Full Proposal Requirements (Journalism)

If your organization is invited to submit a full proposal, the McCormick Foundation will e-mail you a link to submit your proposal using our online grants system.

Proposals should be written in Times New Roman, 12 point font. Content should be single spaced, with bullet points used to break up complex program descriptions.

Please include the following details:


  • Describe your organization's background, history and mission.
  • Include the overall goals of the organization.
  • List current programs and activities, emphasizing major achievements of the past two years.

Rationale for Support

  • Describe your program in detail.
  • Include clearly stated goals and objectives.
  • Include a project activities timeline.
  • If your program involves a partner or partners, describe why you have chosen them.
  • Describe how your project addresses one of the Journalism Program's three grantmaking initiatives (News Literacy, Education & Training or Rights/Access & Accountability).

Impact & Measurement

  • Include a needs statement describing the issue and who the program will serve.
  • Describe how your strategy compares with or differs from others in the field.
  • Describe how the proposed project will address the identified need.
  • What research supports your data?
  • Describe your plans for assessing the results and impact of the project. For example, how will your organization track, measure, and monitor progress toward meeting outputs, outcomes, and key milestones during and at the end of the grant period?
  • How do you plan to share with others the obstacles you’ve met along the way, the failures encountered, or the best practices and lessons learned from carrying out this initiative?
  • Detail how your organization will recognize the McCormick Foundation as a funder of your project or activity.

Project Budget

  • Please download and use the attached budgeting form to show your budget for the program for which you're requesting funding. If you are proposing a multiple-year grant, you must provide a projected budget for each requested funding year.

  • Provide a brief budget narrative explaining how McCormick's funds would be used.

Additional Required Attachments

  • An organizational budget
    Provide an operating budget for your organization that includes income and expense projections pertaining to the fiscal year in which the project will take place.
  • A top-five funders list
    List your top five funders and amount of support for the current fiscal year.This list should include the name of the corporation/foundation/individual, amount, and purpose of the donations.
  • A current Board of Directors roster
    Please provide in a Word document a list of the name, job title and the principal business or professional affiliation of each director.
  • Your organization's most recent audited financial report.
  • Your organizational tax exempt certificate
    This signed form certifies the organization's current tax-exempt status. Please download this form to sign.
  • An IRS tax determination letter / 501(c)(3)
    We require a copy of the most recent tax determination letter issued to your organization (or your fiscal agent) by the IRS. It should include your federal tax identification number and the date your organization (or fiscal agent) was awarded tax-exempt status.

    Note: This is NOT the state tax exemption certification.  In some instances, where fiscal agents or universities are involved, the intended grantee is not the same as the entity carrying out the proposed initiative. In such cases the foundation needs all the applicable documents for both organizations (i.e. the university’s fundraising foundation and the center/organization applying for funding). 

Please contact Aaron Smith (asmith@mccormickfoundation.org) with questions.

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Robert R. McCormick Foundation
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Phone: 312 445 5000
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Email: info@mccormickfoundation.org