Media Impact Funders receives its largest grant ever

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Media Impact Funders has received two major grants to expand its digital offerings and create more support and attention for issue-focused programming.

A two-year, $500,000 matching grant from The Atlantic Philanthropies is the largest MIF has received since it was incorporated in 2009. The MacArthur Foundation separately awarded a five-year $250,000 grant, though a portion of those funds, $75,000, will be used to match The Atlantic Philanthropies grant.

“Our whole core mission is to serve as a convener and a catalyst for partnerships,” said Nina Sachdev Hoffmann, MIF communications director. “We can do so much more of that with this grant.”

Media Impact Funders is a nonprofit supported by grants and dues-paying members who consist mostly of foundations that fund media, including PBS, Knight and Kaiser Family.  The organization provides resources and tools focused on media policy and funding, storytelling, philanthropic partnerships and more.

The grants will be used to provide additional issue-focused programming for members and the philanthropic community in areas like health, woman and girls, race and justice, and environmental issues such as climate change. MIF also expects to increase staff capacity, and to promote public media projects that are worthy of attention, Hoffmann said.

In addition, MIF plans to hold more OVEEs, or online interactive experiences that enable users to screen content while chatting live with each other, and webinars that delve into the impact of documentary film. “That’s a great alternative than flying out and trying to convene funders in different cities,” Hoffmann said.

As The Atlantic Philanthropies makes its final grants this year, and prepares to fully close by 2020, it’s building a legacy of supporting leaders who can tackle the world’s problems, according to its president and c.e.o. In addition to the MIF grant, Atlantic Philanthropies announced Tuesday a nearly $200 million investment in its fellowship program that aims to address inequality and build leadership.

“As The Atlantic Philanthropies prepare to sunset, Media Impact Funders will work to keep a bright spotlight on the issues and programs Atlantic has supported over many years,” Vince Stehle, MIF’s executive director, said in a statement.

Later this month, MIF will hold its annual Media Impact Forum for funders, a daylong event in New York City focused on media innovation.

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