How to pitch

We encourage independent journalists to query us directly; assigning editors at journalism outlets may also query us on behalf of a reporter.

Step 1

Send us a short story query of no more than a few paragraphs to queries@theinvestigativefund.org. Please include a few sentences about the story, why it matters now, and any unique access or documents you may have. Also include a couple of sentences about yourself. We encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions before you hit send. You do not need to have a commitment from an editorial outlet at this stage.

Step 2

If your query seems like a good match for our project, one of our editors will ask you to submit a full proposal with a budget request, using a simple application form we’ll provide. We’ll assess the proposal according to three main criteria: originality, feasibility, and potential for impact.

Step 3 (sometimes)

A revise. If we believe your project has potential but we have questions about your reporting plan or budget request, one of our editors will work with you to further develop your proposal.

A note on budget requests: Reporters we work with are expected to receive a fee from the media outlet that publishes their findings. Your budget request to us should include travel and other out-of-pocket costs as well as a fee to cover the additional time required for you to do deep investigative reporting.

Finally, a note on confidentiality and security: We take the obligation to guard your story ideas very seriously; we will not circulate them beyond our editorial team. We also realize that the contents of your proposal may contain sensitive information. If you are concerned about submitting details by email, please let us know and we will work out a secure method of communication.