Lots of questions on how Bellingcat is funded especially from Russian Federation government and Russia Today journalists.
While I did not do research on the funding and financial situation of Bellingcat, some details are public. I like to encourage everyone to do research.
The founder of Bellingcat is Eliot Higgins. In 2017 Bellingcat has 6 full time employees. Including Higgins these are Christiaan, Narine, Aric, Hadi + one more. BC should also soon have an admin person and fundraising director joining by year end.
All the other authors and researchers work as volunteer.
In 2014 Bellingcat started a crowdfunding. They raised £50,891 via Kickstarter.
Bellingcat also used crowdfunding to purchase a Digital Globe satellite photo of Donetsk in 2015.
Higgins and Toler received funding from Google for Media. The amount of money is not known publicly. The grant ends at the end of 2016.
At February 2017 Elliot Higgins on Tweeted told by whom Bellingcat is funded.
Bellingcat has received money from the following: OSF, Meedan, NED, Google, Adessium, Crowdfunding.
OSF = Open Society Foundations, formerly the Open Society Institute, is an international grantmaking network founded by business magnate George Soros. Wikipedia
In May 2016 dutch Newspaper NRC reported Bellingcat cooperated with OSF for creating a website in Russia.
NED is National Endowment for Democracy a private, nonprofit foundation dedicated to the growth and strengthening of democratic institutions around the world. Each year, NED makes more than 1,200 grants to support the projects of non-governmental groups abroad who are working for democratic goals in more than 90 countries.
According Higgins: “The NED money is for training Russian language journalists in verification and open source investigation”
At April 26, 2016 Higgins stated on Twitter:
Whatever you might imagine about NED and AC I’ve not received funding from NED. Stop reading conspiracy websites.
@Documark Whatever you might imagine about NED and AC I've not received funding from NED. Stop reading conspiracy websites.
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) April 26, 2016
This is the announcement of NED grant at Feb 6, 2017.
Bellingcat has received money from the following:
— Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) February 6, 2017