The Investigative Fund (at The Nation Institute)

The Investigative Fund at The Nation Institute is dedicated to improving the scope and overall quality of investigative reporting in the independent press and beyond. The Investigative Fund incubates and supports important investigative stories with the potential for social impact, particularly on issues that may be bypassed by the mainstream media. The Investigative Fund does this by providing reporters with editorial guidance, institutional support, and grants to cover the research costs associated with investigative journalism.

Some Investigative Fund stories have sparked resignations of public officials; others have triggered FBI investigations, Congressional hearings, or federal legislation. Still others have changed the debate around a key issue or exposed previously hidden forms of abuse and exploitation. Investigative Fund stories have won some of journalism’s top awards: the Polk, the National Magazine Award, the Sidney Hillman Award, awards from Investigative Reporters & Editors, and more.

Founded as a pilot project in 1996 with the support of the Lear Foundation, The Investigative Fund expanded to its current size in 2005 with generous support from Lannan Foundation, the Puffin Foundation, and others. We are now grateful to be supported by the Ford Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, the Schooner Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Park Foundation, Ploughshares Fund, the Morton K. and Jane Blaustein Foundation, the Mai Family Fund, Irving Harris Foundation, and the Jonathan Larsen Foundation, among others, and collaborate with multiple media partners and produce approximately seventy investigations each year.

Our investigations have appeared in a wide variety of outlets, from The Nation magazine with 200,000 readers, to Salon, which counts 5 million unique visitors each month, to NPR’s Marketplace, with 8 million listeners, to PBS’s Need to Know, Time, Newsweek, AARP Magazine, Harper’s, The New York Review of Books, The New Republic, Mother Jones, GQ, and many more.

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The Investigative Fund runs a lean operation so that the bulk of our approximately $600,000 annual project budget goes directly to reporters to cover their travel and research costs. For a list of our funders, click here.