Back to news

New Grants Competition: Strengthening Media Financial Sustainability


Strengthening Media Financial Sustainability

April, 2020

Internews’ Media Program in Ukraine (MPU), a project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), invites Ukrainian media organizations (preferably and where possible in partnership with non-traditional players in the media field, such as businesses, IT, mobile communication companies, social enterprises, advertising agencies and associations) to submit project proposals to the Strengthening Media Financial Sustainability Grants Competition. 

Internews will support projects that contribute to the Media Program objective of strengthening and sustaining key media institutions and processes.

These projects will look for opportunities to tackle one or more of the issues below:

• Help Ukrainian media strengthen their financial independence and find ways to survive in a challenging business and advertising environment;

• Help local media thrive in the transition to digital environments;

• Improve media companies’ business development and viability;

• Promote corporate social responsibility, promote new forms of advertising, foster a healthier advertising environment for media, and promote media as an ethical business;

• Promote innovative partnerships between media practitioners and non-traditional players in the media field.

This grant competition is a focused but flexible mechanism that provides opportunities to design effective media management and financial models, and services to audiences.

Grantees should demonstrate plans for soliciting the opinions of and/or reaching out to women and minority groups. Project selection will be based on applicants’ ability to demonstrate concrete achievements that contribute to media business viability and lead to resilience and sustainability of independent ethical media.

Awards of amounts up to US25,000 can be awarded more quickly but the selection committee will consider applications for up to $50,000 if well justified. The average amount of awarded grants will likely be around US$30,000 for projects of up to six-months’ duration. The projects are expected to start from August.

Proposed projects may include (but are not limited to) the following illustrative activities:

• Requests for investment to cope with the reduction in advertising revenues, build sales and advertising units, cover salaries of key staff working on news and information content, and strengthen sustainability over the next year.

• Organizing activities between media outlets and business community leaders to work together on viable media business tools and investment concepts to strengthen the sustainability of independent small and medium media outlets and non-governmental media organizations and help them survive challenging economic times;

• Building coalitions between media practitioners and businesses to provide direct support toward enhancing media outlets’ capacities in running as business entities. Specifically, this could include developing business skills and non-profit ways of income, consulting support around strategic planning, financial planning and budgeting to build sustainable organizations for the long term;

• Developing joint cooperation activities between a media outlet and a research entity to study the media outlet’s audience;

• Supporting partnership activities between a media outlet and a local community to create services that local residents need;

• Supporting the introduction and further functioning of initiatives like the United for News-led Whitelisting project (whereby media are promoted to advertisers as fulfilling basic quality standards and audience outreach and advertisers redirect funding to whitelisted media).

Grant Proposal Writing Instructions:

All proposals should be submitted in Times New Roman, 12 point, single space.  The proposal structure includes the following sections:

I.  Cover Page – 1 page

This page should contain the following information:

A. Project Title

B. Brief Project Description.  In one paragraph, clearly and concisely summarize your project

C. Organization.  Name and contact information – mailing address, e-mail, phone, cell phone and website

D. Project Coordinator.  Full name and contact information – e-mail and cell phone

E. An additional contact person who will follow the project’s progress.  Full name and contact information – e-mail and cell phone

F. Project Duration (in months)

G. Amount Requested from MPU; in USD

H. Your organization’s cost share contribution (10% of the amount requested from MPU) in USD.

II. Program Description – 5 Pages Maximum

A. Description of project goals and objectives connected to MPU objectives

B. Activities to achieve project goals

C. Expected results, outcomes, outputs and project impact

D. Monitoring and evaluation tools and indicators

E. Timetable (monthly) that explains project logic and implementation

F. Partners

G. Organization background – two paragraphs maximum

III. Budget – Excel Format – Must Use Attached Template

The budget should describe major expense categories that show clear cost-effectiveness. The suggested cost share should be no less that 10 percent of the requested sum of the grant. Justification for each cost (budget line) should be inserted to the right of the tab.


IV. Capacity and Previous Experience in Project Implementation – No More Than One Page:

A. Business or Project Management Experience

B. Previous Grants Received

Internews encourages newly established organizations to submit proposals.  If your organization is new to media project implementation, please refer to other relevant projects you have carried out, indicating the competence of primary employees and consultants to be responsible for implementing the proposed project.

Deadline: Project proposals, in both English and Ukrainian, marked “Strengthening Media Financial Sustainability” to be submitted no later than April 30, 18:00 (Kyiv time).

Proposals should be sent electronically to 

Telephone enquires can be made on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 2pm to 4pm at these numbers: 067- 500.55.89 and/or 067-408.55.33.

Proposal Evaluation

Proposals which do not correspond to MPU’s priority activities and requirements will not be considered.

A jury of independent experts will evaluate all proposals, compile a short list and select the winners. Please, note that only shortlisted and winning applicants will be contacted. 

Internews may contact an applicant organization if any additional information regarding the submitted proposal is required.

Please note the project consideration process can take one calendar month.

All awards are subject to available funding and USAID approval.

Grant Selection Criteria

Each proposal will receive an appropriate number of points according to the following criteria:

1. The proposal offers an innovative approach for achieving the Media Program in Ukraine’s priorities.

2. The project can achieve expected results in the referenced period of time.

3. Recommended types of activities make achieving expected results possible.

4. The applicant demonstrates sufficient technical skills, experience and capacity to achieve the proposed activities.

5. The applicant is able to demonstrate a history of high professional and ethical standards, with an independent editorial policy.

6. The project budget is reasonable and cost effective.

7. The cost share is no less that 10 percent of the requested amount.


Photo by Brett Sayles from Pexels