Applications for the 2020 Lenfest Next Generation Fund are now closed. Please scroll down to learn more about the Next Generation Fund Leadership Track, which is accepting applications on a rolling basis.

Today, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is opening applications for the 2020 Lenfest Next Generation Fund. Launched in 2019, the Lenfest Next Generation Fund provides awards to Philadelphia-area journalists and students of color to attend a professional development conference of their choice.

Award winners are eligible to attend one of 12 national conferences of their choice, each listed below. This year, The Lenfest Institute is also introducing the Next Generation Fund Leadership Awards which are designed to support individuals attending leadership development programs, also listed below.

In addition to these grants, Lenfest Next Generation Fund award recipients will benefit from several Philadelphia-based professional development training sessions to make the most of their conference experience and to join our growing network of our Lenfest Next Generation Fund alumni.

Why name it the Next Generation Fund? The U.S. Census Bureau projects that by 2045 the United States population will be majority non-white. In some cities, including Philadelphia, that is already the case. We know that to fulfill The Lenfest Institute’s overarching mission of supporting sustainable business models for important local journalism, news coverage needs to be reflective, relatable, and relevant to diverse communities.

In 2019, twenty-three Philadelphia-area journalists and students won Lenfest Next Generation Fund awards to attend key industry conferences. Here’s some of what they had to say about the experience:

Want to apply in 2020? Here’s what you need to know:

To be considered you have to a journalist or a student of journalism who resides in the Greater Philadelphia Area and self-identifies as a member of a group that has historically been underrepresented in newsrooms.

In addition to the existing Professional and Student Track, we have added a Next Generation Fund Leadership Award to the program. This will allow applicants to attend conferences or trainings that are more focused on developing leadership and management skills. A few examples of trainings that we would consider for funding via this track include:

●               AAJA Executive Leadership Program

●               AAJA Catalyst

Here’s how the leadership track works:

  • To be eligible for this track, participants must already have applied for and been accepted to a news leadership program with a competitive application process or an invite-only convening. Individuals can also use the Leadership Track to apply to attend one of the generally supported conferences if they are receiving an award or are speaking at the event.
  • Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis through 2020.
  • To be considered, applications must be received at least 9 weeks prior to attending the training.
  • All applications will be reviewed and processed by the end of the following month after the application is received.
  • If the application is accepted, payment will be made within 30 days of a signed grant agreement. That means that it could take three months from application to receiving the funds if your application is approved, so please apply as early as possible. There’s no guarantee of an award if you apply.
  • Leadership Track applicants are eligible for a stipend of up to  $2,500.
  • Applicants can apply to both the Leadership Track and the Professional & Student Track but preference will be given to first-time award recipients.

For more information about the The Lenfest Next Generation Fund and The Next Generation Fund Leadership Track, we will be holding office hours during which we will walk through your application with you. To schedule an appointment please follow this link.

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