Flash grants of up to $50K are now available for fact-checkers fighting coronavirus misinformation

This grant program is open to the active members of the CoronaVirusFacts alliance and the verified signatories of the IFCN’s Code of Principles

  • Applicants can request support of up to $50,000
  • Applications will be closed by April 1

Mission

The International Fact-Checking Network and Facebook have partnered to support the fact-checking community working on the COVID-19 related misinformation with a budget of $1 million.

Since January, the IFCN has been coordinating the #CoronaVirusFacts Alliance, with more than 100 fact-checkers in at least 45 countries. This partnership will broaden this work and improve its reach.

The budget will be distributed as flash grants based on proposals including but not limited to the below activities.

  • Translation of fact checks from native languages to different languages
  • Multimedia (videos, infographics, podcasts) production about COVID-19
  • Working with health experts for evidence-based and scientific coverage
  • Audience development initiatives that use innovative formats, such as offline or interactive communication, to better reach people with reliable information
  • Fact-checkers supporting public authorities with reliable information for better communication about COVID-19
  • Supporting existing efforts of the fact-checking organization’s fight against misinformation on COVID-19

All proposals should emphasize on amplifying the fact-checking work, increase the reach and impact of the CoronaVirusFacts Alliance and the fight against health misinformation related to COVID-19 only.

The timeframe for the proposals shouldn’t be longer than six months. Each applicant can send up to two proposals and each one of them can focus on one or more activity categories described above.

The fact-checking community can apply through ifcn.submittable.com between March 18 and April 1, 2020. Accepted applications will be awarded grants up to $50,000. The applications are only open to the fact-checking units that are active members of the CoronaVirusFacts alliance and to IFCN’s verified signatories.

The application form asks the applicants to demonstrate whether they have been working on COVID-19 related misinformation or not been able to do so due to a lack of resources. The International Fact-Checking Network will interview selected applicants before they are announced. Announcements will be made on a rolling basis by May 1.

The projects may or may not use any social media platform for the execution. No discrimination and/or preference will be exercised based on those mediums. Participants should respect community standards and public policy of every social media platform they consider to use.

Key dates

Mar. 18, 2020
Applications open

Apr. 1, 2020
Applications close

May. 1, 2020
All grantees to be announced by then

Eligibility requirements

The following individuals/organizations are eligible to apply:

Each applicant/organization may only submit up to two applications (each organization can only be awarded with one grant).

Selection criteria

Evaluation criteria

  • Is this project part of an ongoing effort by the applicant fact-checking organization?
  • How big is the potential impact this project can have on the fight against misinformation about COVID-19?
  • Can this project help the public to get accurate information in the applicant’s country?
  • Did the applicant and/or can the applicant contribute to the CoronaVirusFacts alliance?
  • Is grant critically essential for the applicant to carry out either the existing or the new proposed project?
  • Does this project put fact-checkers at risk by any chance? (If yes, discharged)
  • Can the project be replicated by other fact-checkers with minor changes and still serve its original purpose?
  • Is the requested budget in accordance with the goals and scope of the project?
  • Can it be fully completed and implemented in the allocated time frame?
  • Has this region/country received other CoronaVirus Fact-Checking Grants?

Terms and conditions

CORONAVIRUS FACT-CHECKING GRANT PROGRAM TERMS

THESE PROGRAM TERMS (“TERMS”) GOVERN YOUR PARTICIPATION ON BEHALF OF YOURSELF, OR YOUR ORGANIZATION, AS APPLICABLE IN THE CORONAVIRUS FACT-CHECKING  GRANT PROGRAM. BY SUBMITTING AN APPLICATION FOR THE GRANT, YOU, ON BEHALF OF YOURSELF AND YOUR ORGANIZATION (IF APPLICABLE) (COLLECTIVELY, “YOU”), AGREE TO THESE TERMS.

IF ANY OF THESE TERMS ARE NOT COMPLIED WITH, PARTICIPATION MAY BE FORFEITED, INCLUDING RECEIPT OF ANY GRANT, AND ANY GRANT PAID MAY NEED TO BE REPAID TO PROGRAM ENTITIES, ALL IN THE PROGRAM ENTITIES’ SOLE DISCRETION. 

WHAT IS THE CORONAVIRUS FACT-CHECKING GRANT PROGRAM

The CORONAVIRUS FACT-CHECKING GRANT PROGRAM Grant Program (“Grant Program”) is a program offered by the International Fact-Checking Network at Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Inc. (“IFCN”) in collaboration with Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) (collectively, IFCN and Facebook are the “Program Entities”), which offers financial assistance in the form of a grant provided in two payments, as detailed below (“Grant”) to select individuals or organizations to help support innovation projects, new formats and techniques to benefit the global fact-checking ecosystem (“Purpose”).

WHO CAN APPLY?

Organizations located in the Territory (defined below) that meet the following requirements (collectively, “Applicants”) may apply to the Grant Program:

Applicants (and the authorized individual submitting a grant proposal on the Applicant’s behalf) must be located in the “Territory” defined as any area, country, state, territory, or province where applicable laws do not prohibit applying for or receiving a Grant in this Grant Program and excludes China, Cuba, Crimea, Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Liberia, Libya, Somalia, Zimbabwe and any other area or country designated by the applicable agency that designates trade sanctions. Government officials, political figures, and businesses politically affiliated (all as determined by Program Entities in its sole discretion) are not eligible to apply for the Grant. There is a limit of two Grant proposal applications per Applicant/Organization and a limit of one Grant per Applicant/Organization.

As a condition of participating, Applicants hereby agree as follows:

  • To read, complete, agree to, and sign additional documentation that, among other things, provides information for tax and legal compliance purposes and confirms the requirements and conditions of these Terms, if selected as a potential Grant recipient; and
  • That the natural person filling out the Grant Program application is an authorized representative of the organization identified in the application, if applicable.

WHAT MUST THE APPLICATION INCLUDE?

Application must include the following:

  • A description of applicant’s proposed project that addresses the Purpose, which must be a either an existing significant work on COVID-19 related misinformation or a plan to address that need focusing but not limited to the areas below:
    • Translation of fact checks from native languages to different languages
    • Multimedia (videos, infographics, podcasts) production about COVID-19 
    • Working with health experts for evidence-based and scientific coverage
    • Audience development initiatives that use innovative formats, such as offline or interactive communication, to better reach people with reliable information
    • Fact-checkers supporting public authorities with reliable information for better communication about COVID-19
    • Supporting existing efforts of the fact-checking organization’s fight against misinformation on COVID-19
  • Desired grant amount up to $50,000 
  • Contact information
  • Applicant background
  • Organization information

All of the information and materials supplied by Applicants is referred to as “Applicant Content.” If you do not provide all required information, your application will not be considered.

Applicant Content must meet the following requirements, as determined by Program Entities in their sole discretion: 

  • Be written entirely in the English language;
  • Not infringe, misappropriate, or violate any rights of any third party including, without limitation, rights of privacy or publicity; 
  • Only include content about persons or entities from whom the Applicant has all necessary permissions and rights, including, if applicable, a minor’s parent or legal guardian (Applicant agrees to provide Program Entities with written confirmation of those permissions and rights upon request); and
  • Proposed project must comply with all applicable explicit or implicit terms and conditions or policies applicable for platforms, applications, software, tools or other resources used in connection with or on which the proposed project operates, if any. Proposed project must also comply with Facebook’s Privacy Principles  available at https://www.facebook.com/about/basics/privacy-principles, as well as any ethical standards applicable to the proposed project, as determined in Promotion Entities’ sole discretion. As such, each Applicant must follow the spirit of such terms and conditions, principles and policies; and any attempt to subvert or to use a work-around of such terms and conditions or policies may, in Program Entities’ sole discretion, result in forfeiture of any Grant amounts awarded or disqualification from this Grant Program.

You are solely responsible for complying with all applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws, rules, or regulations in connection with participating in the Grant Program. Proof of application (such as, without limitation, a screen shot of your application) does not constitute proof of actual receipt of a submission for purposes of this Grant Program. Applications will not be returned and, in fact, may be destroyed after the Grant Program is over. Keep a copy of each element of your application. Applications that are incomplete, illegible, corrupted, damaged, destroyed, altered, false, lost, late, misdirected, garbled or otherwise not in compliance with these Terms will not be accepted and will be void.

WHAT IS THE APPLICATION AND THE SELECTION PROCESS?

Application Process

Applicants must submit their application between March 18, 2020 at 09:00:00 am ET and 11:59:59 pm ET on April 1, 2020 To apply, eligible applicants can visit the Grant Program application portal located at https://ifcn.submittable.com and follow the on-screen links and instructions to complete and submit the Grant Program application form and provide all required information. 

Selection Process

The International Fact-Checking Network will evaluate the applications based on the following criteria;

  • Is the project a part of an ongoing effort by the applicant fact-checking organization?
  • Does the project have the potential to make an impact on the fight against misinformation around COVID-19?
  • How can the project help the public to get accurate information in the applicant’s country?
  • How the applicant did or can contribute to the CoronaVirusFacts alliance?
  • Does the grant is critically essential for the applicant to carry out either the existing or the new proposed project?
  • Does this project put fact-checkers at risk by any chance?
  • Can the project be replicated by other fact-checkers with minor changes and still serve its original purpose?
  • Is the requested budget in accordance with the goals and scope of the project and can it be fully completed and implemented in the allocated time frame?
  • Has this region/country received other CoronaVirus Fact-Checking Grants?

On or around April 2, 2020, all Applicants selected for further consideration by Program Entities will be offered a video interview. Applicants selected to receive a Grant will be notified after the interviews and announced on a rolling basis before May 1, 2020 at 11:59:59 pm ET.  Awarded applicants will be notified of their Grant award and required to sign a Grant contract specifying their Grant amount, as set forth in more detail in the What Are The Grants? section below. 

The awarded amount will be delivered in two different payments: 50% following return of the signed Grant contract and the remaining 50% after receipt and approval by the IFCN of both Grant Recipient Reports during the third month of the Grant recipient’s project (described below).

WHAT ARE THE GRANTS?

The applications selected to receive a Grant by the Program Entities  will receive grants up to $50,000, with each Grant value and exact number of Grants awarded determined in Program Entities’ sole discretion.The Grant must be used directly and solely for the proposed project addressing the Purpose as identified in the Grant recipient’s application and otherwise in accordance with these Terms.

As a condition of applying, each Applicant that receives a Grant agrees to sign documentation without alteration 1) allowing Program Entities to use its/their name and certain other information, including potentially identifying its representatives, for publicity and marketing purposes in any media whatsoever; 2) agreeing to the restrictions and obligations with respect to use of the Grant, including, without limitation, narrative and financial reporting in connection with the Project and other restrictions and obligations  set forth below; 3) granting Program Entities a license to results, reports, project details and other materials created or produced by Applicant in connection with the Project.

WHEN WILL RECIPIENTS BE NOTIFIED?

Once the evaluation is completed, a Grant Program representative will attempt to notify the potential recipients via telephone or email on or about April 1, 2020. 

WHAT ARE THE RESTRICTIONS ON USE OF THE GRANT?

As a condition of participating, Applicants hereby agree as follows if selected as a potential recipient:

  • The recipients will have 6 months to develop and launch their projects. 
  • Each grant recipient must provide IFCN with two short narrative reports and two financial reports: one of each at the midpoint of the project (i.e., approximately three months in) and one of each after the end of the 6-month project term. 
  • The awarded amount will be delivered to the applicable grant recipient in two different payments: 50% at the beginning of the project term and the remaining 50% after the midterm narrative and financial reports are approved (the “Grant Recipient Reports”). (If your project requires a different distribution, please inform. Different distributions may be granted or denied at Program Entities’ sole discretion.) 
  • Maintain a separate bookkeeping account, ledger or project code to track and report Grant funds spent on the Project in a form acceptable to Program Entities; 
  • To complete any additional reports, as reasonably requested by the Program Entities;
  • That Program Entities may use third party sources to screen, verify, and otherwise check the credentials, banking information, compliance, individuals in positions of control and organization associates, and other information of the Applicant, as applicable, if it is selected as a potential Grant recipient and also once it is a confirmed Grant recipient, and Applicants agree to sign related documentation as requested and in the timeframe requested by the Program Entities;
  • That receiving a Grant does not confer upon the Applicant any special recognition, endorsement, or affiliation with either of the Program Entities; and
  • To maintain records of expenditures and make your books and records available to Program Entities for inspection promptly upon request.

Grant funds must only be used directly for the Purpose identified in the recipient’s Grant Program application. If a recipient Applicant is dissolved, if an organization, or if a recipient Applicant is otherwise unable to use the Grant solely and directly for the Purpose and related activities, you agree to promptly return any unexpended Grant funds to Program Entities.

If any portion of the Grant is used for any purpose other than the Purpose described in the application, you agree to promptly correct this error. If the misuse is not promptly corrected, Program Entities may demand the return of the entire Grant and you agree to do so.

Any grant or any income earned therefrom that is not spent or committed for the Purpose identified in the application must be returned to Program Entities.

GENERAL RULES

By submitting an Application (except where prohibited by law), each entrant grants the Released Parties the irrevocable, sublicensable, absolute right and permission to use, publish, post or display the individual Applicant’s name, photograph, likeness, voice, biographical information, any quotes attributable to her or him and any other indicia of persona (regardless of whether altered, changed, modified, edited, used alone, or used with other material in the Released Parties’ sole discretion), organization name and logo, and Applicant Content for advertising, trade, promotional and publicity purposes without further obligation or compensation of any kind to her or him, anywhere, in any medium now known or hereafter discovered or devised (including, without limitation, on the Internet), worldwide, without any limitation of time, and without notice, review, or approval and each entrant releases all Released Parties from any and all liability related thereto. Nothing contained in these Terms obligates Program Entities to make use of any of the rights granted herein and entrant waives any right to inspect or approve any such use.

Program Entities reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to discontinue funding and take other steps they deem appropriate if they are not satisfied with the progress of the Grant or content of any written report or meeting.

Program Entities’ decisions will be final in all matters relating to this Grant Program, including interpretation of these Terms and acceptance or rejection of Grant applicants at any time.  

Applicants agree to not damage or cause interruption of the Grant Program and/or prevent others from participating in the Grant Program. Program Entities reserves the right to restrict or void participation from any IP address, email address or domain, device, or other designator or identifiable source if any fraudulent or harmful participation is suspected, as determined by Program Entities in their sole discretion. Program Entities further reserve the right to disqualify any applicant who Program Entities believe has attempted to tamper with or impair the administration, security, fairness, or proper play of this Grant Program. ANY ATTEMPT TO DAMAGE ANY ONLINE SERVICE OR WEBSITE OR UNDERMINE THE LEGITIMATE OPERATION OF THE GRANT PROGRAM MAY VIOLATE CRIMINAL AND CIVIL LAWS. IF SUCH AN ATTEMPT IS MADE, PROGRAM ENTITIES MAY DISQUALIFY ANY PARTICIPANT MAKING SUCH ATTEMPT AND MAY SEEK DAMAGES TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW. 

If Program Entities determine at any time in their sole discretion that a Grant recipient is disqualified, ineligible, or in violation of these Terms, Program Entities reserve the right in their sole discretion to select an alternate Grant recipient, even if the disqualified potential recipient’s name may have been shown or announced. If the Grant Program is not capable of running as planned for any reason, Program Entities reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to cancel, modify or suspend the Grant Program.

In the event there is an alleged or actual ambiguity, discrepancy, or inconsistency between disclosures or other statements contained in any Grant Program-related materials and these Terms (including any alleged discrepancy or inconsistency within these Terms), it will be resolved by Program Entities in Program Entities’ sole discretion. Applicants waive any right to claim ambiguity in the Grant Program or these Terms. Program Entities’ failure to or decision not to enforce any provision in these Terms will not constitute a waiver of that or any other provision. The invalidity or unenforceability of any provision of these Terms will not affect the validity or enforceability of any other provision. In the conference that any provision is determined to be invalid or otherwise unenforceable or illegal, these Terms will otherwise remain in effect and will be construed in accordance with their Terms as if the invalid or illegal provision were not contained in these Terms.

LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

EACH PARTICIPATING INDIVIDUAL AND ORGANIZATION AND EACH OF ITS AGENTS AND REPRESENTATIVES, AGREES TO RELEASE AND HOLD HARMLESS THE PROGRAM ENTITIES, THE POYNTER INSTITUTE AND THEIR PARENT AND SUBSIDIARY COMPANIES, AFFILIATES, DIVISIONS, FRANCHISEES, REPRESENTATIVES, CONSULTANTS, SUB-CONTRACTORS, SUPPLIERS, DISTRIBUTORS, LEGAL COUNSEL, ADVERTISING, PUBLIC RELATIONS, PROMOTIONAL, FULFILLMENT AND MARKETING AGENCIES (COLLECTIVELY, THE “RELEASED PARTIES”) FOR ANY LIABILITY WHATSOEVER ASSOCIATED WITH PARTICIPATION IN THIS GRANT PROGRAM, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, FOR INJURIES OR DAMAGES OF ANY KIND SUSTAINED IN CONNECTION WITH THE USE, ACCEPTANCE, POSSESSION, MISUSE OR AWARDING OF ANY GRANT, OR WHILE PREPARING FOR, PARTICIPATING IN AND/OR TRAVELING TO OR FROM ANY GRANT- OR GRANT PROGRAM-RELATED ACTIVITY.  EACH GRANT RECIPIENT AGREES THAT THE GRANT IS PROVIDED AS-IS WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, REPRESENTATION OR GUARANTEE, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN FACT OR IN LAW, WHETHER NOW KNOWN OR HEREINAFTER ENACTED, RELATIVE TO ITS USE OR ENJOYMENT, INCLUDING, WITHOUT LIMITATION, ITS QUALITY, MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE. 

BY PARTICIPATING IN THIS GRANT PROGRAM, YOU UNDERSTAND THAT YOU MAY BE WAIVING RIGHTS WITH RESPECT TO CLAIMS THAT ARE AT THIS TIME UNKNOWN OR UNSUSPECTED, AND IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUCH WAIVER, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND, AND HEREBY EXPRESSLY WAIVE, THE BENEFITS OF SECTION 1542 OF THE CIVIL CODE OF CALIFORNIA, U.S.A., AND ANY SIMILAR LAW IN ANY JURISDICTION, WHICH PROVIDES AS FOLLOWS:

“CERTAIN CLAIMS NOT AFFECTED BY A GENERAL RELEASE. A GENERAL RELEASE DOES NOT EXTEND TO CLAIMS THAT THE CREDITOR OR RELEASING PARTY DOES NOT KNOW OR SUSPECT TO EXIST IN HIS OR HER FAVOR AT THE TIME OF EXECUTING THE RELEASE AND THAT, IF KNOWN BY HIM OR HER, WOULD HAVE MATERIALLY AFFECTED HIS OR HER SETTLEMENT WITH THE DEBTOR OR RELEASED PARTY.”

DISCLAIMERS

Employees, officers, directors, members, managers, agents, and representatives of the Released Parties are not responsible and/or liable for any of the following, whether caused by a Released Party, the applicant, or by human error (except to the extent that any of the following occur for reasons within Program Entities’ reasonable control, if applicable law in your jurisdiction of residence dictates that liability to the injured party in such a case cannot be excluded by law): any lost, late, postage-due, incomplete, illegible, incomprehensible, mutilated, or misdirected email, mail, or Grant Program-related correspondence or materials; any error, omission, interruption, defect, or delay in transmission or communication; viruses or technical or mechanical malfunctions; interrupted or unavailable telephonic, cellular, cable, or satellite systems; errors, typos or misprints in these Terms, in any Grant Program-related advertisements or other materials; failures of electronic equipment, computer hardware or software; lost or unavailable network connections or any failed, incorrect, incomplete, inaccurate, garbled or delayed electronic communications; technical or human error which may occur in the administration of the Grant Program or the processing of applications; or any injury or damage to persons or property which may be caused, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from applicant’s participation in the Grant Program. Without limiting any other provision of these Terms, no Released Party is responsible or liable for any injury or damage to the persons or property of applicant or any third party based on use by such party of the Applicant Content made available as part of this Grant Program. Released Parties are not responsible for electronic communications that are undeliverable as a result of any form of active or passive filtering of any kind, or for insufficient space in a person’s email account or voicemail inbox to receive email or voice messages. Released Parties are not responsible, and may disqualify an applicant, if any contact information provided by the applicant does not work or is changed without giving prior written notice to both Program Entities. Without limiting any other provision in these Terms, the Released Parties are not responsible or liable to any applicant (or any person claiming through such applicant) for any inability to proceed with the Grant Program at any stage or failure to provide a Grant or any part thereof, in the conference that any of the Grant Program activities or Program Entities’ operations or activities are affected, as determined by Program Entities, by any cause or conference beyond the sole and reasonable control of the applicable Released Party (as determined by Program Entities in their sole discretion).

DISPUTES/GOVERNING LAW

Except where prohibited by law, any and all disputes, claims, and causes of action between an applicant and any Released Party arising out of or connected with this Grant Program or these Terms must be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action or legal action on behalf of any group. Further, in any such dispute, under no circumstances will an applicant be permitted or entitled to obtain awards for, and hereby waives all rights to claim punitive, incidental or consequential damages, or any other damages, including attorneys’ fees, other than the applicant’s actual out-of-pocket expenses (if any), not to exceed ten dollars ($10) and each applicant further waives all rights to have damages multiplied or increased.

This Grant Program and any dispute arising under these Terms or related to these Terms or the Grant Program (whether for breach of contract, tortious conduct, or otherwise) will be governed by the internal laws of the State of California, U.S.A., without giving effect to its conflicts of law or choice of law principles or rules that would cause the application of the laws of any other jurisdiction. Any legal actions, suits or proceedings related to this Grant Program (whether for breach of contract, tortious conduct, or otherwise) will be brought exclusively in the state or federal courts located in or having jurisdiction over San Mateo County, California, U.S.A., and each applicant accepts and submits to the personal jurisdiction of those courts with respect to any legal actions, suits or proceedings arising out of or related to this Grant Program.