The Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University is pleased to offer project support for Camden-based organizations and individuals who wish to participate in Stories Invincible.

These awards are generously supported by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation and the NJ Local News Lab Fund, a partnership between Dodge, Democracy Fund, and the Community Foundation of New Jersey.

Before using the form below to apply for support, be sure to read the full award guidelines, criteria, and FAQs below.

Note that only one person needs to apply per project. The applicant should be someone who will be the main contact or project manager for the project should it be funded and go forward.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 18, 2023 at 7:00 pm ET.

If you have any questions, contact project coordinator Reet Starwind at [email protected].


Stories Invincible awards are available for Camden-based journalists and media makers to apply for fellowship funding from a pool of $25,000. The funding will support projects that address our city’s information needs and uplift stories of resilience and hope. The Center hosted a similar funding opportunity in Newark in 2019.

After the fellows are selected, Center staff will be available throughout the summer and fall to provide guidance, coaching, and other type of support for the fellows and their work.

After the initial phase of the fellowship is complete, members of the public will be invited to attend an event to showcase the reporting produced as a result of the fellowship.

If you live in or are from Camden and have a story about the city and its people that needs to be told, click here to sign up for updates.

You are eligible for an award if you meet the following criteria:

  • You live or work in the City of Camden.
  • You are a journalist or media-maker. That includes students and freelancers.
  • Your project seeks to address an identifiable community information need.
  • Your project is about Camden and/or has a demonstrable tie to its residents.

Awardees will receive:

  • Up to $5,000 each in funding.
  • Support and coaching from the Center for Cooperative Media.
  • Assistance with placing the media they produce with local media partners, as needed.


Below, we tried to answer as many frequently asked questions as we could anticipate. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, let us know! Email the Center directly at [email protected] and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

Who is eligible to apply?
Camden-based journalists, media makers, and residents are eligible. See the eligibility section above for more information.

What can I use the money for?
The funding must be used to directly support the execution of the proposed Stories Invincible project. That can include covering costs related to staffing, acquisition of data, software, printing, or other creation of physical artifacts, events, travel, or a variety of other similar direct costs. The funding can NOT be used for lobbying efforts, to directly influence legislation, to influence the outcome of a public election, or to carry out a voter registration drive. If you have any more questions about this, the Center’s staff is happy to discuss your concerns. Click here to sign up for a coaching session with a Center staff member.

When will I be notified of my application status?
As soon as you apply, you’ll get a confirmation email that includes a copy of your application. We plan to announce and notify awardees by the end of August 2022. If you are awarded a award, you’ll get an award letter and details on what additional information we need from you. If you are not selected to receive funding, you may request a follow-up session with a Center staff member to review your application and receive feedback on how to improve it for future funding opportunities.

What paperwork will you need from me to disburse my money?
We will ask for information to verify your identify, if needed, and that you work in the industry. We will also need you to fill out paperwork from Montclair State.

Will you pay the award to me or to my employer?
We can pay it to you or your employer, whichever is preferable. We’ll need to make sure you provide us with the correct paperwork either way.

How will I receive the funds?
On your paperwork with the University, you will be asked to provide banking information for an ACH deposit.

Can I submit more than one application?
Yes! You can submit separate funding applications for separate projects or ideas. Each application. however, should only include a request for funding for a single project.

Can I receive more than one award?
No. To be as equitable as possible, we intend to award only one award per person. You may however, submit separate funding applications for separate projects or ideas. Each application. however, should only include a request for funding for a single project.

What if I want more than $5,000?
To maintain equity and to be able to support as many individuals as we can, we can’t support requests for more than $5,000. If you need help figuring out how to rein in the cost of your proposal, we are happy to help! Click here to sign up for a coaching session with a Center staff member.

Do I have to be a nonprofit to receive the funding?
No, you do not.

Are individuals or sole proprietors eligible to apply?

Can a collaborative group comprised solely of individuals or sole proprietors apply?

Can you help us formulate our proposal?
Yes! The Center will offer coaching sessions during open office hours. You can request a one-on-one coaching session with a Center staff member by filling out this form.

What are my reporting responsibilities if I am awarded, and accept, funding?
We’ll ask you to fill out a survey reporting how your project went. We’ll publish selected reports publicly (we’ll let you know if yours is one of them!) and we highly encourage you to write/record about your project separately and publish it on your own or share it with your networks.

What if you haven’t answered my question in these FAQs?
Let us know! We know we haven’t anticipated everything. Email us at [email protected].


Cassandra Etienne is the assistant director for membership and programming at the Center for Cooperative Media and the project lead for Stories Invincible. She has a master’s degree from Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism and has worked as a documentary producer and freelance reporter in New Jersey and her native New York City. Contact Cassandra via email at [email protected].

A headshot of Reet Starwind against a light grey background.

Reet Starwind is the Stories Invincible project coordinator for the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. He is an artist, educator, and organizer in the Camden area working with the Center to elevate restorative narratives about Camden’s residents and history. Contact Reet via email at [email protected] or on Instagram at @mrstarwind.