Indigenous Community Media Fund

Indigenous Community Media Fund

En Español 

The Indigenous Community Media Fund (formerly 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. The initiative enhances community efforts to establish and ensure sustainability of Indigenous community-controlled media.

This Fund 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 Galina Angarova, Executive Director of Cultural Survival.

During the first phase of this initiative, some grants were 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.

In 2016, Cultural Survival and WACC selected first year grant partners from our network of international Indigenous radio stations. First year grantees were selected from four major regions, Central America, East Africa, South America and Nepal. Projects are 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 are 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.

2021 Call for Proposals

In Nepali   In K'iche'   In Ayuujk

Application Deadline for Concept Proposals: February 12, 2021

Eligible countries: Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Bolivia, Peru, Colombia, Ecuador, Nepal, north-east India, Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa.

Indigenous Community Media Fund

Cultural Survival’s Community Media Program announces its fifth call for proposals for Indigenous community radio projects. The Indigenous Community Media Fund (formerly Community Media Grants Project) supports community radio and other media platforms run by Indigenous Peoples as tools to strengthen their broadcast infrastructure and systems, and provide training opportunities in journalism, broadcasting, audio editing, technical skills and more to Indigenous community radio journalists and media producers around the world.

The purpose of the Indigenous Community Media Fund is to strengthen the impact and influence of Indigenous radio through improvements in radio station infrastructure, internal organization, programming, political and community advocacy, new and better production capacities, as well as systematization of successful management experiences. The Fund supports stations in revitalizing Indigenous cultures, identities, languages, histories, worldviews, and promoting Indigenous rights, the protection of ancestral territories and natural resources, as well as in elevating the leadership of women and youth communicators.

Proposal Requirements:

Proposals can be submitted in writing (2 pages max), via audio (3-5 min) or video (3-5 min) in the following languages: Spanish, English, French, Russian, Buryat, Nepali, Sunuwar, Hindi, Maya K'iche ', Kaqchikel, Mam, Poqomam, Didxazá, (Zapotec of the Isthmus), Ayuujk, Afrikaans.

Individual radio stations can apply up to $6,000 USD.

Cultural Survival is interested in, but not limited to, the following types of communication projects:

  1. Legal processes to access radio frequencies for Indigenous community stations (Applies to Mexico only).
  2. Institutional development for community radio stations  including: strategic planning, radio sustainability (financial, organization, contents and legal areas), development of a board of directors, development of environmental policies, gender policies, design and implementation of personnel security protocols, monitoring and evaluation.
  3. Capacity building and technical skills in radio recording, editing, production, community investigative journalism, coverage in emergency situations, maintenance, repair and assembly of radio equipment, and the management of an Indigenous community radio station.
  4. Evaluation of the radio station’s reach and the impact of radio programs on local communities.
  5. Development of radio content on topics related to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP), decolonized histories of Indigenous Peoples, strengthening of Indigenous identities, protection of lands, territories and natural resources, news development, rights of Indigenous women and issues on gender, cultural and ancestral heritage, national legislation impacting the rights of Indigenous Peoples, public debates, literacy in mother tongues and Free, Prior and Informed Consent.
  6. Updating and purchase of new radio equipment (limited to 30% of the total grant budget).
  7. Community organization related to the rights of Indigenous Peoples, focusing on radio as the main means of engaging with  the community.
  8. Internships at other community radio stations for skill-building.
  9. Systematization and sharing of successful management experiences.
  10. Capacity building in new communication technologies (Streaming, servers, links, web pages, online radios, digital press, community TV).

Projects will be selected based on their community support, creativity, self-sustainability, vision, and work in relation to Indigenous rights and cultures. Projects will be completed in 6-10 months and must demonstrate how the project will impact and change the radio station and / or community, positively. Preference will be given to community radio stations that broadcast in Indigenous languages ​​and have the participation of various sectors, especially the participation of Indigenous women.

In 2021, a limited number of proposals from radio stations and other media ecosystems such as print, television, audiovisual production, and community internet will be accepted as long as they are managed by Indigenous People and have community support.

Who can apply?

  • Indigenous community radio stations
  • Indigenous communicators networks
  • Indigenous community radio networks (with more than three radio stations)
  • Other media managed by Indigenous Peoples

How to apply?

The first phase of this call for proposals includes submitting a letter, audio or video recording that details the project proposal. The written proposal must be two pages long and the audio or video recording must be three to five minutes. If the proposal is chosen, the radio or radio network will be invited to develop a full proposal in Spanish or English (only in these two languages).  Please note that an invitation to submit a full proposal is not a guarantee for  receiving a grant.

The proposal, (either an audio recording (3-5 min), video (3-5 min) or a written document (2 pages) must include:

  • Name of the project, name of the radio station and a brief history of its origin. Add links to website or Facebook pages related to your radio / organization if available.
  • The Indigenous Peoples / community/ nation for which the radio serves, type of population, percentage of the population that benefits from the radio station.
  • What are the needs of the radio station and/or the community?
  • What is the proposed project that addresses those needs?
  • A brief description of proposed activities:
  • What are some outcomes that this project proposes to achieve?
  • Amount requested ($ 6,000.00 USD maximum). Prepare your budget in local currency and in US dollars, with a maximum of 30% of total budget to support the purchasing of new  equipment.

Indigenous radio network applications that represent more than three radio stations can submit a budget up to $12,000.

For more information or to send your written, audio, or video proposal, contact: 


2020 Multi-radio Grant Partners
2020 COVID-19 Emergency Grant Partners
2019 Grant Partners
2018 Grant Partners
2017 Grant Recipients