The Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund on Tuesday opened applications for a $750,000 grantmaking initiative to support Philadelphia-area media and other community organizations as they work to meet the news and information needs of the region’s diverse and marginalized communities during the coronavirus pandemic and its aftermath. Applications are now open, and the deadline to apply is May 18.

The Fund, which was announced earlier this month, will target its grantmaking to support both immediate needs during the current crisis and long-term resiliency and reinvention efforts through four focus areas: 

  • News and Information on public health and economic relief for vulnerable communities that addresses health and other structural disparities (economic, social or environmental) and contributing factors
  • News and information generated by and for diverse communities with emphasis on sharing their stories, experiences, expertise, and solutions
  • Infrastructure needs of news and media organizations required to better cover the health, social, and economic impact of COVID-19, to be responsive to community needs and to support new forms of storytelling – amplifying the lived experience, utilizing data, deepening engagement, listening to and co-creation with communities
  • Civic and community systems needs by providing news and information that addresses the evolution and reinvention of key systems such as, but not limited to, food security, health care, employment/economy, education, mass incarceration, or the 2020 election and Census

Both for-profit and nonprofit media outlets and collaborations that are serving audiences in the Philadelphia area are eligible to apply. Projects serving immediate information needs are eligible for six-month grants of up to $50,000. Proposals serving longer-term resiliency and reinvention efforts are eligible for 12-month grants of up to $100,000. Full details on eligibility requirements and the application process are available here. The Fund will also be holding a webinar on May 5 to answer any questions you may have. You can register here

“Philadelphia is the city of brotherly love and sisterly affection. What does love and affection look like in action? We want applicants to boldly and creatively explore this question by using news and information to help communities navigate the current crisis and ensure their resiliency afterward,” said Roxann Stafford, managing director of the Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund.  

Created by The Independence Public Media Foundation, The Lenfest Institute for Journalism, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, the Philadelphia COVID-19 Community Information Fund is a $2.5 million effort to support media and community organizations providing news and information to Philadelphia’s most vulnerable communities. 

This month, the Fund announced its first grants — totaling $1.75 million — to support Resolve Philly, WHYY, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and WURD Radio as they cover the coronavirus pandemic and its ongoing impacts on Philadelphians. 

About The Independence Public Media Foundation

The Independence Public Media Foundation funds and supports creative, community-centered media and media making across Greater Philadelphia. Through grant-making and other programs, the Foundation supports building and strengthening networks of people creating and sharing information, ideas, and stories for change and justice. For more information, visit

About The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

With a focus on sustainability and equity, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund, is designed to strengthen local journalism at scale, by supporting  journalistic excellence and serving the information needs of communities. The Knight-Lenfest Fund collaborates with news organizations, leaders and communities to grow capacity and meet journalism’s technology, business, and audience realities of the future. The Fund believes that journalism is at its best when it is of service.

About The Lenfest Institute for Journalism

The Lenfest Institute for Journalism is a non-profit organization whose sole mission is to develop and support sustainable business models for great local journalism. The Institute was founded in 2016 by cable television entrepreneur H.F. (Gerry) Lenfest. The Institute is the parent organization of The Philadelphia Inquirer, a for-profit public benefit corporation dedicated to serving the people of the Philadelphia region.

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. Learn more at

Photo by Yong Kim/Philadelphia Inquirer

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