Skip to main content


Annenberg Foundation

Contact information:

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


Type of foundation: Independent

Types of grants: Project

Description: The Annenberg Foundation is a private foundation established in 1989. It is the successor corporation to the Annenberg School at Radnor, Pennsylvania founded in 1958 by Walter H. Annenberg. The Annenberg Foundation was established in 1989 with $1.2 billion, one third of the assets from the sale of Triangle Publications. Ambassador 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 Annenberg Foundation exists to advance the public well-being through improved communication. As the principal means of achieving this goal, the Foundation encourages the development of more effective ways to share ideas and knowledge. Specific organizational attributes valued by the Foundation are: visionary leadership, impact, sustainability, innovation, organizational strength, network of partnerships (i.e. collaboration) plus the population being served.

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 18 sites across the nation.

The Foundation has a long-standing commitment to public media. The Annenberg Foundation has given millions of dollars to support public media, beginning with its $90 million pledge to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1981. Support continues 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 received by the Newseum to date.

Other major giving areas are: Arts, Higher Education, Public Education, Professional Educational Development (for teachers), Animal Services, Health and Human Services, and Civic Responsibility.

Sample grants:

  • $1,000,000 to NPR for news programming (2002).
  • $500,000 to NPR for the programs of NPR West to broaden the creation and distribution of high-quality public radio programming (2008).
  • $500,000 to Link Media 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 (2008). Also $250,000 in 2009.
  • $100,000 to Public Radio International for The World (2008).
  • $100,000 to Youth Radio 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 Public Radio Capital 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).
  • $50,000 to Public Radio Capital for the Noncommercial Filing Window Project to secure new public broadcasting channels and develop public radio stations (2007).

Fit for public broadcasting: There is a strong fit with public broadcasting, especially with projects that have national impact or reach.

Eligibility: Grantmaking is by invitation only. Since approximately 2005, the Annenberg Foundation has committed to grants totaling $1.2 billion. Due to this significant investment of funds in an abbreviated time-frame -- coupled with the economic downturn -- the Foundation is unable to accept additional, unsolicited letters of inquiry or proposals.

However, the Foundation has launched Alchemy, a new project open to organizations in the Los Angeles area, focused on leadership development.

Deadline: Unsolicited applications are not accepted. Updates on grantmaking will be posted online.

How to apply: By invitation only.

Giving range: Varies widely. Media grants range from $50,000 – $1,000,000.

Assets: $2,487,703,921 (year ending 6/30/08)

Total giving: $266,898,723 (year ending 6/30/08)

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.