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.

Call for Proposals: Indigenous Community Radio Grants Project

Application Deadline for Concept Proposals: October 18, 2018
The call for proposals is now closed.  You will be notified if you are selected to continue to the next phase by Nov. 15th.

In Nepali.       In Spanish.       In K'iche'.

Cultural Survival is pleased to announce its third Call for Proposals for projects in Indigenous community radio. The Indigenous Community Media Grants Project is part of Cultural Survival’s Community Media Program, with a goal to empower Indigenous-owned and Indigenous-led community radio as a platform to inform, entertain, educate, and organize according to their own needs and collective interests as communities.

The aim for the Indigenous Community Media Grants Project is to strengthen the impact and influence of 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, Northern India, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa are eligible to apply to this round of funding. Concept notes will be accepted until October 18, 2018.

Concept proposals can be received written, in audio or video in the following languages:
Spanish, English, Russian, Nepali, Sunuwar, Hindi, K’iche’, Mam, Didxazá (Zapoteco del Itsmo).

The maximum funds available for projects is $8000.00 USD.

Funds can be solicited for projects based on the needs of the community and we are open to innovative projects. Cultural Survival is interested in, but not limited to, the following  types of projects:

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 policies, 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 the impact of radio programs 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, development of news, Indigenous women’s rights, cultural and ancestral heritage, national legislation affecting Indigenous Peoples’ rights, public debates.

6. Radio equipment (limited to 30% of total grant budget).

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

8. Community Radios mentoring or training other community radios.

Projects will be selected based on their creativity, self-sustainability, vision, and work regarding Indigenous rights and culture. The projects are to be completed in a period of 6 and 10 months and demonstrate how it will change an issue or a need within the radio and/or the community. Preference will be given to community radios that broadcast in Indigenous languages.


How to Apply - Concept Proposals

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 two pages and the recording should not exceed three minutes. If chosen, the community radio will be invited to develop a more developed proposal in Spanish or English only. The concept proposal application is designed to be accessible to Indigenous communities with different capacities.

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

  1. Name of the community radio and brief history of its origin. Add links to website or facebook pages related to your radio/organization.
  2. Indigenous nation served by the radio, population, and population percentage served by this radio.
  3. What is the need of this community radio station or community?
  4. What is the project idea that addresses that need?
  5. A brief description of proposed activities
  6. At the end of the project, what do you expect to achieve?
  7. Budget request ($8,000.00 maximum). Prepare your budget in local currency and in US dollars.

For more information or to submit your concept letter or audio, contact:


2019 Grant Partners
2018 Grant Partners
2017 Grant Recipients