Public Educational Media

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
©The Fred Rogers Company

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' Board of Trustees is in the final stages of a strategic planning process.  The next deadline for grant proposals is November 1, 2017. We are grateful for your patience and cooperation and look forward to working with you in 2017 and 2018.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations (AVDF) are known nationally and globally for our 50-year history of support for public television. Early AVDF philanthropic partnerships included PBS stations such as WQED (Pittsburgh), WGBH (Boston), WETA (D.C.), WNET (New York) and KQED (San Francisco). Since 1974, the Arthur Vining Davis Foundations' Trustees' focus has been on national broadcasts for children’s educational programs with lasting value such as Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, Cyberchase, Reading Rainbow, Between the Lions and the newly launched mathematics program Peg + Cat. Our most visible and longstanding philanthropic partnership has been with America's most recognized documentary filmmaker Ken Burns whose films include The Civil War, Baseball, The National Parks:  America's Best Idea, The Roosevelts and The Vietnam War, among others.

Grants support "capstone" funding to complete production for major series assured of national airing by PBS or other national distribution platforms. Grant proposals should highlight innovative uses of technology which will enhance community outreach and contribute to teaching audiences of all ages. Preference is given equally to children's series and programs of enduring value on subjects such as history, culture and science. Consideration is given on occasion to single stand-alone programs of exceptional merit with a confirmed national airing. Educational television programs whose primary purpose is advocacy fall outside the program guidelines and will not be accepted.

Grant Amount

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt greets drought-stricken farmers in North Dakota, 1936.
Photo courtesy of Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library.

Proposals may range from $100,000 to $500,000.


All submissions must meet these three criteria:

  • The AVDF grant is the final and verifiable “capstone” funding for completion of production and educational distribution;
  • The film is assured of national audience by PBS or another high-quality distributor such as APM; and
  • The film represents high-quality educational programming of enduring value.

Multi-­year grants and annual funding of continuing series are considered only by exception.

When & How To Apply

Proposals may be submitted on a rolling basis through our grantee portal.

Please note that within the grantee portal form, you will be asked attach these supporting materials:

  • summary of monies raised to confirm AVDF's role as capstone philanthropy;
  • written statement of support for national distribution of this production through PBS or related national media platforms; and
  • 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.

Every effort is made to respond to all submitted proposals in a timely manner. 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 grant cycle, notification will be sent as soon as possible and may include an invitation to re-submit a revised proposal at a later date. 

Submitted material related to the grant proposal will not be returned.


To answer general questions that may result from these programmatic changes, please view our Frequently Asked Questions.

Contact Us

(904) 359-0670
(904) 359-0675
Email Us

Find Us

225 Water Street
Suite 1510
Jacksonville, FL 32202-5185

Receive Email Updates