’ implementation, such as salaries, content production costs, updating equipment and supplies, purchasing software licenses, content management system upgrades, website development etc. Grants amounts will be provided in installments during the project, to get the next installment, the grantees must achieve pre-determined milestones. The duration of the project will be max. four months from the date of the signing of the grant agreement.

  1. Who can apply?

Regional outlets (based outside Chisinau) of all types (print, radio, television, or online media) – are encouraged to apply. Outlets must have an independent editorial policy, proven dedication to professional journalistic standards and ethics. All regional outlets are eligible to apply, but our priority will be supporting outlets that are not already receiving support from the SENSE project.

  1. Grantees’ selection

The applications will be evaluated by an expert jury (composed of media experts and donor representatives) based on a range of selection criteria including:

  • clarity and coherence of the project proposal/pitch,
  • novelty and innovation of the project/idea,
  • capacity and experience to carry out projects/changes,
  • expected project’s results and impact,
  • independent editorial policy and proven commitment to ethical journalism,
  • reasonableness of the budget.

Applicants should make sure to address these points in their application materials (the pitch etc.). Outlets that are not already receiving support from this project will have an advantage.

  1. Application deadline

Interested candidates will complete and submit the online application form in Romanian or Russian language until 18:00 on March 10, 2022. Contact person: Irina Gotisan, program coordinator, e-mail: igotisan@internews.org , phone: +373 69 855 776.