The Fledgling Fund

Fledgling has an open rolling grant application process. You are able to submit an application online at any time and will be asked to include a description of the project, its social change goals and your plans for moving the project forward. We will ask for the latest cut of the film or a work sample for non-film projects.  We review proposals on a rolling basis and you will be notified of our decision within three months.

Grants support outreach and engagement for social issue documentary film and other storytelling projects that have the potential to inspire positive social change around issues that affect the most vulnerable.

Grants typically range from $10K - $25K.  There are two types of grants available: audience engagement planning grants or audience engagement implementation grants. Grants are NOT available to support production or post-production.  Planning grants are for building the strategy for outreach and engagement.  They are often used before a project is complete to prepare for its launch.  Implementation grants are for the execution of outreach and engagement strategies.

What We Consider

  • The Story. Fledgling sees storytelling as a lever to improve the lives of the most vulnerable. We know that a strong filmmaking vision and a beautifully crafted film are essential.  We look for compelling, authentic, important and timely stories that are character driven and/or add a new perspective or new information to a critical social issue.  We seek projects that have unique power to inspire, educate and mobilize audiences.
  • Stage of Project. We understand that audience engagement planning and implementation can happen at any point in the life of a project. However, before committing funds, we need to understand how the story develops and whether it can carry the project’s outreach and engagement goals.  Typically, film projects are at a rough cut stage and interactive projects have a prototype/work sample that we can review. All projects should have a clear timeline for completion.
  • Issue Area. We recognize that many of our most pressing issues are multi-faceted and systemic.  It is difficult to think about improving public health without considering food systems, toxins in our environment, housing, and access to acute, chronic and preventive health care services. Likewise, to empower young girls and provide opportunities for women to lead, we must consider education, reproductive health, economic justice and the impact of sexual and domestic violence.  Addressing climate change requires attention to corporate accountability, energy extraction, consumerism and strengthening and empowering local communities.  Similar arguments can be made around prison reform, democracy and economic justice.   Given this complexity, we seek stories around a range of issues, but give priority to projects that seek to improve the conditions for the most vulnerable.
  • Proposal Strength. We do not expect applicants  to have a fully developed audience engagement strategy. In fact, applicants may request funds to do just that.  However, we are looking for proposals that demonstrate a commitment to social change, have clear and realistic goals, recognize the need for partners, and identify some ideas for how the project can contribute to social change around important issues.
The online application is open to projects that have not previously received support from Fledgling as well as current grantees.  We welcome applicants and projects from both inside and outside of the United States. However, before receiving a grant, all applicants must have a fiscal sponsor based in the United States. This does NOT need to be in place for you to submit the application, but it must be in place for the funds to be disbursed.

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