Apply now: fund to strengthen independent public interest journalism in Europe

© Civitates
31 March 2020

Independent public interest journalism is essential for democracies. It helps people to form their opinion and participate in democratic processes. In addition, this form of journalism has a monitoring function and detects abuses of power. In order to strengthen independent public interest journalism in Europe, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation participates in a fund initiated by Civitates.

As a matter of fact, independent journalism is under increasing pressure. Throughout Europe, journalistic organisations struggle with a loss of confidence, with restrictions in press freedom and with eroding business models. For this reason, European foundations have joined forces under the umbrella of the philanthropic initiative Civitates and aim to strengthen journalistic organisations.

The request for proposals is now open. The call mainly addresses organisations that operate under difficult political and economic conditions. They must either be a non-profit organisation or work with a profit model that reinvests all profit back to the organisation.

The project partners receive a multi-year core funding which allows them to work independently and to establish sustainable structures. The aim is also to connect the grantee partners to learn from each other and to collaboratively strengthen public interest journalism in Europe.

The application round ends on 30 June 2020. Further information and the online application form can be found here.

Call to action

Foundation commitment in the sign of corona crisis

© Jana Kühle
25 March 2020


Foundation commitment in the sign of corona crisis

For many organizations in the social, cultural, environmental or educational field, foundations are indispensable partners to finance projects and activities.

Today, our grantees and partners are directly and existentially affected by the Corona crisis. As foundations, we accept our responsibility to support our partners in this exceptional situation.

We would like to express our thanks and appreciation to all our grantee organizations and projects for their commitment in this difficult situation. We assure you that you can count on us as foundations:

  • We consider it our shared responsibility to support you in this crisis so that you can continue to work for your target groups during and after the pandemic.
  • We want to understand your challenges and concerns in order to jointly find solutions. We know that your usual work procedures are turned upside down. Please do not hesitate to contact us if your time allows.
  • We are aware that you cannot carry out agreed projects and program activities as planned. We commit to not reclaiming promised funding and are open to postponing projects, extending commitments and adapting activities.
  • We encourage you to find alternative formats for canceled events or projects. Please explore which alternative ways and forms can be tested. We are happy to assist you – so we can jointly use the crisis as an opportunity to learn.
  • We understand that you are not able to deliver reports in the usual quality in the current situation, and we will of course adjust deadlines and requirements.
  • If payments are linked to specific results, goals or milestones that you cannot achieve due to the Corona crisis, we will still pay-out pledged installments.
  • On a case by case basis, we will evaluate the possibility to amend or suspend program-related funding restrictions, in order to give you leeway to react to the crisis.
  • If our financial means allow, we will provide additional funding beyond existing commitments and will contribute to emergency funds for particularly affected target groups.
  • We want to learn from this experience. We will therefore evaluate the lessons learned and discuss how foundations can contribute to building the resilience of civil society organizations in future crisis situations.

We are calling on other foundations, social investors and donors to join this call to action.

You can join the call here.


Adjustments to our funding practice due to coronavirus

© Thies Rätzke
18 March 2020

Our foundation aims to be a reliable funding partner at any time. Therefore, the current spreading of the coronavirus has caused us to temporarily adjust our funding measures. We want to provide quick and unbureaucratic support in these difficult times.

Information for current project partners

Currently we experience increased enquiries from project partners who are unable to realise their projects or cannot realise them in the planned way. For those that receive core funding, there will not be any change in our funding practice. People and organisations that receive project-related funding, the following list will provide answers to the most frequently asked questions:

Application round in our artistic funding area is suspended

We suspend the current application round in the artistic funding area (with initial deadline 1 April 2020) until further notice. As soon as it becomes apparent that production and performance conditions in the cultural sector are stabilizing again, we will determine a new deadline. Applications that have already been submitted will be considered automatically.

Identifying relief efforts

The funds that are released by the suspension of the application round will be reallocated: With different emergency relief measures and initiatives we want to support artists and creative artists in a quick and unbureaucratic way. We are also happy to receive feedback from the field. Please contact us with your ideas. As soon as our offer has been elaborated, we will inform you at this point on our website.


If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Nina Cerezo.