Applications now being taken for 2021 Mini-Grants Program!




SPRINGFIELD – Illinois Farm Bureau will be the financial sponsor of this year’s Illinois Press Foundation mini-grants program that assists existing media programs at public and private high schools throughout the state.

Selected schools receive grants of up to $1,500 from the Illinois Press Foundation to pay for a computer, software or other equipment needed for a high school’s student media program to produce print or online newspapers. School media programs will be receiving application information Monday, with requests due on or before May 14. Funds or equipment will be received in September.

“We’re excited to have Illinois Farm Bureau as a partner in this effort,” Illinois Press Foundation Director Jeff Rogers said. “Both of our organizations feel passionate about the opportunity to help young journalist and student news organizations.”

The mini-grants program will provide funding or equipment to as many as 15 high school media programs.

“Illinois Farm Bureau is really excited to be a part of program that will assist Illinois high school students in developing their writing and reporting skills while also sharing the news of their school,” said Chris Magnuson, executive director of Illinois Farm Bureau’s News and Communication division. “These types of hands-on opportunities typically create future career goals, and it’s exciting to think that some of these students could one day help tell agriculture and rural America’s story.”

Jerry Reppert, president of the Illinois Press Foundation Board, called Illinois Farm Bureau’s sponsorship “great news,” and added the mini-grants program has always been special to him.

For more information about the Illinois Press Foundation’s mini-grants program, email Rogers at

The Illinois Farm Bureau is a member of the American Farm Bureau Federation, a national organization of farmers and ranchers. Founded in 1916, IFB is a non-profit, membership organization directed by farmers who join through their county Farm Bureau. IFB has a total membership of more than 378,237 and a voting membership of 77,909. IFB represents three out of four Illinois farmers.

The Illinois Press Foundation is dedicated to promoting and protecting free expression through educational activities that foster the practice and respect of First Amendment principles and values, to enhance the quality of services provided by newspapers to their communities, and to support reading and literacy efforts.

The IPF was established in 1982 as the charitable arm of the Illinois Press Association.

Its news service, Capitol News Illinois, has provided daily coverage of state government for Illinois’ newspapers since it was formed in 2019.


How to Apply:

1. Grant Requests are due on or before May 14, 2021. Submit via email to Jeff Rogers at

2. In two pages or fewer:

·         Identify school, district number, school address with ZIP code, school phone with area code, school website, principal’s name, media adviser’s name and email address and amount being requested. (Requests may not exceed $1,500.)

·         Describe the community your school serves, why your school is applying for this grant, and a statement of what you ultimately hope to gain from receiving grant funds. Be specific as to how the funds will be used. (Cost estimates are acceptable.)

·         Describe the proposed outcomes of your proposal’s success. What challenges, if any, might complicate your success? How will you address these concerns?

·         If your school is willing to match any grant funds you may receive, please include this information in your request.

·         Describe how your proposal demonstrates the use and support of the principles of the First Amendment.


The applicant will agree to:

1. Submit a final report – See Report on Use of Grant Funds below.

2. Return any unspent funds to the IPF. See “Timeline” below for details.


What the IPF Will/Will Not Fund:

Listed below are some examples of projects we will and will not fund. Neither list is intended to be all-inclusive. If you have questions about acceptable projects, please contact Jeff Rogers.


Projects/Items We Will Fund:

1.      To equip newsrooms with hardware and/or software used to produce print or online newspapers. The IPF may send a predetermined model of an item instead of funds.

2.      To launch/establish new web reporting version of existing publications.

3.      To advance journalism excellence and free expression.

4.      To educate students about news literacy and why news matters.



Projects Items We Will Not Fund

1.      This program is not intended to begin a journalism or other media program where none exists.

2.      We prefer not to fund the costs of sending students or faculty to training programs or camps.

3.      This program is not intended to fund yearbooks.

4.      We will not fund the purchase of tablets such as iPads, Androids, etc. We believe laptop and desktop computers serve in a more useful capacity for researching and writing.

5.      We will not fund broadcast programs.



·         Grant Proposals are due on or before May 14, 2021, and must be submitted via email only.

·         All applicants will be notified of the outcome of the selection process on or before May 28, 2021.

·         Grant recipients will receive grant funds or equipment from the IPF in September 2021.

·         Any funds not expended by Dec. 3, 2021, must be returned to the IPF by Dec. 20, 2021.


Report on Use of Grant Funds:

·         Submit a final report, not to exceed two pages, to Jeff Rogers at on or before Dec. 1, 2021, detailing how the funds were used. Document the successes and/or challenges related to the project and how this funding made a difference in your media program. We will be reporting this feedback to the IPF Board of Directors.

·         We encourage you to share stories and/or updates about the school’s progress toward completing this project.


Questions? Please call Jeff Rogers at 217-241-1300 or via email at