Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund Grant Application

Applying for Grants

The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund will award more than $100,000 through a third round of grants in early 2020. While we do not have a set grant range, applicants should be aware that the larger the amount requested, the more competitive the application will need to be. Applicants should base the amount requested on the scope of the project.

Who May Apply

The Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund will make grants to either media-specific organizations or to community organizations that are proposing to do this work in collaboration with a media partner. Current DJEF grantees are eligible to apply, if it is for the next phase of their current projects. Applications must outline how the proposed plan ties in with the larger sustainability strategy for the organization, such as growth in earned revenue, requesting a matching fund requirement, or other strategy.

Applicants must be located in and/or serve southeast Michigan, with a preference toward a focus on the city of Detroit. Applicants must be 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations or organizations that have a strong nonprofit fiscal sponsor. If it is a collaborative project between a nonprofit and for-profit, the nonprofit partner should be the applicant. Organizations must have an independent certified financial audit/review or a completed Form 990 (indicating tax exemption status).

Note: We do not make grants to individuals, sectarian religious programs, or to cover deficits or other previously incurred obligations.


From November 20 to December 18, you are invited to submit your idea. Awards will be made in February 2020. 

  • November 20, 2019: Application opens! Register for a CFSEM Fluxx grant portal profile if you have not already. You must register in order to access the application. Allow five days for registration requests to be processed. Register early for maximum time to review and complete the application.
  • November 27, 2019: Registration deadline.
  • December 18, 2019: Application Deadline.
  • December and January: During this time, the foundation partners will review all entries received. Project staff may contact the applicant to request additional information.
  • February 2020: Grant decisions and award information will be shared with applicants through the Fluxx grant portal. The first payment will be made in February 2020, conditional upon receiving signed terms of grant agreement.
  • March 2020: Awards will be publicly announced

Important Note: We have a new online grants management system. If you think you will apply to the Detroit Journalism Engagement Fund, you should go on the site now and register your organization. Registration only needs to happen once, but is required before you can submit an application.

Contact our grants management team for any questions.


Please review the Grantmaking Guidelines and application checklist to learn the key facts, and to get answers to our more frequently asked questions.

After reviewing these guidelines, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Lenzi Abma to discuss a proposed project before submitting a proposal.


Once you’ve reviewed the grantmaking guidelines and spoken with Lenzi, it’s time to start your grant application.

Questions? Feel free to contact


Lenzi Abma
Program Officer
313.961.6675, ext. 134

Contact Lenzi