Philanthropy for Ukraine (Apr. '23)

13th edition of Philea's “Philanthropy for Ukraine” sessions organised in collaboration with the Global Forum for Media Development

On 28 April 2023 Philea in collaboration with GFMD organised the 13th edition of “Philanthropy for Ukraine” sessions with a focus on journalism in the context of the war. During the sessions, four Ukrainian media experts shared their insights on the challenges and opportunities for international donors to support the media. Read the full briefing here.

When: 28 April 2023, 16:00 CET

Organisers: Philea - Philanthropy Europe Association, Global Forum for Media Development

Where: Online

Welcome (16:00-16:05)

  • Delphine Moralis, CEO, Philea

  • Nils Luyten, Programme Manager, Philea

Introduction (16:08-16:13)

  • Tom Law, Deputy Director, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)

  • Liza Bezushko, Campaigns and Communications Manager, Global Forum for Media Development (GFMD)

Briefings (16:13-16:43)

  • Ievgeniia Oliinyk, Program Director, Media Development Foundation (MDF)

  • Andrey Boborykin, Executive Director, Ukrainska Pravda

  • Olga Myrovych, CEO, Lviv Media Forum,

  • Jakub Parusinski, Co-founder and Editor, The Fix Media and CFO, The Kyiv Independent

Discussion and Q & A (16:43-17:13)

Conclusion (17:13-17:15)


Based on their experience of being a recipient of media support, speakers shared their ideas and advice on how philanthropic or foundation support for media and journalism could be improved:

  • Reduce bureaucracy and increase flexibility. Jakub Parusinski says anything that reduces bureaucracy is a good thing, as many media outlets have to hire fundraisers and grant managers to deal with the administrative burden of applying for and reporting on grants. He suggests that funders should simplify their application and reporting processes and allow more room for adaptation.

  • Consider flexible long-term funding for local media. Olga Myrovich noted that short-term grants with extensive reporting procedures are not suitable for many media outlets, especially local ones, which have limited managerial capacity and face financial insecurity. In this case, long-term funding with flexible conditions is more sustainable and allows media outlets to focus on their core mission and audience.

  • Support capacity building and education. Many media outlets in Ukraine, especially local ones, lack the skills and knowledge to manage their organizations effectively, diversify their revenue streams, and engage with their audiences. Olga says that funders should support educational programs that work with the management of local media outlets, as well as media support organizations that can provide mentoring, training, and networking opportunities. Ievgeniia Oliiynyk echoes this point, saying that supporting educational programs that work with community leaders is essential, as they can help local media outlets improve their governance, editorial standards, and business models.

  • Fund more research. Jakub highlights that more data-driven decision-making for donors and media support organisations would be better.

  • Consider the local context and needs. Ievgeniia says that funders should be more aware of the local context and needs of the media outlets they support. Funders should listen to the media outlets and their audiences, and tailor their support accordingly. It is important to make individual direct connections with both local media and civil society sector organisations, to have a better understanding.

  • Coordinate and avoid duplication. Andrey Boborykin agrees, saying that funders should be more strategic and collaborative in their support for media and journalism, and coordinate with other donors and stakeholders to avoid duplication or fragmentation of efforts.

  • Support programmes safeguarding culture in the media. Andrey points out that while there are some programmes from various foundations that aim to decolonize Ukrainian culture or support Ukrainian artists, the media are largely missing from this perspective. He adds that he has not seen a programme about Ukrainian culture in the media for a long time. Jakub agrees that media play a crucial role in documenting and disseminating Ukrainian culture, especially in the context of the war. Olga emphasizes that niche media outlets are often overlooked by donors, although they have a lot of potential in terms of promoting the narrative and reaching out to audiences abroad.

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