Community Media Grants Project

Community Media Grants Project 

En Español 


The Community Media Grants Project provides opportunities for international Indigenous community radio stations to strengthen their broadcast infrastructure and systems while providing training opportunities to their community journalists through a participatory and dynamic grants program. Overall, the initiative will enhance community efforts to establish and ensure sustainability of Indigenous community-controlled media.

This initiative is being launched with support from the Novo Foundation Fund of the Tides Foundation.

“Indigenous Peoples’ right to freedom of expression and information is the overarching goal of this initiative. The program’s intent is to ensure target Indigenous communities have a viable and community controlled medium for dissemination of local and world news, information, community events, politics, and education. Community Radio provides access to information in extremely rural areas and for these communities serves as a tool for local organizing, cultural and language revitalization, educational opportunities, information on lands and natural resources issues, women’s rights, and Indigenous rights,” said Suzanne Benally, Executive Director of Cultural Survival.

During the first phase of this initiative, some grants will be awarded in partnership with WACC.With its vision of communication rights for all, WACC’s goal is to improve access to public communication and relevant information for poor, marginalized, excluded and dispossessed people in order to enhance their participation in shaping local and national priorities and actions.

Starting in the fall of 2016, Cultural Survival and WACC will select grantees from our network of international Indigenous radio stations. First year grantees will be selected from four major regions, Central America, East Africa, South America and Nepal. Projects will be selected and mentored through a program design process based on the needs of their communities, best practices in the field, community values and capacities. Grantees will be selected with the criteria of immediate need, promise for continued success, and the ability to participate fully in the initiative.

“Cultural Survival has been working with the Indigenous radio movement since 2005. Today, Indigenous-controlled media is needed more than ever, especially when mainstream media often over looks and marginalizes Indigenous languages and issues. Daily, Indigenous radio journalists risk their lives to communicate essential information about human rights to their communities to defend their ways of life, lands, and resources. As an advocacy organization for Indigenous rights, it is our duty to support these efforts in claiming freedom of expression and access to information. It is our hope that over the coming years, many communities will benefit from this initiative,” said Mark Camp, Cultural Survival Deputy Executive Director.



This call for proposals 2018 for community media grants is now  closed.

If your proposal is successful in this selection process, you will be notified through email by no later than February 15, 2018.

You will be contacted by the Community Media team if further information about your organization or project is needed.

Application Process

Application Deadline: December 15, 2017

Cultural Survival is pleased to announce a new call for proposals for Indigenous community radios stations. The objective of the Community Media Grants Project is to strengthen community radio stations at the local and regional levels in their work towards the revitalization of Indigenous cultures, languages, histories, philosophies, rights, the protection of ancestral territories and natural resources, and the promotion of women’s leadership. Indigenous community radio stations from Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Nepal, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are eligible to apply to this round of funding. The application process will be open until December 15, 2017.

The maximum funds available for projects is $8000.00 USD.

Funds can be solicited for projects focused on one or a combination of the following:

1. Legal processes to access radio frequencies for Indigenous community stations.

2. Institutional development at the radio stations including: strategic planning, development of a board of directors, development of environmental and gender policies, design and implementation of evaluation and monitoring systems.

3. Capacity building in technical skills in radio: production, investigative journalism, maintenance of radio equipment.

4. Evaluation of the radio stations reach and impact in the community.

5. Development of radio content on topics related to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), decolonized history of Indigenous Peoples, protection of lands and resources, Indigenous women’s rights, cultural and ancestral heritage, national legislation affecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights. 

6. Radio equipment.

7. Community organizing related to Indigenous Peoples’ rights with radio as the main means to reach the community.

Projects will be selected based on their creativity, self-sustainability, vision, and work regarding Indigenous rights. The projects are to be completed in a period of 6 and 10 months and demonstrate measurable and concrete results that show how the radio’s capacity and impact has advanced.

The first phase of proposals is the submission of a letter, audio or video recording detailing the concept of the project. The letter should be limited to one page and the recording should not exceed three minutes (a sample is attached). If chosen, the community under review shall submit a more developed proposal. The concept proposal application is designed to be accessible to Indigenous communities with different capacities.

The concept proposal, audio recording, or video shall include:

1. Name of the community radio and brief history of its origin, names of board of directors, and number of volunteers at the radio. Add links to website or facebook pages related to your organization.

2. Indigenous community or communities served by the radio.

3. Indigenous organizations and community sectors represented at the radio in 2017 (for instance, organizations that have used the radio to inform the community about their role or services or that do have radio programs in 2017).

4. What is the need that this community radio station or the community has?

5. What is the project idea that addresses that need?

6. A brief description of proposed activities

7. At the end of the project, what do you expect to achieve?

8. Budget request ($8,000.00 maximum). Prepare your budget in the local currency.

    For more information or to submit your concept letter or audio, contact:
    Avexnim Cojtí at
    Mark Camp at

    Application Deadline: December 15, 2017


    2018 Grant Partners
    2017 Grant Recipients