Chicago Headline Club offers grants up to $500 each for financially struggling Chicago-area journalists

"Chicago" by Nick Moulds is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Update: This grant program for financially struggling journalists has ended. The Chicago Headline Club has given out more than $50,000 in an effort to help. Thanks to everyone for your support!

About the program: $50,000 in reimbursement grants for professional expenses include job-search costs, career enhancement and work-from-home expenses, such as home Internet and wireless phone.


  • Grants of up to $500 each are immediately available for at least 100 Chicago-area journalists.
  • Grants are funded by the Chicago Headline Club and Chicago Headline Club Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

In a position to give rather than receive? Donate to the Chicago Headline Club Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Donation information below.

Who qualifies?

  • Professional Chicago-area journalists who are unemployed/under-employed and struggling financially as a result of job loss or reduced work. 
  • Sorry, students and new college graduates are excluded from this program.
  • Please, one submission per journalist.

How to apply:

Applicants filled out a Google form.

Submit receipt(s) for reimbursement

This program features grants to reimburse journalists for professional expenses, including work-from-home costs. You will need a Gmail account to upload receipts.

Please submit a photo or screen grab of a bill or receipt for a professional expenditure that helps you do your job, look for employment or enhance your career. This includes work-from-home expenses. 


$500 limit: $500 total per grant. Either a single bill for $500 or up to $500 for three months of a recurring bill. In other words, if you submit proof of a single recurring bill for $166, we will assume you will be paying that for three months and will reimburse for $500. (If the bill for three months is higher than $500, the most you would be reimbursed is $500.) Stacking bills is OK. For example, three qualifying bills totaling $500 for three months.

Qualified examples: Residential Internet service, phone/wireless phone bill, professional resume writing, equipment, podcast hosting, continuing education, such as journalism webinars.

Excluded examples: Rent/mortgage, utilities, food, credit card bills, car payments, student loan payments. (Although, our hope is that receiving a grant for professional expenses will leave more money for these personal costs.)

Proof of being a journalist

  • We will ask for your name, most recent employer and link to your LinkedIn profile.
  • You do NOT need to be a member of the Chicago Headline Club or the Society of Professional Journalists. However, we hope you consider joining in the future.

We will accept online applications only. Grants will be awarded at the sole discretion of the Chicago Headline Club and Chicago Headline Club Foundation.

If we can readily identify you as a Chicago-area journalist in need, your application is likely to be approved while funding lasts.

How to donate:

If you’re in a position to give rather than receive, please consider supporting the nonprofit Chicago Headline Club Foundation with a donation to aid this effort via:

  • Mailed check:
    Chicago Headline Club Foundation
    540 N. Dearborn St. #10397
    Chicago, IL 60610
    (In the check memo line, please include “Journalist Financial Hardship Fund.”)
  • PayPal:
  • Zelle electronic payment: