London, Greater London
Up to £28,000 per year
Permanent, Contract, Full-time
Job description

Grants Officer (Individuals)

Responsible to:                Legal Director

Salary range:                    £23,000 - £28,000

Key relationships:          CEO, Legal team, external lawyers, partners and beneficiaries

Location:                           Media Defence, the Foundry, 17 Oval Way, London SE11 5RR

Hours:                               37.5 hours (flexible), occasional evening and weekend work

Media Defence is a charity that helps journalists defend their rights. We support independent media, journalists and bloggers who are under legal threat through grant making, and by making sure that lawyers are available to defend them. We engage in strategic litigation to improve the regulatory environment for media freedom, make grants to organisations in various countries to run media defence programmes, and build the capacity of the lawyers and organisations we work with on issues of media law. Media Defence was set up in 2008 and has established itself as a leader in the field.

Role Summary

As Grants Officer, you will manage and administer Media Defence’s financial grants and non-financial support to individuals applying for support, identify new potential grantees and contribute to strengthening the capacity and sustainability of existing grantees. You will be the lead contact between Media Defence and our current grantees, and you will play a key role in implementing and refining our grant making strategy, developing and fostering strong and sustainable relationships with individuals working to advance press freedom standards around the world. More information about the programme can be found at Media Defence's website

You will be flexible and creative, have exceptional communication skills and a good understanding of the realities faced by lawyers and journalists operating in various regions of the world, including under repressive regimes.

Main Responsibilities

Grants Management

  • Managing Media Defence’s emergency defence grant application process, including assessment of applications and project proposals, proposal development, preparation of final recommendation for Board/CEO approval.
  • Manage grant award process, including contracting, setting of KPIs and reporting requirements
  • Monitoring of awarded grants, including tracking developments in litigation, assessment of partner/grantee reports and grant compliance; financial oversight of grants and grant budgets; provision of additional support as may be required by grantees
  • Ensure smooth running of Media Defence’s grant making; administration of Media Defence’s grants database (GIFTS)
  • Act as lead contact in relationships with lawyers and journalists throughout the process
  • Providing support to legal team where required
  • Undertake and support grant assessment /evaluations and; country mapping visits as may be required
  • Support the work of the Development cluster by providing material for news stories and accurate information for knowledge management
  • Assist team members in ensuring data related to Media Defence grants is provided in a timely manner for use in grant/case reporting, communications material, funding applications and reports, and for other uses
  • Support the Finance and Operations Director with periodic review and update of grantee terms and conditions
  • Monitor the situation with respect to press freedom around the world, outreach to individuals where appropriate
  • Act as one of the primary conduits between MLDI and networks of NGOs in the sector
  • Represent Media Defence at external events and meetings
  • Identify and carry out any other duties which fall within the scope, spirit and purpose of the post as requested

Person Specification


  • Good general education to degree level
  • Strong proven project management skills and experience of delivering successful projects
  • Ability to analyse and synthesise complex information quickly and effectively
  • Competent IT user including Microsoft Office Packages, internet and email
  • Ability to work creatively and flexibly in a small ream, supporting other colleagues, and with a strong commitment to learning and improvement
  • Excellent written and spoken English, good editorial skills and the ability to communicate with diverse communities
  • Experience of working with, and relating to, a diverse range of people and a pleasant, diplomatic manner and disposition in interacting with colleagues at all levels, as well as with Media Defence partners
  • Proven experience of grant making administration and the process of grant making
  • Proven track record of an organised and methodical approach to work, combining numerical accuracy with attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines
  • Experience with databases


  • Good working knowledge (spoken and written) of French would be a significant advantage
  • Experience of working hands-on in a legal environment and the management of legal documentation would be an advantage
  • Experience of, and an interest in, working for a ‘not for profit’ and in a human rights environment would be an advantage

How to apply

To apply please send a cover letter and CV with the subject line: ‘Grants Officer application’.

Deadline: 16 August 2020

Equality and diversity are fundamental to our mission. We are committed to the recruitment and retention of individuals from diverse backgrounds and who reflect the diverse communities in which we operate.

Posted on: 21 July 2020
Closed date: 16 August 2020
Tags: Admin, Legal

The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.