FIRE operates as a nonprofit project of IRE, but raises its own funding. It has relied on contributions from individual donors, support from the Ford Foundation, and a current two-year grant from the Jonathan Logan Family Foundation. FIRE also has a partnership with the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to provide legal services for freelancers who receive FIRE services. The program selects proposals from investigative freelancers, helping their work appear in various media outlets.
Beyond those direct services, FIRE has three overarching objectives:
- To engage the philanthropic community to ensure a greater number of grants to freelancers, and in greater amounts, especially stipends to compensate reporting time.
- To encourage a transparent exchange between outlets, freelancers, funders, and leaders within the freelance journalism field to resolve some of the field’s most pressing issues, including indemnification and libel insurance.
- To provide a forum for freelance investigative reporters themselves to mitigate the isolation of their work; communicate and exchange intelligence with one another; and promote the highest standards in the field.