Public Educational Media

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood
©The Fred Rogers Company

Educational television media has expanded to include more diverse and innovative programs across the arc of one’s lifespan. In addition, access to these programs continues to widen through ever-growing platforms for public media distribution, including children’s television.

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations are known nationally and globally for their 50-year history of support for public television. Early AVDF philanthropic partnerships included PBS stations such as WGBH (Boston), WETA (D.C.), WQED (Pittsburgh), WNET (New York) and KQED (San Francisco).

Since 1974, the Foundations' Trustees have focused 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 the nation’s leading documentary filmmaker, Ken Burns, whose films include Civil War, Baseball, The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, The Roosevelts, and The Vietnam War, among others.

Organizations applying through the Foundations' Public Educational Media program must meet the following criteria to be competitive for a grant from the Foundations.  

  • Requested grant funds from AVDF must be for capstone funding;
  • The series or film must be assured of national airing on PBS or other national distribution platforms; 
  • The organization must provide a list of other funders for the film or film series; 
  • The organization must provide a list of advisers or experts who provided insight into the accuracy of historical projects; 
  • The organization must provide a rough cut of the project for review by AVDF program staff.

The most competitive projects will emphasize one or more of the following:

  • Children's education through a series focused on literacy, character development, or science;
  • An educated public through programs with enduring value focused on history, science, the environment, or interfaith leadership and religious literacy; 
  • The advancement of education for audiences of all ages; and
  • The innovative use of technology to enhance community outreach and educational use in classrooms.
On occasion, consideration may be given to stand-alone programs of exceptional merit with a confirmed national airing.  Educational programs whose primary purpose is advocacy fall outside the program's guidelines and will not be considered.

Grant Amounts

The Arthur Vining Davis Foundations typically award grants up to $350,000. In exceptional circumstances, the Foundations will consider and fund grant requests at a higher amount. 

When & How to Apply
Please refer to the information in Grantseeking Organizations.

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