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Welcome to the March edition of Bottom Line!

In this newsletter you will find:

✅ Our newly launched Russian Fundraising Guide
✅ Advice on how to create a donor and reporting-friendly budget
Funding opportunities in Asia
✅ Profiles on DANIDA  and Bloomberg Philanthropies

Over this past year hundreds of independent journalists have been forced to flee Russia for reporting a different account of the invasion of Ukraine than that promoted by official Russian sources. Many have ended up in neighbouring countries from where they continue to inform and report to their countrymen about the ongoing situation. 

In recognition of the dire financial situation now facing our exiled Russian colleagues and other Russian language journalists and media in the Eastern Partnership and beyond, the MediaDev Fundraising Guide has been translated into Russian with funding from the EU through the EU4 Independent Media programme.

Feel free to share this new Guide with colleagues and your wider network so we can reach as many independent Russian-language journalists and media workers as possible.

As always, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have feedback or comments on how to improve the Guide or if you have suggestions for topics you'd like to see addressed in future newsletters and our resources and activities.

Anne Marie Hammer
Director of Membership Services



From the Guide

How do you work out a project budget that will satisfy potential donors and also make it easy to use in your financial narrative when it comes time for reporting? In the Fundraising Guides module on Budgeting you can find insights into common budget models used by donors as well as the challenges of ensuring that projects are both financially viable and offer good value for money

The dangers of under-budgeting

Too often applicants make the assumption that their proposals will be more appealing to donors if they offer low prices or cram projects full of underfunded activities. 

For example, even though they are crucial for providing effective oversight and quality control, some people are hesitant to include management costs.

To make matters worse, some donors engage in drawn-out budget negotiations after an application has received preliminary approval. They raise objections to multiple budget lines and demand significant cost savings based on their perception of what constitutes cost-effectiveness in the target country or region.

To appease them, prospective grantees often give in to their requests.

Find out more about the consequences of unworkable budgets and advice on how to get the price right here.

Budget narratives

Both European Commission and DRL funding applications require organisations to present a budget narrative which is effectively a detailed justification of the direct costs.
✅  The explanation of each budget line should go beyond explaining how the amount was calculated – this is implicit in the budget itself.

✅  Costs for full-time staff should include the estimated level of effort (e.g. how much time will be spent on the project per month as a percentage of the overall number of days in the month) as well as a brief description of the tasks.

✅  Costs for part-time or freelance staff should reference existing rate cards and explain if/where taxes or other contributions will be paid. US grants often make an allowance for inflation and pay rises over the project lifecycle.

You can also learn more about how to justify your expenses here.
U.S. Department of State (DRL)
Deadline: April 24
U.S. Department of State (DRL)
Deadline: April 10
European Commission
Deadline: May 2
Konrad Adenaur Stiftung
Deadline: April 10

Find more funding opportunities on our website. 


The Danish International Development Agency, better known by its acronym DANIDA, is part of the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs that provides humanitarian aid and development assistance to developing countries.

DANIDA’s overseas development assistance includes bilateral programs with specific media interventions managed by Danish embassies in DANIDA’s priority countries, which include Pakistan, Myanmar, Zimbabwe, Burkina Faso, and Niger. Other priority countries may also receive support in the media and freedom of expression categories through broader human rights and democratization programs.

See more on Denmark's Danish-Arab Partnership Programme (DAPP) and GFMD's profile on the DANIDA here.


Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies is a philanthropic organisation that has tackled a wide range of issues in more than 700 cities and 150 countries in the following core areas: the arts, education, the environment, government innovation, and public health.

Bloomberg Media Initiative Africa (BMIA), launched in 2014, is the organisation’s pan-African program. It offers cross-disciplinary education programs and mid-career fellowships. The aim is to increase the number of highly trained business and financial journalists, organise pan-African forums to examine global media best practices, and fund research to foster media innovations.

The BMIA is part of Bloomberg’s Global Business and Financial Education Program which is offered in North America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East.

See GFMD's profile on Bloomberg Philanthropies here.


How Russian journalists in exile are covering the war in Ukraine 
by Masha Gessen

This New Yorker article by Masha Gessen relives the accounts of Russian journalists who have fled to the capital of Latvia due to their coverage of the war in Ukraine. In spite of ongoing threats from the Russian government, being cut off from their funding sources, a distrustful public, and a set of strictly-enforced laws and regulations in their new country of residence, these journalists continue to report from abroad in their improvised studio spaces.

One ray of hope in this bleak story is how a network of independent Russian media including The Moscow Times, TV Rain, and Meduza were able to obtain significant funding from international foundations with help from Dutch media entrepreneur Derk Sauer. He points out that “fundraising is much easier if you come together.”

This read is an eye-opener about the significant challenges that Russian media-in-exile are up against while also struggling to provide an alternative perspective to state-controlled media narratives for their readers back home.

ECPMF launches new “Opportunities in Exile” project

On March 2 the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) launched its latest project to support journalists living and working in exile in Germany. 

ECPMF is offering exiled journalists and media professionals in Europe both practical and legal aid as well as temporary refuge  in order to support “their ability to continue working in the face of threats, harassment, and/or intimidation related to their journalistic activities.”

The journalists will get access to professional training, internships, language courses, legal advice, psychosocial support, equipment, and networks. For media professionals who are particularly at risk, ECPMF also provides short-term relocation through their Journalists-in-Residence Programme

See more in ECPMF’s press release here.

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