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Author: Olga Komarova | 14. September 2018

GFMD is pleased to announce an upcoming series of webinars for members who would like to gain better insight into the contours of the donor landscape and, in particular, into upcoming funding programmes related to media development.

It is widely felt that, whilst most donors provide clear and detailed instructions for potential grant applicants, there is often a knowledge gap around their specific preferences, programmatic priorities, and areas of interest. Furthermore, organisations are eager to know what practical steps they need to take in order to maximise their chances of success.

Therefore, GFMD is proposing to give media development actors the opportunity to access expertise and experience that can help to fill the perceived knowledge gap. Our goal is to ensure that this process is tailored to your needs and reflects your interests.

The format

GFMD plans to organise a series of 45-minute webinars chaired and moderated by a subject-matter expert. The expert will share his/her insights into the selected topic before moving on to a question and answer session during which participants will be able to ask questions verbally or by text message. There will be an option for participants using the messaging system to remain anonymous if they so desire.

The webinars will be as interactive as the medium allows, and delegates will be encouraged to share their own experiences for the benefit of the wider group. Issues covered are likely to include: context, trends, partnerships, budgets, and previous track record. After the session is over, audio recordings of the webinar will be made available to participants together with a list of key takeaways. This list may also be shared with the donor concerned.

The focus

We suggest organising the webinars under different overarching themes and are particularly interested in finding out which of the areas listed below resonate with our members (additional suggestions are also very welcome):

  1. Types of donor: Briefings on the various types of donor supporting media development projects (inter alia). Examples might include: foundations, philanthropists, or technology companies. Delegates would get the chance to find out more about their focus areas and operating procedures, as well as examples of projects they have funded in the past.
  2. Rolling programmes: Several donors accept unsolicited proposals throughout the year, sometimes with scheduled deadlines, sometimes without. Examples include Global Affairs Canada, the Democracy and Media Foundation, the European Endowment for Democracy, and the National Endowment for Democracy. The webinar will explain how these organisations process applications and explore the potential ingredients for success.
  3. New donors: An insight into new players in the media sector or established donors who have embraced media development as a new area of endeavour. Examples include Google DNI, Facebook (Journalism Project), and the Global Engagement Centre. Participants will be able to learn more about the political or strategic rationale behind these programmes and share any experience gained to date.
  4. Open calls: A discussion of national, regional, or global calls for proposals that have been recently launched as well as open to a broad cross-section of GFMD members. Examples might include the European Instrument for Human Rights and Democracy, the Dutch Human Rights Fund, the FCO’s Human Rights Fund, and Journalism 360. The webinar will focus on core themes (including cross-cutting themes) and anecdotal evidence of successful approaches.

Where relevant, the moderator may invite guest-speakers to join the session or the webinar content could include direct commentary from representatives of the donor organisations. Their input could cover areas such as the work of evaluation committees or the do’s and don’ts of proposal-writing.


In order to express interest for the webinars, please access this linkThis will take you to a survey with questions related to your organisational structure and resources, as well as a list of webinars topics to choose from.

The deadline for registrations is: 28 September.

Webinar dates will be announced at the beginning of October.


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