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Annenberg Foundation

Contact information:
2000 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 1000
Los Angeles, CA 90067-4704
Phone: 310-209-4560
Fax: 310-209-1631


Type of foundation: Independent

Types of grants: General operations, project, leadership training

Description: The Annenberg Foundation was established in 1989 with $1.2 billion, one third of the assets from the sale of Triangle Publications. Ambassador Walter H. Annenberg founded The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania in 1958 and The Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California in 1971. In 1983, he established the Washington Program in Communication Policy Studies. The Foundation invested substantially in journalism education and public media over the years. The Annenberg Foundation gave millions of dollars to support public media, beginning with a $90 million pledge to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1981. Support continued through grants to organizations such as National Public Radio. Building upon Ambassador Annenberg's life in publishing and broadcasting, the Foundation directed a $15 million grant towards the Newseum, the largest gift that had ever been received by that organization.

In 1993, the Foundation made an enormous commitment to public education with the $500 million Annenberg Challenge for School Reform, which worked to revive and inspire public school reform in eighteen sites across the nation.

In 2009, Wallis Annenberg and three of her children assumed leadership. In recent years, the Foundation has moved toward a focus on addressing large-scale social problems through collaborative effort. Specifically, the  Foundation invests in visionary leaders of nonprofit organizations that provide impactful programs and services through collaborative models. The Foundation is interested in “collective action” to address complex social issues. It is very focused on the leadership (staff and boards) of the organizations it funds. According to the Foundation website, “We take an all-encompassing look at the people, infrastructure, values, practices and policies that the staff and board embrace and promote for organizational success. We place importance on board involvement and directors’ ability to secure resources for the organization.”

Funding mostly goes to organizations serving the five-county region of Greater Los Angeles (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura Counties).

Current program areas are:

  • Arts, Culture & Humanities.
  • Animal Welfare.
  • Civic & Community.
  • Environment.
  • Education.
  • Human Health & Wellness.
  • Military Veterans.

The Foundation also offers free leadership training to non-profit organizations in the Greater Los Angeles region with budgets of $5 million or less. Information about this program, Annenberg Alchemy, is available here.

Sample grants:

  • $2,500,000 to WETA-Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (Arlington, VA) for a discretionary fund for the President at Florentine Films (2012).
  • $2,000,000 to KCRW Foundation (Santa Monica, CA) for the KCRW Campaign, which will enable the station to reach ever-growing and diverse audiences of public radio listeners (2013).
  • $1,000,000 to Los Angeles Opera Company (Los Angeles, CA) to produce operas to expand and enrich the cultural interests of the Los Angeles community (2011).
  • $1,000,000 to NPR (Washington, DC) for news programming (2002).
  • $1,000,000 to Sundance Institute (Los Angeles, CA) for the discovery and development of independent artists and audiences in film and theatre (2012).
  • $1,350,000 to Link Media (San Francisco, CA) for Link TV, the first nationwide television channel offered via direct broadcast satellite dedicated to providing Americans with a global perspective on news, events and culture (three grants) (2011).
  • $600,000 to KCETLink (Burbank, CA) for Link TV, the first nationwide television channel offered via direct broadcast satellite dedicated to providing Americans with a global perspective on news, events and culture (2013).
  • $500,000 to NPR (Washington, DC) for the programs of NPR West to broaden the creation and distribution of high-quality public radio programming (2008).
  • $290,877 to Friends of Fondation de France (New York, NY) for recording projects by the Paris Opera to produce live radio broadcasts of performances as well as create CD versions of the work for distribution (2011).
  • $250,000 to Link Media (San Francisco, CA) for Link TV, the first nationwide television channel offered via direct broadcast satellite dedicated to providing Americans with a global perspective on news, events and culture (2011).
  • $250,000 to Southern California Public Radio (Pasadena, CA) for the Arts and Entertainment Desk (2013).
  • $125,000 to KCRW Foundation (Santa Monica, CA) to promote and raise funds for KCRW, a National Public Radio flagship station (2011).
  • $125,000 to Public Radio International (Minneapolis, MN) for The World's Global Reporting Initiative to inform Americans about and engage them with critical global issues (2012).
  • $125,000 to Southern California Public Radio (Pasadena, CA) to provide high quality news and information services to Southern California through radio and other interactive media (2011).
  • $100,000 to National Gallery of Art (Washington, DC) for the exhibition 'Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint Gaudens' Shaw Memorial' (2013).
  • $100,000 to Echo Park Film Center (Los Angeles, CA) for equal and affordable access to film and video education and resources for all members of the local community (2011).
  • $100,000 to KCRW Foundation (Santa Monica, CA) for the Independent Producer Project (2011).
  • $100,000 to Public Radio International (Minneapolis, MN) for The World (2008).
  • $100,000 to Orange County High School of the Arts (Santa Ana, CA) for the development and launch of the new Digital Media Conservatory Program, a program to provide opportunities for students to explore creativity through media art and digital technologies (2013).
  • $100,000 to StoryCorps (Brooklyn, NY) for people of all backgrounds and beliefs to record, share and preserve the stories of their lives (2013).
  • $100,000 to Water Education Foundation (Sacramento, CA) for the production of the Pat Brown Documentary Project on the former California governor (2011).
  • $100,000 to WETA-Greater Washington Educational Telecommunications Association (Arlington, VA) for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer (2012).
  • $100,000 to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (New York, NY) to improve the lives of veterans and their families by addressing the critical issues they face upon their return (2011).
  • $100,000 to Youth Radio (Oakland, CA) for the Youth Radio Los Angeles Bureau Advancing Flagship Journalism Initiatives Project to expand media training programs, production initiatives and youth development services for disenfranchised youth in East and South Los Angeles, California (2008).
  • $75,000 to Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (New York, NY) for the Los Angeles Rapid Response Referral Program to help veterans locate mental health, education and employment services available to them, within Los Angeles, California and nationally (2013).
  • $75,000 to KCETLink (Burbank, CA) for Artbound, a transmedia program that re-imagines art curation by utilizing over 70 arts journalists (2013).
  • $75,000 to Public Radio Capital (Boulder, CO) for the New Horizons Project to enable new and existing Native American public radio stations to have a greater impact and better support their communities (2008).
  • $75,000 to Representation Project (Ross, CA) for The Mask You Live In, a film series documenting the unrealistic expectations, conflicting messages and pressures imposed on young boys (2013).
  • $64,800 to Stanford University (Stanford, CA) for the Camera as Witness Program for student learning and engagement by bringing documentary films to campus (2011).
  • $54,340 to National World War II Museum (New Orleans, LA) for the exhibition 'From Barbed Wire to Battlefields: Japanese American Experiences in WWII' to share this underrepresented facet of American history with local and national audiences (2014).
  • $50,000 to Partners in Care Foundation (San Fernando, CA) for training and evidence-based health education programs for veterans and their caregivers (2013).
  • $50,000 to Center for Independent Documentary (Sharon, MA) for the documentary, From Hollywood to Nuremberg (2012).
  • $50,000 to International Documentary Association (Los Angeles, CA) for the documentary film The Backwards Beekeeper, which will chronicle the history and benefits of organic beekeeping (2011).
  • $50,000 to the San Francisco Film Society (San Francisco, CA) for the San Quentin Media Project to train incarcerated men in media production (2011).
  • $50,000 to Public Radio Capital (Boulder, CO) for the Noncommercial Filing Window Project to secure new public broadcasting channels and develop public radio stations (2007).
  • $50,000 to Zocalo: A Cultural Forum for the New Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA) to use on-the-ground events and online journalism to connect people to ideas and each other (2012).
  • $30,000 to Operation Blue Pride (Carson, CA) to bring together veterans who have been injured in combat and have endured lifelong physical challenges and educate and empower them to learn to dive and appreciate oceans (2013).
  • $25,000 to Denver Film Society (Denver, CO) for the documentary, Hondros: A Life in Frames, which will chronicle the life and works of the late photographer Chris Hondros (2013).
  • $20,000 to Venice Arts in Neighborhoods (Venice, CA) for media-based arts education programs for youth (2011).
  • $16,750 to Los Angeles Forum for Architecture and Urban Design (Los Angeles, CA) for the Los Angeles Urban Rangers' Public Access 101: Downtown LA video to chronicle the series of Ranger led urban explorations (2011).
  • $15,000 to United States Artists (Los Angeles, CA) for the documentary, Same Difference, which focuses on the opinions of children with same-sex parents (2011).
  • $11,000 to New Orleans Video Access Center (New Orleans, LA) for an audio/video/performance project on the biennial of international contemporary art in New Orleans (2011).
  • $10,000 to Purple Heart Homes (Statesville, NC) for personalized housing solutions for Service Connected Disabled Veterans and their families that are substantial in function, design and quality fit to welcome home the fighting men and women of America (2014).
  • $10,000 to Operation Finally Home (New Braunfels, TX) for custom-built, mortgage free homes to wounded and disabled veterans and widows of the fallen in effort to help ease the transition from soldier to civilian and to empower them to become productive members of their communities (2014).
  • $10,000 to The Telling Project (Austin, TX) to work with communities and organizations to produce 'Telling,' innovative performance in which military veterans and their family members stage the 'telling' of their stories for their communities (2013).
  • $10,000 to A-PLACE.Org (Brooklyn, NY) for the Youth Empowerment through TV Entertainment Program in Ghana (2013).
  • $10,000 to California State University Long Beach (Long Beach, CA) for KJAZZ 88.1FM to promote and preserve the rich cultural heritages of Jazz and Blues (2011).
  • $10,000 to Dance Camera West (Los Angeles, CA) for Dance Media: An Active Spectrum, international dance media conference that will unite professionals from the film, television and new media industries (2011).
  • $10,000 to KCETLink (Burbank, CA) to produce the Artbound-Tijuana Project, featuring interviews, stories and footage of art galleries, artistic directors, artists and the general public in Tijuana, Mexico (2013).
  • $5,000 to Northwest Film Forum (Seattle, WA) for the IndieFlix Foundation, whose mission is to support the creation, distribution and exhibition of meaningful films (2011).

In July and August 2014, the Annenberg Foundation in association with KCRW presented “Country in the City” a free concert series inspired by the Annenberg Space for Photography’s current exhibition, Country: Portraits of an American Sound.

Fit for public broadcasting: The Foundation is a good fit for public media organizations – especially those serving the Los Angeles region. The Foundation’s program interests converge with some key public media priorities, including arts, education and veterans. The Foundation also offers leadership training which may be of interest to smaller media organizations (budget of $5 million or less).

Eligibility: The Foundation will not make multi-year grants, nor will it fund capital/building expenses. The majority of grants are made to organizations serving the Greater Los Angeles region.

Deadline: None. However, applications must be submitted within 45 days after opening an online grant application account.

How to apply: Applicants should open an online grant application account. Applications should follow and reflect the questions listed in the Foundation’s Vision+ Grantmaking Guidelines.Vision+ Grantmaking Guidelines.

Giving range: Grants range from $10,000 to a maximum of $100,000. In 2013, the average grant size awarded was $80,688. Equal consideration is given to applications for awards for general operations or program support.

Assets: $1,623,162,045 (as of 12/31/2012) 

Total giving: $104,790,232 (as of 12/31/2012)


This Grant Center profile is a synopsis of the foundation and its giving, based on currently available information. It is not intended to be a comprehensive source. Be sure to consult the foundation website for additional information.