Grants & Programs

The Lenfest Institute provides grant funding, runs training programs, and synthesizes best practices to develop and disseminate sustainable solutions to the business challenges facing local news providers in Philadelphia, across Pennsylvania, and throughout the United States.

The Lenfest Institute welcomes grant applications in response to grant programs announced and listed on the Institute’s website. All grant applications must be submitted through the Institute’s grant-management portal. The Institute staff designs grant applications and evaluation processes appropriate for the goals of the grant programs. All applications are reviewed by a staff grants committee, which recommends grants for approval, either to senior management or to the Board, depending on the size of the grant and the source of funds for it

In addition, groups who are interested in grants that don’t fit with the Institute’s active grant programs are invited to send letters of inquiry to [email protected] and may be invited to apply for grants if the proposed activities align with the Institute’s mission and priorities.

The Philadelphia Inquirer

As the non-controlling owner of The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Lenfest Institute provides targeted grants that support journalism and civic information, sustainable business models, and diversity, equity, and inclusion to ensure that Philadelphia communities are equipped with the news and information they need.

The Institute’s work with The Inquirer is entirely supported by philanthropic efforts.

Philadelphia News Ecosystem

The Lenfest Institute aims to support a sustainable local journalism ecosystem that can catalyze a more transparent, connected, and equitable Philadelphia by linking residents to their neighbors, to news organizations, and to other information resources that allow them to flourish.

Philadelphia is equipped to serve as a model for news, information, and media ecosystems around the country. The Lenfest Institute provides direct funding and training programs to publishers and media professionals throughout the Philadelphia area.

Spotlight PA

The Lenfest Institute founded Spotlight PA, a collaborative nonprofit investigative newsroom covering Pennsylvania state government. The Spotlight PA newsroom works with more than 80 other news organizations across the commonwealth to distribute its reporting free of charge. Spotlight PA’s mission is to hold powerful private and public forces across Pennsylvania — especially governments, businesses and special interests — to account through urgent and compelling investigative journalism that drives change and strengthens our democracy, Pennsylvania, and all who live here.

National Solutions for Local News

The Lenfest Institute calls Philadelphia home, but alongside our partners, we support organizations across the United States to help them build sustainable business models and serve their communities with reliable journalism. The Institute shares what is learned in Philadelphia to expand upon our impact. 

The Lenfest Institute model is now being replicated and adapted nationwide — especially in cities that have seen their local news organizations taken over by hedge funds more interested in extracting profits than providing quality news and information.