This new opportunity is for Registered Journalism Organizations, journalism organizations that partner with a charitable partner.

Before planning your application to the Journalism Endowment Matching Program, please carefully review the full applicant guide below. If you have any remaining questions about the program, eligibility, or the application process, please contact Fateema Sayani at fsayani@ocf-fco.ca

What are the goals of the Journalism Endowment Matching Program?

The Ottawa Community Foundation believes that independent journalism plays a critical role in creating informed, healthy, and resilient communities. It serves as a source of timely and accurate information, as an advocate for the public, as a support for social cohesion, and as means of holding power to account. By shining light on issues that matter, by giving voice to underrepresented groups, and by sharing vital information with the public, journalism also plays a key role in shaping public policy responses and solutions.

As part of the Ottawa Community Foundation’s commitment to supporting journalism organizations, we have launched the Journalism Endowment Matching Program.

The Matching Program has three core objectives:

  • Strengthen the capacity and activities of journalism organizations through a matching grant.
  • Spark donor interest and engagement in supporting journalism.
  • Sustain a long-term mechanism for funding journalism organizations through community and donor support for organizational funds.

The community foundation will help create the philanthropic infrastructure to enable journalism organizations to engage donors, and then those organizations will independently lead on the development of their organizational fund and journalistic activities.

Which organizations are eligible to apply?

The Journalism Endowment Matching Program is available to:

Journalism organizations who are partnered with a charitable partner. In these cases, the charitable partner must complete a partnership agreement form. Download the form.

What are the responsibilities of participating organizations?

Seeding an organizational fund

Organizations that participate in the Journalism Endowment Matching Fund will be responsible for fundraising at least $5,000 to seed their organizational fund at the Ottawa Community Foundation. Starting from the date of their acceptance into the program, participating organizations will have six months to fundraise those initial funds. 

What is an organizational fund and how does it work?

An organizational fund is a form of endowment fund that is professionally managed and invested by the Ottawa Community Foundation, on behalf of an organization. Supporters can direct donations for the organization toward its fund.

  • Once accepted into the Journalism Endowment Matching Program, the Ottawa Community Foundation will set up an endowment fund in the name of an organization.
  • Participating organizations will reach out to potential supporters and direct any donations to the organizational fund at the community foundation. 
  • Any donations to the journalism organization will be placed into the endowment fund, and invested over time. 
  • Earnings from the fund’s investments will be distributed back to the journalism organization, to help sustain operations in the long-run. 
  • The community foundation will handle all the administrative details—including investment management—so that the organization can focus on its mission and important journalism-related work.
  • $5,000 is the target amount of dollars that participating organizations will need to raise to unlock the matching grant from the Journalism Endowment Matching Program. Participating organizations are welcome to engage donors and encourage donations beyond that amount, to support journalism activities in the long-term. The Ottawa Community Foundation can help set up a dedicated webpage for the fund. 

The Ottawa Community Foundation will provide endowment outreach materials to help organizations communicate this opportunity to potential donors.

Leading journalism-related activities

Once a participating journalism organization has fundraised the $5,000 to seed the organizational fund, the Ottawa Community Foundation will match that amount with a $5,000 grant to support journalism-related activities and expenses. 

Participating organizations may use the grant for any project- or journalism-related expenditures, which may include costs related to labour, reporting, editing, design, layout, videography, photography, capacity-building, digital discovery, dissemination, publication, office materials, travel, or other relevant expenses.

How will applications to the Journalism Endowment Matching Program be evaluated?

The Ottawa Community Foundation will evaluate applications based on the following criteria:

  1. Eligibility: Applicant must be either:
    • a Registered Journalism Organization, or
    • a journalism organization partnered with a charitable partner 
  2. Journalism-related focus: The extent of an organization’s focus on journalism-related activities.

    Priority will be given to organizations that:

      • Conduct original journalism as their primary focus.
      • Have been engaged in journalism-related activities for at least one full year.
      • Reach an engaged and diverse audience.
      • Are interested in philanthropic funding as a model for sustaining their practices.
      • Are led by, are inclusive of, or give voice to underrepresented communities.
  3. Ability to seed an Organizational Fund: The applicant organization must demonstrate a clear and feasible plan for raising the $5,000 to seed the organizational fund

What are the timelines for the program?

  • Applications are open and will be accepted on a rolling basis until matching funds are disbursed in full. 
  • The organizations whose applications have been accepted into the Journalism Endowment Matching Program will be announced online.
  • The community foundation will establish organizational funds as organizations are accepted into the Journalism Endowment Matching Program. 
  • From the date that they are accepted into the program, participating organizations will have six months from the time that they’re accepted to work with donors to seed the organizational fund with at least $5,000. 
  • Once the organization has seeded their organizational fund with at least $5,000, they will receive the $5,000 grant from the Ottawa Community Foundation. 
  • Once created, the organizational fund endowment will stay open in perpetuity, and participating organizations are welcome to continue to encourage donations to support their activities in the long-term.

How do organizations apply?

To submit an application, please click here.

A template of the application questions is available here: Application Form for the Journalism Endowment Matching Program.

Before starting an application, all interested organizations are encouraged to discuss their eligibility and interest in the program with Fateema Sayani, Director, Donor Engagement: fsayani@ocf-fco.ca | 613-236-1616 ext. 224.

Readiness Checklist

  • Reviewed the eligibility criteria and ensured that their organization is either a Registered Journalism Organization or a journalism organization that has partnered with a charitable partner.

  • Developed a plan for fundraising the $5,000 seed to your organizational fund.

  • Signed the partnership agreement Form with your charitable partner (in the event that your organization is not a Registered Journalism Organization / qualified donee). Download the form.

  • Contacted the Ottawa Community Foundation with any questions about eligibility, or the program more generally: fsayani@ocf-fco.ca.

  • Prepared to submit an application through the online platform