Non-Profit Journalism

Through its various charitable funding activities, the Schöpflin Foundation supports and promotes the building of a sense of critical awareness in children, young people and young adults; equally it supports and promotes strong democracy and its further development. To achieve these goals, our society must be well-informed – and it is here that journalism has a central role to play.

Today, classic journalism of the type published by the media giants is going through a financial and structural crisis. State-funded media are trying to find a new role in an ever more digitalised society where most people below the age of 30 scarcely ever turn on the television for their news.

During this period of upheaval, we see non-profit journalism as a vital addition to the other forms of journalism currently on offer. While the major publishing houses are coming under increasing financial pressure and public broadcasters are becoming ever more main-stream, the non-profit journalism model adds an extra dimension to the mix.

As well as supporting actual journalism projects and initiatives, we also want to support all those business activities that are vitally important for the further development of non-profit journalism.

This includes the »Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus« project (»Non-Profit Journalism Centre«). Through this project we want to create a space where networking and collaboration can grow in order that journalism as a whole might flourish.

Grantees & Projects

Photo: NDR Jenny von Gagern

Constructive Journalism Day 2019 – »Nachrichten mit Perspektive« (News with a Vision)

Bad news dominates the news agenda. The mantra »bad news is good news« still persists – because, so the thinking goes, »bad news« sells more papers and thus generates more profit. Constructive Journalism is an approach that promotes deeper thought that goes beyond the headlines. It is all about reporting the full context of issues and the potential solutions to those issues and problems.

The Schöpflin Foundation supported this year’s Constructive Journalism Day event. On 14th February 2019 the Hamburg Media School and the broadcaster, NDR Info, ran a one-day conference in Hamburg on this form of journalism.

The aim of the conference was to set out exactly what Constructive Journalism is – in all its forms. The initial comments, the presentation of issues and questions relating to practical experience and the various exercises were all designed to enable conference participants to work together and to encourage them to think along the lines of results-driven constructive journalism.

Keynote speeches highlighting their own experiences of working with Constructive Journalism were given by Tina Rosenberg (author at the New York Times and co-founder of the Solutions Journalism Network) and Oliver Reinhard (deputy editor of the features section of the Sächsische Zeitung newspaper).

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Berlin, Essen



Adessium Foundation
Brost Stiftung
Rudolf Augstein Stiftung

What does CORRECTIV do?

CORRECTIV is the first non-profit investigative newsroom in the German-speaking world. CORRECTIV carries out extensive investigative research into stories that most other media ignore. CORRECTIV aims to give every citizen the information he or she needs in order to be able to understand the world. A key feature of what we do is to make our articles and contributions available to other media outlets, who can then publish them free of charge. It’s for this reason that CORRECTIV is also launching a journalism training programme so that as many people as possible can have access to the information.

Why are we awarding a grant to CORRECTIV?

A free press is a prerequisite for an open society and democracy. With the large publishing houses coming under increasing financial pressure, and state broadcasters tending to go ever more main-stream, the non-profit journalism model has an important role to play. This is where CORRECTIV comes in.  It aims to give every publisher and every broadcaster in Germany access to its investigative and informative journalism so that the media can properly perform its watchdog role.

What is our mutual goal?

Together with CORRECTIV we want to work on the key questions currently facing our society. These include: What sort of future will our children have? How will we live together in the future?  Who actually holds the reins of power in our democracy?

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Current grant amount p.a.


What does the EJC do?

The European Journalism Centre, founded in 1992, is an international non-profit organisation based in the Netherlands with the remit to improve, strengthen, and underpin journalism and the news media in the interest of a functioning democratic public sphere.

Why are we awarding a grant to EJC?

The Schöpflin Foundation and the European Journalism Centre (EJC) share the conviction that free access to information and a free press is a prerequisite for an open society and a cornerstone of democracy. The EJC is strengthening the resilience of European journalism by connecting journalists to new ideas, skills, people and funding with its programmes.

What is our mutual goal?

The EJC, Schöpflin Foundation, and other foundations are partnering on the Journalism Funders Forum (JFF). JFF is an open community of European foundations and journalists working together to ensure more effective and impactful funding of journalism in Europe.


Duration of building project still to be confirmed.  Start of construction work: 2018




approx. € 25 m


What is the Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus (Non-Profit Journalism Centre)?

In 2018 work will begin in Berlin on building a place where people will be able to learn how to gather information and news, how to edit it, and then how to disseminate it.  It will be a place where people do media; a place for networking and a place for the future.  This 500-square-meter, multi-storey building will house a newsroom, co-working work-spaces, living and relaxation space, a café, a restaurant and an event space.  The bringing together of creatives from all fields – illustrators, media professionals, programmers, playwrights, film professionals and teachers, to name but a few – could give rise to totally new forms of non-profit journalism, and completely new products.  Furthermore, the project will create and secure more than 200 sustainable jobs.

Why do we think there is a need for this project?

To have free and non-profit journalism you need an infrastructure and networking opportunities.  In this way, synergies can be achieved and skills passed on.  The building of the Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus is also about providing a space for a critical public.     

What do we want to achieve?

The Haus des gemeinnützigen Journalismus will be a place where networking and collaboration can happen and where journalism in general can be further developed.  While the centre will be equipped to meet the needs of regional and local media, it will also be able to welcome other European media professionals, thus giving the venue a true international feel.

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Current grant amount p.a.





What does Netzwerk Recherche do?

Netzwerk Recherche e.V. was founded in 2001 by a group of journalists in order to bolster investigative and quality journalism in Germany.  By 2017 this not-for-profit network had notched up more than 800 members from every branch of the media industry.  In order to share its research techniques, the network runs conferences – like the network’s annual conference attended by some 900 journalists – and produces publications.  Netzwerk Recherche directly supports journalistic work through research grants and provides bursaries for journalism projects.

Why are we awarding a grant to Netzwerk Recherche?

By partnering with Netzwerk Recherche e.V. we believe there is an opportunity to further strengthen and grow investigative and non-profit journalism and thereby establish it as a third and important pillar of journalism, alongside the journalism provided by the major publishing houses and by state media.

What is our mutual goal?

Together we want to show that there are new ways to set up and finance non-profit journalism.  The joint ‘Grow Bursary’ programme supports start-ups and non-profit journalism, helping them to implement their projects.


Former Grantees & Projects

Photo: KU Kreatives Unternehmertum

What does KU Kreatives Unternehmertum gGmbH do?

KU Kreatives Unternehmertum gGmbH has devoted itself to business education and promotes a new approach to education in terms of how to shape the society in which we live.  The approach involves organisations and individuals having an entrepreneurial impact on, with and for society that is orientated towards the common good and the public interest.  From its premises it carries out research into the liveable future and, together with other pioneering organisations, devises education formats for groups and organisations that shape society.  The work is interdisciplinary and inter-generational.

Why are we awarding a grant to the ‘Local Journalism and Democracy’ conference?

Local media enable citizens to take part in democracy; guarantee public scrutiny; contribute to a sense of identifying with the local environment; and even go so far as to act as a counterbalance to the global sphere of influence.  But how can this form of journalism be financed and organised now that the traditional ways of working are no longer valid?  On 18th October 2018 around 100 participants from a wide range of sectors came together to look at these issues and to discuss new models that could be developed for collaboration between the business world, civil society and public-service broadcasters.  We support this type of event because local journalism has a key role to play in the future of our democracy.

What is our mutual goal?

Journalism, it would seem, is no longer a successful business model.  Today, it’s all about attracting attention and as many readers as possible – and far less about actual information.  In the digital world, businesses place their adverts wherever they can attract the highest number of mouse clicks.  The danger is that journalism becomes little more than a side-show – which results in a loss of democratic opinion-forming and democratic diversity.  The aim of the ‘Local Journalism and Democracy’ conference was to rediscover local journalism as an expression of corporate social responsibility through multiple visions and perspectives.

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What does the Noah Foundation do?

The majority of media articles are predominantly negative. Studies show that this leads to a skewed perception of reality and needless pessimism. The Noah Foundation therefore promotes journalism that focuses on opportunities and solutions. This gives readers a more balanced world view and increases the likelihood that they will play a more constructive role in society.

Why are we awarding a grant to the Noah Foundation?

High-quality and constructive journalism contributes to a more optimistic and responsible moulding of society. It is therefore important to strengthen this form of journalism so that it becomes a truly integral part of what shapes public opinion.

What have we achieved together?

Together we have strengthened and grown support for solution-oriented journalism. In addition to regular, tried and tested bursaries for journalists, the Noah Foundation has developed its innovative Good News App.



Lukas Harlan
Programme Director Non-Profit Journalism
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