Every day, journalists are challenged — to work harder and faster; to understand and convey complex information; to do more with less; to get past the “he said, she said” and to the heart of the matter; and to report accurately and responsibly, with the highest of ethical standards.
The Society of Professional Journalists and Sigma Delta Chi Foundation are also challenged to respond quickly and effectively to the needs of the profession; to equip journalists for their work; and to educate the public about the vital role of journalism in a democracy.
The organizations respond to these challenges by adding new programs and services every year. During this year, SPJ has added a series of Narrative Writing Workshops, a new Web site that includes podcasts of professional development programs, career resources and more; a report on reporters’ options for responding to gag orders; a campaign for a federal shield law; and more.
A new challenge throughout the coming year will prepare SPJ and the Foundation to better meet these important needs. The organizations have received a challenge grant through The Challenge Fund for Journalism. The matching program was created by The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and the Ford Foundation to help journalism organizations broaden their base of financial support.
Through May 31, gifts to SPJ and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation will be matched through the challenge grant. For every $2 contributed, the challenge fund will contribute an additional, up to $50,000 for the grant period.
Qualifying gifts will come from new supporters who have not yet contributed financially to the organization; and current supporters who choose to increase their financial contributions during the challenge period. The membership dollars of new members also count toward the challenge.
Gifts to SPJ go directly toward the daily operations of the Society and to the programs and services it provides.
The Sigma Delta Chi Foundation supports the educational programs of the Society and serves the professional needs of journalists and students pursuing careers in journalism. Annually, the Foundation awards about $300,000 in grant monies. Most awards go to SPJ and SPJ-related projects to further align with the work of the Society. Other journalism-related projects that help to fulfill the Foundation’s mission may receive support if funds are available.
Questions about the Challenge Grant, the work of these organizations, and how to be a part of this work? Want to know more about tax implications to SPJ or the Foundation? Contact Julie Grimes, associate executive director of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (317) 927-8000, ext. 216.
Consider making a gift now to SPJ and the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation. It will go further than ever before to improve and protect journalism.