Strengthening reporting in the public interest

We understand that for democracy to thrive, government must be held accountable by an informed public through an independent press. Investigative reporting is critical for the press to fulfill its watchdog role and help the public more deeply understand the issues of our time.

The Driehaus Foundation supports investigative reporting that fosters greater transparency, accountability, and effectiveness in government institutions at the local level. We support long- form investigative projects that utilize rigorous journalistic techniques, such as data journalism and public information requests, to uncover problems, expose wrongdoing, and bring critical issues to public attention.

Our grantees typically measure their work in terms of real-world impact – new laws passed, broken policies reformed, and wrongs righted.


We support the production of professional, in-depth investigative content with clear implications for government accountability. Grants are made to nonprofit media organizations with the capacity for wide dissemination of findings. We are most interested in organizations that cover city, county, or state government.


  • Chicago is at the center of our grantmaking, although we consider a limited number of opportunities to support investigative work in urban areas across Illinois.
  • General operating grants are available only to urban-based organizations whose principal activity is investigative journalism.
  • Program and project grants support in-depth investigations and proposed projects must have clear implications for government accountability.
  • For national organizations, projects must have a clear benefit to local investigations. Examples may include investigative skill-building for Chicago journalists or assisting Chicago newsrooms with local investigations.
  • Newsrooms that work primarily in a language other than English are eligible.


The Investigative Journalism program is unable to provide support for:

  • Individuals or freelance projects
  • Journalism education, including educational programs with students in schools or universities
  • Scholarships
  • Work based primarily outside the state of Illinois

Contact for More Information

Program Officer
Investigative Journalism for Government Accountability
Nicholas Burt headshot
Browse our recent Investigative Journalism for Government Accountability grants.