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  • Writer's pictureJoe Mitchell

Request for Proposals: Impact and Community Engagement research projects

The Public Interest News Foundation seeks proposals for two small consultancy projects to create, curate and collate useful materials on (a) building and communicating the impact of public interest news, and (b) on news and community engagement.

Since launching PINF in March 2020, we have provided independent news providers with funding and leadership development opportunities, backed up by original research. Now, we want to strengthen the sector, boosting the connections, confidence and capacity of independent news providers and raising their profile with external stakeholders, including donors, policymakers and the public.

About the project

Last year, PINF and partners hosted the first Independent News Forum. Five themes or workstreams emerged from that forum – for details see previous blogposts on PINF’s website. Two of those themes are taken forward by these calls for proposals: on building and communicating evidence of impact, and on ‘deep community engagement’ in news.

We would like to continue conversations on these themes in small groups of independent news providers. To inspire that work – and as an essential precursor to the work – we are looking for a consultant or consultants to put together two collections of resources – one on each theme.

These collections might include best practice guides, case studies, a mini-library of relevant reading materials – in your proposal, tell us what you think will be most useful. The materials should be engaging and informative for public interest news providers, including members of the two working groups, who wish to deepen their understanding of impact and community engagement, and for others with an interest in these topics.

Expected outputs

  • A collection of useful information, which could be made up of best practice examples, case studies, how-to kits, templates, and so on.

  • Materials would ideally be from the UK, but where relevant, overseas examples could be included.

  • We imagine outputs will be based on existing data and resources – rather than generating any new data - given the limited budget.


We are looking for a researcher/s with demonstrable:

  • extensive knowledge and understanding of the independent news publishing sector;

  • experience of conducting comparable research projects;

  • excellent written communication skills;

  • experience of working with small organisations, including non-profits; and

  • commitment to PINF’s charitable purpose.

Proposals should include:

  • a methodology for delivering the elements of the project;

  • a timeline; and

  • a breakdown of the time and costs of the researcher/s involved.

Budget and timing

We have allocated £2,000 to each research project, which should include all costs and VAT if applicable. We will prioritise proposals that demonstrate the greatest value for money.

Consultants are welcome to propose a plan for one or both projects.

We would expect to commission the consultant(s) by the end of May and, with one or two check-in meetings during the project, final materials would be delivered by the end of July.

How to apply

Please send your proposal by midday 9 May 2023 to with the title ‘Response to Impact/Community RfP’.

You may find it helpful to review previous blogposts on the Independent News Forum work, such as: Build and communicate evidence of impact: Independent News Forum series and Build and communicate evidence of impact: Notes from PINF's Zoom call


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