Ecosystem Support Grants

Thanks in part to Lenfest Institute support, Philadelphia serves as a model for news, information, and media ecosystems around the United States.

The Institute has established partnerships between both legacy and start-up organizations to better serve all communities. Through direct investment, the Institute continues to expand its commitment to community media, news media start-ups, and training and professional development for a broad and diverse array of Philadelphia regional news media.

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism and The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund have supported a number of organizations in recent years to strengthen the local journalism community in and around Philadelphia. 

The Al Día Foundation

In 2021, The Lenfest Institute supported the launch of The Al Día Foundation and its Felix Varela Fellowship Program with a $150,000 grant. The new nonprofit was created to spark innovation and entrepreneurship in Philadelphia’s journalism community and will help ensure that all Philadelphians are served with news and information that helps them lead meaningful lives.

Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund

In partnership with Independence Public Media Foundation, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, and the Knight Foundation, The Lenfest Institute established the $2.5 million Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund. In 2020, the fund supported 19 local media organizations as they worked to meet the information needs of Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities at this time of acute need with an eye toward how the pandemic provided an opportunity for reinvention and reimagination.

AAJA Philly, NAHJ Philly, and PABJ

The Lenfest Institute committed a total of $70,000 in support in 2020 for the Asian American Journalists Association Philadelphia Chapter (AAJA Philly), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Philadelphia Chapter (NAHJ Philly), and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ). The funding aimed to support these professional journalism organizations so they could continue to provide unique, quality programs and services to journalists of color in the Philadelphia region.