RNF Religion Journalist Relief Fund to provide aid, project work for religion reporters

Religion News Association (RNA) members who are experiencing financial distress are invited to apply for aid from the Religion News Foundation’s (RNF) new Religion Journalist Relief Fund. The program, in partnership with RNA, will provide each grantee with up to $1,000 for their religion reporting projects.

Now is the time to double down in support of our community.  Religion journalists are on the frontline today like never before and that has taken its toll on too many of us,” said RNF Board Chair Muhammed Chaudhry. “It is our hope that the fund that RNF has created, working with RNA, will help in a small way in these challenging times.”

“Religion journalists have been covering the most urgent issues of 2020 — how people find meaning and community amid illness, death, poverty, isolation and the quest for justice,” said Peter Smith, RNA Board of Directors President. “Yet journalism is struggling economically due to the very factors that make it so vital today. We are grateful to RNF for initiating the Religion Journalist Relief Fund and providing this boost to RNA members who are challenged financially at this time.”

The ongoing program seeks to provide RNA journalists who have been laid off, furloughed, lost freelance income, or experienced other financial setbacks with the opportunity to receive up to $1,000 to report religion stories as articles, podcasts, photography, or video.  Recipients of this fund are encouraged to pitch the reporting they produce to a news outlet or publication of their choice.


We encourage religion-reporting enthusiasts who are able to contribute  to consider supporting the program with a tax-deductible gift specific to this project to RNF at https://www.givegab.com/campaigns/rnf-religion-journalist-relief-fund


Journalists should prepare the following items before completing an application that can be found at https://religionnewsfoundation.org/rnf-religion-journalist-relief-fund/:

  • Brief project summary — Pretend you’re pitching your idea to an editor/manager. What is the project about? Why does it matter?
  • Plans for publishing/distributing — Where would you seek to publish or distribute your work? Recipients are encouraged to pitch and publish their work at a news outlet or publication of their choice, but successful placement publication is not required to receive funds.
  • Funds needed — How much money are you requesting given your financial need (up to $1,000)?
  • Statement of need — What circumstances created the need to apply?
  • Work history — Tell us a bit about your experience on the religion beat.

The deadline to submit applications is September 8, 2020. All submissions will be confidential.  Winners will be notified by email before the end of September. A general announcement about the awards will be issued following this notification. For more information, visit https://religionnewsfoundation.org/rnf-religion-journalist-relief-fund/.


Religion News Foundation (RNF) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that seeks to advance religious literacy through websites, resources, networks, training workshops, events and other programs tailor-made for media professionals, corporate clients, and the general public. More: ReligionNewsFoundation.org

Religion News Association (RNA) is the premier journalism association for people who write about religion in the news media. RNA equips journalists worldwide with the tools and training they need to cover religion with balance, accuracy and insight. More: RNA.org