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IRE Ring of Honor

In 2022, IRE established the Ring of Honor, a new initiative celebrating members who have made a significant contribution to the organization and to investigative journalism.

Nominations to the Ring of Honor can be made in tribute to current or retired IRE members or in memoriam to deceased members.

It’s a great way for a group of people to thank a friend or colleague for their service while also paying it forward by raising money to help others.

How it Works

To nominate someone, fill out the form linked below. If a group of people are nominating, name one person to coordinate the nomination process.

The nomination requires approval of the IRE Board of Directors.

If approved, the nominating person or group has two years from the date of board approval to raise a minimum of $2,500 in the name of the person to be honored. Once that minimum is reached, the person’s name will be added to the Ring of Honor and the honorees will be announced at the next IRE conference.

The money raised will go into a fund for fellowships that will allow qualified recipients to access IRE benefits, such as attending conferences, participating in training and networking with other investigative journalists.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have questions not addressed here, please contact IRE Director of Partnerships Anna Lopez.

Can someone who's still an active IRE member be in the Ring of Honor?
Yes. In addition to honoring retirees and deceased members, the IRE Ring of Honor is designed to be a showcase for diversity in our industry and an avenue for news organizations and friends to honor someone who is making a valuable contribution to our profession.
Is anything expected of the Ring of Honor recipients?
No. This is a gesture of appreciation while at the same time raising funds for IRE. The honorees already have contributed their time and talents to our field and the organization.
Will the honoree be notified?
The IRE staff will make a good faith effort to let the honoree know, or in the case of deceased members, a family member, when the minimum funds have been raised and the announcement is made. However, once the the honor is bestowed, it’s appropriate for the nominating group to notify the honoree directly.
How will members know who is in the Ring of Honor?
Honorees will be listed in the IRE Ring of Honor to be placed on the website and listed in conference materials.
Can I raise more than $2,500?
Yes. The $2,500 is a minimum threshold amount. IRE welcomes and encourages higher contributions.
What if I don’t raise all the money within two years?
The nomination to put the nominee in the Ring of Honor will be considered void, but can be resubmitted to the board for approval. IRE would still welcome any money raised in the effort for the fellowship fund.
Can I contribute in honor of a Ring of Honor recipient after the person is already in?
Yes. The money raised in tribute to a Ring of Honor honoree is an open, pooled fund that anyone can give to at any point.
Will I be able to get a receipt for my contribution for tax purposes?
IRE asks that one person be the coordinator of the nominating group. If that person keeps a list of the contributors and the amounts, IRE can issue a receipt to each of them.
Can I nominate myself to the Ring of Honor?
No. This program is designed to give donors a way to honor a friend or mentor through a special fund that will help others, so it requires a nomination from a supporter or group of supporters.
Could someone be removed from the Ring of Honor?
In the unlikely event that the honoree no longer remains in good standing in IRE or within the journalism community, through unethical or illegal behavior, the honoree could be removed from the Ring of Honor by a majority vote of the board of directors. The funds raised would not be returned.
How, specifically, will the money raised for the Ring of Honor be used?
Donations will go toward a fellowship fund that can be co-mingled and distributed in any way that the executive director chooses to meet the organization’s mission. The number of scholarships awarded in a given year would be based on earnings from the year and needs of the organization. IRE reserves the right to change the use of funds, based on a vote of the board of directors.
I’ve given to IRE endowed scholarships in someone’s honor before. How is this different?
Previously, groups or individuals wishing to honor a longtime IRE member had to raise a sizable amount of money for the scholarship to generate enough interest to be a source of recurring funds. That amount was often difficult to raise. The Ring of Honor funds will be pooled, allowing IRE to nurture it and see it grow. Some endowed scholarships don’t allow co-mingling with other funds.
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