Funding and Grants

This list comprises of many foundations and organisations that are currently offering funding to photographers and documentary film makers. All the sources on this list grant funding for new projects rather than for projects that have already been finalised. Hopefully it will be of use to some people reading this page. If you know of any other sources I am happy to add them to this list.

The Aaron Siskind Foundation

The Aaron Siskind Foundation’s Individual Photographer’s Fellowship (IPF) grant program encourages and celebrates artistic achievement in contemporary photography by supporting the creative endeavors of artists working in still photography and photography-based media.

The Aftermath Project

The Aftermath Project is a non-profit organization committed to telling the other half of the story of conflict — the story of what it takes for individuals to learn to live again, to rebuild destroyed lives and homes, to restore civil societies, to address the lingering wounds of war while struggling to create new avenues for peace.

The Aftermath Project holds a yearly grant competition open to working photographers worldwide covering the aftermath of conflict. In addition, through partnerships with universities, photography institutions and non-profit organizations, the Project seeks to help broaden the public’s understanding of the true cost of war — and the real price of peace — through international traveling exhibitions and educational outreach in communities and schools.

Alicia Patterson Foundation

The Alicia Patterson Foundation’s mission is to foster, promote, sustain and improve the best traditions of American journalism. The Foundation will provide support for journalists engaged in rigorous, probing, spirited, independent and skeptical work that will benefit the public. The Foundation will support journalism and will foster a community of journalists engaged in truthfully informing the public.

Photographers who have previously been awarded grants by the Foundation include Jon Anderson, Stephen Ferry and Teru Kuwayama (2007), Brenda Ann Kenneally (2008) and Alessandra Sanguinitti (2010).

Alexia Foundation

The professional Alexia Grant was not established with the single purpose of rewarding the best photographers — this is not a portfolio competition. The grant will be awarded to a photojournalist who can further cultural understanding and world peace by conceiving and writing a concise, focused, and meaningful story proposal, and who can demonstrate the ability to visually execute that story with compelling images. There is no mathematical formula for determining grantees, but the proposal and photography must both be considered of the highest quality.

The Foundation also provides cash grants to enable student photographers to have the financial ability to produce a picture story that furthers the Foundation’s goals of promoting world peace and cultural understanding.

Burn Magazine/Magnum Foundation

The Emerging Photographer Grant ($15,000) is provided by the Magnum Foundation, and given to support ongoing work by a young documentary photographer nominated by the burn community.

Carmignac Gestion

The Carmignac Gestion Photojournalism Award aims to support photojournalism since it demands courage, audacity, freedom and determination. (Enter this site and find ‘Le Prix du photojournalisme’).

Each year, a reportage subject that is directly linked to current events is suggested to international, professional photojournalists. An independent jury of experts made up of image and information specialists will select a reportage project to be achieved that will receive 50,000 Euros in support. This grant includes the execution of the reportage and the acquisition by Carmignac Gestion of four photographs chosen from the reportage.

Carmignac Gestion will also provide its full backing for the photojournalist to develop, promote and distribute the reportage. An exhibition will be organised within 12 months of the Prize being awarded and a monographic book presenting the award-winner’s work will be published.


The annual Project Launch Award was initiated to help a photographer complete a work in progress. Open to all photographic fine-art and documentary projects or series.

Ernest Cole Award

The Ernest Cole Photographic Award has been established to stimulate creative work in photography in Southern Africa. The emphasis will be on creative responses to South African society. The award, worth R150,000 (c. £13,000 or $21,000) will be managed by the University of Cape Town library, and offers a unique opportunity for photographers to complete an existing project.

European Fund for Investigative Journalism

The aim of, the European Fund for Investigative Journalism, is to promote quality journalism in Europe by giving journalists the chance to carry out journalistic research projects.

The project should be one that, in principle, could not be realised in this format within the remit of regular journalism — a project that can include cross-border research, networking between colleagues, established and innovative investigative methods and that is at the same time original, innovative and intensive. will support journalists, who have good ideas for cross-border research and for research on European affairs. Support for travels, translations and simply time for research can be granted.

Focus for Humanity

FFH offers two types of grant. The first is an annual Foundation Fellowship of up to US$15,000 for a non full-time photographer keen to focus on photography as a career and probably within the humanitarian or cultural field, but who needs that final push or help to overcome that last barrier that is stopping them turning full-time. The fellowship is awarded by means of a competitive portfolio review and an assessment of an online application form. The second is an NGO Assignment Fellowship. This grant provides funding for a photographer to collaborate with an NGO in developing imagery that furthers the strategic communication objectives and mission of a nonprofit organization.

Freedom to Create Prize

The Freedom to Create Prize celebrates the courage and creativity of artists who use their talents to promote social justice, build social foundations and inspire the human spirit. They are the voices of courage, unity, strength, reconciliation healing and hope.

The Prize gives artists local and global recognition, inspiring them to use their creativity to transform society. It is open to artists in all creative fields. Each year US$125,000 in prize money is awarded across three categories: the Main Prize, the Youth Prize and the Imprisoned Artist Prize.

Fund for Investigative Journalism

The FIJ’s Board of Directors meets periodically throughout the year to consider grant applications for investigative projects and books.

It is Fund policy to pay the first half of approved grants to successful applicants, with the second half of the grant paid on evidence of publication of a finished project in accordance with the original proposal. Second half grants are not guaranteed if projects are not completed in a timely fashion or if the projects are published in a different form or in a different outlet than originally proposed.

In 2010 the Seattle photojournalist Tim Matsui received a grant to document human trafficking in Cambodia. He contributed to a multimedia series on trafficking published online by KUOW Radio (Seattle).

Getty Images

Getty Images offers two types of grant. The first, Grants for Editorial Photography, is available to both professionals and students. Since 2005, they have awarded five Grants for Editorial Photography annually to professional photojournalists. Each grant provides $20,000, plus editorial, logistical and promotional support. They also award four student grants of $5,000 per year to photojournalism students at accredited schools. The second, Grants for Good, consists of two grants of $15,000 annually, to cover photographer, filmmaker and agency costs as they create compelling new imagery for the nonprofit of their choice.

Humble Arts Foundation

Humble Arts Foundation established the New Photography Grant in 2007 to help support fine art photography projects in the U.S. and abroad. Given twice annually (fall and spring), the grant is a $1,000 cash award that recognizes the strongest new proposal in contemporary art photography as submitted to Humble Arts Foundation.

Ian Parry Scholarship

The Ian Parry Scholarship is designed to award young documentary photographers with a bursary that will enable them to undertake a chosen project and raise their profile in the international photographic community. It is for photographers 24 years old or younger, and is worth £3,000.

IdeasTap Sky Arts Ignition Fund

Sky Arts is offering five young artists £30,000 each to fund their work for a full year as part of the Sky Arts Ignition: Futures Fund — in association with IdeasTap. The Sky Arts Ignition Fund is open to individual artists working in visual art, theatre, performance art, film, music, dance or literature. To apply, you must be an IdeasTap member aged 18–30 by the closing date, 24 February 2012, and either be a citizen of the UK or Ireland or have been resident in the UK or Ireland for the last five years

John Gutman Photography Fellowship

For over sixty years, John Gutmann made an imprint as an artist and educator on the development of photography as an art form. Through his philanthropic generosity, annual awards of up to $5,000 are made to emerging photographers showing professional accomplishment, serious artistic commitment, and need in the field of photography. Candidates for Gutmann Fellowships are nominated by an appointed jury.The annual award of $5,000 will be given to one or a number of emerging photographers, showing professional accomplishments, serious artistic commitment and need in the field of creative photography: Students are not eligible. Nominated photographer must be a U.S. citizen: The fellowship is limited to photographers, however the definition as to what constitutes photography will be at the discretion of the jurors. The award funds are to be used as the recipient(s) deem appropriate

Manuel Rivera-Ortiz Foundation for International Photography

Inaugural grant competition and photo showcase 2011: we will award one outstanding social documentary photographer US$5000 to be utilized in the production or completion of one documentary project.

The National Geographic Grant

National Geographic awards one Grant for Photography annually to a professional photojournalist. The Grant monies go directly to funding the production of a photography project. The project may be considered for publication inNational Geographic magazine and/or the National Geographic magazine website or for possible exhibit at National Geographic headquarters or other venues.

National Media Museum Photography Awards

The Awards form part of the UK National Media Museum’s ongoing commitment to contemporary photography in promoting the work of emerging and mid-career photographers. They will assist talented photographers with the production of ongoing projects or a new body of work, and provide support for them to develop and enhance their practice and profile.

The Photocrati Fund

The Photocrati Fund offers $5000 grants to emerging photographers to undertake important humanitarian and environmental photography projects. Our goal is to identify outstanding, up-and-coming photographers and give them the resources necessary to pursue projects that will have a tangible and positive effect on the world.

The Pierre and Alexandra Boulat Association

Formed in the memory of Pierre and Alexandra Boulat by friends and family after the death of Alexandra Boulat in 2007 the Association seeks to keep the spirit of father and daughter alive through making their work available to the public and creating an annual grant to a photographer and sponsoring the education of young photographers.

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting

The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting funds international travel costs associated with reporting projects on topics and regions of global importance, with an emphasis on issues that have gone unreported or under-reported in the mainstream American media. The amount of individual travel grants will depend on the specific project and detailed budget planning. Most awards fall in the range of $2,000 to $10,000 but depending on project specifics may be as much as $20,000.

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program

The Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program (DFP) is dedicated to supporting contemporary-issue nonfiction filmmakers worldwide in the production of cinematic documentaries with human rights themes. The Fund can only consider projects that range in length from a full broadcast hour to long format feature at this time. However, full length films that will conduct versioning for educational modules, multi-platform purposes, etc. are eligible overall.

W. Eugene Smith Memorial Fund

The W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography is presented annually to a photographer whose past work and proposed project, as judged by a panel of experts, follows the tradition of W. Eugene Smith’s concerned photography and dedicated compassion exhibited during his 45-year career as a photographic essayist.

(please note this list has been compiled from various websites/sources. The wording has mainly been taken from the original websites. I would like to thank David Campbell and Ami Vitale for compiling the majority of this list)