After a busy and productive Spring that saw the funding of new projects, the wrap up of the third Fledgling Engagement Lab, and some emerging collaborations with trusted colleagues, it seems to be an excellent time to pause and reflect on Fledgling’s mission and grant-making strategy.  

First, we want to let you know that Fledgling remains committed to improving the lives of the most vulnerable and we continue to believe in the power of documentary film and storytelling as a key tool to advance social change. We are thrilled to see the smart and strategic work being done by our grantees and others in the field—from large-scale social action campaigns to targeted grassroots initiatives and interesting new labs focused on impact. It is amazing to think how much the field has evolved in the almost 15 years that Fledgling has been working in this space. Given this evolution, we believe it makes sense to take a step back and evaluate not only what we have learned, but also how Fledgling can most effectively contribute moving forward.

As a first step, we are moving away from the current rolling application process and will shift to periodic calls for projects around specific issues. As of July 12th, we will be closed for applications until mid-August. Look for an announcement regarding a call for projects in early August that will include updated criteria, as well as submission deadlines. For your planning purposes, we anticipate that the call will open in mid-August with submissions due in September and funding decisions announced in the late Fall.

We plan to spend the coming weeks assessing the Fledgling Engagement Lab, analyzing our overall grant-making strategy, and thinking about how we can most effectively advance our mission, leverage limited resources, and strategically support the social impact work of documentary filmmakers.

Like many of you, we look at the world around us and see many critical issues that urgently need to be addressed. The good news is there are many organizations and individuals who are doing important work to ensure a more sustainable and just world that allows everyone the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our goal is to determine the most effective way for Fledgling to support this work.

Thank you for your patience as we plan our next phase.  

Diana and Sheila

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