IRE’s Endowment Funds

The goal of IRE’s ongoing fundraising efforts is to ensure that IRE’s independent voice, innovative training, resource library and vast array of networking possibilities for journalists continue well into the 21st century. IRE offers quality education and guidance for reporters, editors, producers, journalism educators and students, and independent journalists through its resources and services; these have upheld the highest of professional standards since its inception in 1971. With your help, IRE will continue to instill a passion for public service journalism.

We need the help of every dedicated journalist to continue our vital work. If you have ever attended an IRE event — whether a conference, watchdog workshop or customized training — you know the fees are the least expensive of any journalism organization of comparable size. Membership fees also remain affordable, and the benefits afforded to members continue to grow. It is impossible to stress enough how important maintaining a robust endowment is to keep all of the costs manageable and affordable.


To donate to any of these funds:

  1. Donate online here (there is a place to note which fund you want to support)
  2. Mail a check (noting the fund you want to support in the memo field) to:IRE
    Attn: Heather Feldmann Henry
    141 Neff Annex
    Columbia, MO 65211


Endowment Funds

  • IRE General Fund: IRE applies income from the fund where it is needed most in the organization within a given year.
  • Brant Houston International Journalism Fund: Created by the IRE board and staff to honor Houston’s many years of service to IRE, including his ten years as executive director. The fund supports IRE’s efforts to foster excellence in global investigative reporting.
  • Brent Johnson Fund: In memory of Brent Johnson, who was an exceptional student at the Missouri School of Journalism and IRE, this fund was created to support a graduate research assistant for The IRE Journal.
  • David Dietz Fund: This fund honors the memory of long-time member and former IRE board president David Dietz. It creates a fellowship to send a business reporter to the IRE conference.
  • David Donald Fund: The fund is named for the late David Donald, a former IRE training director who spread the gospel of computer-assisted reporting to thousands of journalists, educators and students around the world. It is designed to support computer-assisted reporting training for university educators so that they can better equip their students to be effective watchdogs through the use of data.
  • Diversity Development Fund: IRE is dedicated to increasing diversity in the investigative journalism community. Gifts to this fund go toward fellowships for journalists of color to attend IRE conferences, seminars and workshops.
  • Eric B. Sager Scholarship: Established through an estate gift by the late Eric B. Sager, an IRE member from West Virginia, who worked mainly in trade publications. Provides scholarships to U.S.-based journalists and independent journalists to attend the IRE conference.
  • Eugene S. Pulliam Fund for IRE’s Resource Center: The fund was created with an original gift from the Jane Pulliam Trust. It supports IRE’s Resource Center, a rich reserve of print, broadcast and online stories, tipsheets, and guides to help journalists start and complete the best work of their careers.
  • Freedom of Information Initiative Fund: IRE’s efforts in training, research, publications regarding state open records laws and the Freedom of Information Act are supported by this fund.
  • Freelance Journalists Fund: Donations to this fund help support annual support for freelance journalists working on investigative projects.
  • Godfrey Wells Stancill Fellowship Fund: In memory of Godfrey Wells Stancill, former editor and publisher of the Suffolk News-Herald and father of IRE board member Nancy Stancill. The fund supports a fellowship to IRE’s annual conference for a journalist from a small news organization.
  • Greg Reeves Memorial Fund: The fund honors Kansas City Star reporter Greg Reeves, a computer-assisted reporting pioneer and long-time IRE member, who died of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) in 2007. The memorial fund was created by former colleagues Mike McGraw of The Kansas City Star and IRE Executive Director Brant Houston. It supports a graduate student assistantship in the IRE and NICAR Database Library.
  • Holly Whisenhunt Stephen Fund: Established by IRE and WTHR-Indianapolis to honor Stephen, an award-winning journalist and longtime IRE member who died in November 2008 after a long battle with cancer. The fund establishes fellowships to send broadcast journalists to an IRE Computer-Assisted Reporting (CAR) Boot Camp.
  • James Richard Bennett Scholarship Fund: The scholarships are made possible by a donation to IRE by Dr. James R. Bennett, professor emeritus of English, University of Arkansas. It supports college students in Arkansas, Mississippi, Oklahoma or Louisiana to attend the IRE conference.
  • Jennifer Leonard Scholarship Fund: Created by IRE member David Cay Johnston of The New York Times to honor his wife, the president of the Rochester Area Community Foundation and a national leader in promoting ethical standards for endowments. The scholarships are awarded to women of modest means who are journalism students, or have less than three years of work experience, allowing them to attend the IRE conferences or NICAR training seminars.
  • Napoli Management Group Fund: The fund was established by the Napoli Management Group to help aspiring TV watchdog journalists, early in their careers, who otherwise would not have the financial means to attend the IRE conference.
  • Ottaway Family Fund: This fund, established by David Ottaway and the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, supports professional journalists to attend an IRE Computer-Assisted Reporting (CAR) Boot Camp and is aimed at increasing the diversity of IRE’s membership.
  • Philip L. Graham Fund: The fund is named for Philip Graham. It sends professional journalists of color to the IRE conference in order to increase the diversity of IRE’s membership.
  • Tom Renner Award Fund: This fund supports the Tom Renner Award which honors outstanding crime reporting and is presented at the annual IRE awards event.
  • Torchlight Fund: Established in 2015 by the Data and Interactives Team at USA TODAY when they donated a large cash prize won for work on Behind the Bloodshed, a data-driven accounting of mass murders in America. The team included Meghan Hoyer, Paul Overberg and Jodi Upton of USA TODAY, and Anthony DeBarros, Kristin DeRamus, Destin Frasier and Juan Thomassie of Gannett Digital. It funds a fellowship for a journalists working outside the United States, under difficult conditions, to attend the IRE or NICAR conference.


IRE Journalist of Color Fellowship: 

The program is intended to prepare and support journalists of color for a solid career in investigative reporting. The goal of the fellowship is to increase the range of backgrounds, experiences and interests within the field of investigative journalism, where diverse perspectives are critically important. The fellow continues to work in the newsroom and carry the regular workload while also working on this investigative reporting project.


For more information, please contact Heather Feldmann Henry, IRE’s Financial Officer, at 573-884-7902 or