Payday Receives $35,000 Matching Grant from Illumine Service Foundation

Payday Report Founder Mike covering a historic strike at GM in 2019 while the UAW's leadership was getting ready to go jail (Payday Report)


Payday Report is very excited to announce that we have received a $35,000-a-year matching grant from the Illumine Service Foundation. The grant is in recognition of Payday’s trailblazing coverage of labor and racial justice movements.

“We’re thrilled to support the critical work Payday is doing to elevate marginalized voices in the labor and racial justice movement, which are often intertwined,” notes Illumine’s Executive Director Sanjay Rawal. “Furthermore, Payday is one of the few national outlets that is covering local stories that many ignore, as well as international stories especially their coverage of Brazil, which has been exceptional”. 

The grant will allow us to transform Payday into a multimedia-rich newsletter, hire some part-time help and travel more to report on crucial issues, and hire more staff to help on various projects. 

“For 7 years, Payday has subsisted almost entirely off of the donations of our readers,” says Payday Report Founder Mike Elk. “This grant recognizes the huge financial contributions that our readers have made to grow Payday into a publication nationally recognized by the Washington Post for being the first media outlet to systematically track the pandemic-era strike wave.” 

The donation is a matching grant contingent on us continuing to raise at least $ 35,000 a year in donations, so we will all need yinz to continue to contribute. Illumine Foundation will also be working to help build our capacity and reach out to other grant funders.  

“There’s so much value in Payday’s insight, but in a rapidly changing media market, it is critical that Payday expand its video and multimedia capabilities to continue to serve its readership,” added Mr. Rawal. 

Your donations will help us continue to keep our grant funding as well as attract other funders. 

Donate to help us continue to do high-impact work. Please, if you can, sign up to join our 763 recurring donors today. 

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About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]