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2020 Expanded Open Call

Grants to USA For-Profits and Nonprofits to Address Political, Economical,
and Cultural Challenges Presented or Intensified by COVID-19

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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New Media Ventures (NMV)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

06/30/20 11:59 PM PT


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Grants to USA for-profit and nonprofit organizations to address political, economical, and cultural challenges presented or intensified by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Eligible activities include those that use media and technology to support vulnerable communities and to defend democracy. NMV only supports projects that are making an impact in the U.S.

NMV focuses on scalable solutions from diverse, mission-driven teams. NMV is especially eager to hear from startups that are shifting power, building movements, changing narratives, and sparking civic engagement in the face of the current crisis.

  1. Shifting Power  Restoring power to citizens and communities requires bold vision and large-scale change, especially in a time of crisis. How can tech and media help?
  2. Building Movements  Together society is capable of amazing things. How can innovation accelerate movements for racial, gender, economic, and environmental justice?
  3. Changing Narratives  Stories inspire action and culture has the power to accelerate social change. What’s the next chapter for media and messaging? How can new voices change the way society sees the world?
  4. Sparking Civic Engagement  To create a vibrant democracy, everyone needs to be involved. How can technology help society engage as voters, volunteers, and candidates - even in the face of social distancing?
NMV's mission is to support entrepreneurs and activists wrestling with the biggest challenges facing the country's democracy. NMV is especially interested in supporting founders working to shift the balance of power in the country.  NMV has a preference for work that builds power now and in the long-term, and that is financially sustainable. However, NMV will consider applications that are brand new and/or shorter-term in focus, or that may benefit from a one time surge in funding if they are well-positioned to address challenges that the COVID-19 crisis is exacerbating.
For examples of non-exhaustive examples of the types of applications that could be a fit for this Open Call, see the URL for Full Text.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 189748

Estimated Size of Grant:

$25K to $250K in funding.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

New Media Ventures funds for-profits and nonprofits. If you’re not incorporated yet, you can still apply.

NMV funding is often best suited for early-stage startups (pre-seed/seed stage).

NMW is inviting the 500+ founders who applied earlier this year to share updates on how their plans have changed in light of COVID-19 (consider this the 2nd round of questions NMV was planning to ask anyway). NMV also wants to hear from founders who didn’t apply but are spinning up new projects in response to this crisis, including those in NMV's existing portfolio.

For ineligible applicants and projects, see

Pre-Application Information:

Application Deadline: June 30th, 2020 11:59 pm PT

- April 7: Accepting applications - NMV will begin reviewing as soon as they are received.
- April 14: Informational webinar for prospective applicants at 10 AM PT.
- May 4: Applications submitted by this date will be given priority in the review cycle, but NMV will continue to accept and consider applications afterwards until funding has been exhausted.
- Mid-May onward: NMV team, with support from an external investment committee of field experts will 1) begin interviewing shortlisted applicants and 2) conduct additional diligence on a subset of interviewees, including customer references and a review of financials.
- Mid-May - August: Applicants selected for funding are notified on a rolling basis

NMV typically makes investments in for-profits most often via convertible notes and gives unrestricted grants to nonprofits. Usually NMV invests in the form of convertible debt, which is essentially a loan that you can pay back or pay back with equity.

Webinar Recording, Slide Deck, and Q&A:
Application Questions:
Innovation in Crisis: What We’re Seeing:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply Online:


URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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