Dedicated to Strengthening

   America's Future Through Education

Public Educational Media *
Image Courtesy of WETA

* Note: Please see "Update from the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the President" for important program changes.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations are known nationally and globally for our long history of support for public television.  Early philanthropy helped to establish nine PBS stations.  Since 1974, the trustees’ focus has been on national broadcasts for “evergreen” programs with lasting educational value.  Our most visible and longstanding philanthropic partnership has been since 1987 with award-winning documentary filmmaker Ken Burns.  Trustees have also made a significant commitment to high quality and enduring children’s educational programs, such as Arthur, Cyberchase, Reading Rainbow, Between the Lions and newly launched mathematics program Peg + Cat.

Grants support "capstone" funding to complete production for major series assured of national airing by PBS.  These should include innovative uses of technology to enhance community outreach and contribute to teaching in grades K-12 and beyond. Preference is given equally to children's series and programs of enduring value on subjects such as history and science.  Consideration is given on occasion to single stand-alone programs of exceptional merit with a confirmed national airing.  Programs whose primary purpose is advocacy, topical news coverage or entertainment may not be competitive.

Grant Amount
Amounts range from $100,000 to $500,000.

Initial research and pre-production funding is not supported.  Multi¬≠year grants and annual funding of continuing series are normally not considered.

When & How To Apply

Proposals should be submitted with our application form.

In addition, each initial grant application should include:
  • A one-page cover letter (signed by the chief executive officer or producer);
  • A two hundred word (approximate) abstract that will be used publicly if the grant is awarded;
  • A two-page description of the proposed grant;     
  • A one-page timeline for the proposed activities;
  • A one-page line item budget that provides the projected total costs with other sources of support (The Foundations do not fund indirect costs.)  This must include verification that the AVDF grant would be the capstone philanthropy;
  • A copy of the applicant institution’s current IRS statement of non-profit eligibility;
  • The employer identification number of the applicant organization;
  • Evidence that this film or documentary will have long lasting value through educational distribution to schools, colleges, and directly to children, students, and teachers as appropriate; and
  • A statement of support for national distribution of this production through PBS or related national media platforms.  

Proposal Submission
Completed grant applications may be sent by mail or email to Dr. Nancy J. Cable, President.

Mailing Address:
     The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
     225 Water Street, Suite 1510
     Jacksonville, FL 32202

     Email Address:

Proposal Evaluation and Notification
Every effort is made to respond to all questions, inquiries and proposals in a timely manner.  The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations strive to render decisions on grant awards within 6-8 months of proposal submission.

Upon receipt of a grant proposal, all materials will be evaluated according to the guidelines and criteria provided for each program area.  If a proposal is not competitive within the current cycle, notification will be sent no later than the beginning of the next grant cycle. 

At times, and in consultation with the grant applicant, a proposal may be tabled for further consideration into the next grant cycle.  Additional information may be requested from competitive grant proposals.   The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations’ Board of Trustees renders all final decisions.

Please direct all questions regarding the public television program to: Dr. Nancy J. Cable, President

Mailing Address:
     The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations
     225 Water Street, Suite 1510
     Jacksonville, FL 32202

     Email Address:
     Telephone:    904-359-0670

Recent Grants
For Recent Grants in Public Educational Media, please click here.


To answer general questions that may result from these programmatic changes, please visit the Frequently Asked Questions page on our website.