Chapter Grants, Awards, the IRS and more!

SPJ professional and college chapters are invited to apply for grants of up to $500 for innovative programs and events that help build membership.

SPJ will award chapter grants three times in 2017 in a pilot program to distribute $12,000 in newly available funds. The board’s regional director caucus will pick recipients, preferring programs that recruit new members to existing chapters, revive dormant chapters, start new chapters, or connect pro and student members.

Funds may go to program expenses and refreshments, but not alcohol. Spending a majority of the money to fly in a speaker is discouraged.

Letters of application must include:

— Description of the program, with its title, day and place, if known. Specific plans are preferred ahead of potential plans.

— The event’s membership goal.

— The dollar amount requested and how those funds will be spent.

— The name, email and phone number of the chapter contact person.

A current chapter is eligible only if it submitted an annual report for the preceding year.

Applications will be considered three times in 2017. The deadlines are 5 p.m. June 30, Aug. 31 and Nov. 30. Reimbursements will be issued after SPJ receives copies of receipts and/or paid invoices and a summary of the event.

Send your letter of application to Andy Schotz, Region 2 director, and chair of the regional director caucus, at Please include SPJ CHAPTER GRANT APPLICATION in the subject line. Forward receipts and invoices to Schotz within 60 days after funded programs for reimbursement.

For information about starting or reviving a chapter, visit the “chapters” page at SPJ also provides membership brochures, Code of Ethics bookmarks and posters, and other promotional material for membership recruitment. Contact Chrystal Parvin at to request the materials before your event.

Keep your status!

It’s that time of year! Holiday bustle, good food and great friends, just like the ones at the IRS.

They’ve asked that our chapters file their annual Form 990s by Dec. 15. That’s a little over a month away, so mark your calendars (or, better yet, just get it over with)!

Chapters whose annual gross receipts are normally $50,000 or less can electronically submit Form 990-N, also known as the e-Postcard. It’s quick and painless and you’ll want to do it ASAP.

You can use this link to file.

If you have questions, contact Chrystal Parvin, Membership Coordinator.

Show us your best work!

SPJ’s Mark of Excellence awards for collegiate journalism and the Sigma Delta Chi awards for outstanding professional work are now open.

Think you or your chapter members have what it takes to bring home this year’s top honors? Be sure to take note of the following deadlines:

Mark of Excellence Awards: Closes Jan. 11

Sigma Delta Chi Awards: Closes Feb. 19

Don’t forget about the New America Award, honoring public service journalism that explores and exposes issues of importance to immigrant or ethnic communities in the U.S. The deadline to submit for the New America Award is Feb. 19.

You can also nominate a mentor or colleague’s exceptional contributions to the profession of journalism by nominating them to be a Fellow of the Society by Dec. 1!

Questions about awards can be sent to our Program Coordinator, Christine Cordial

EIJ18 Call for Programs and Ideas

The Excellence in Journalism Conference — a collaboration between RTDNA and SPJ — is ramping up planning — and we need your help to make it happen. The Call for Programs and Ideas is open and taking your thoughtful input on what you want to see at the conference.

But hurry, because the Call for Programs closes on January 18, 2018. That’s right, the conference is September 27-29 in Baltimore, but the window to submit programming proposals closes in January.

If you have an idea for a conference session and are interested in taking part in the convention, please submit your proposal. Use this form to submit specific program proposals with topic, content, and suggested speaker (even if yourself).

Get your Google on

Learn to find, analyze, interpret and visualize data in compelling new ways with SPJ’s free Google tools training. Learn more and request a training for your newsroom, classroom or chapter at:

Final notes

Finally, SPJ has a new Chapter Leaders Slack team and you’re invited to join in! This team is perfect for connecting with other leaders to share ideas and get valuable advice on programming, membership and recruitment, or just share what your chapter is up to. I’ll be around to help as well.

Use this link to join. It’s only good for two more weeks, so act fast! Join in the conversation.

Defending the First Amendment and promoting open government are more crucial now than ever. Join SPJ's fight for the public’s right to know — either as an SPJ Supporter or a professional, student or retired journalist.

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