The US Government first provided educational television funding via the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in 1967, a commitment which has since grown to more than $400 million biennially to support public and educational television and radio programming. About one-third of that money goes toward educational television grants, requested by stations that are run by local nonprofit groups, universities and groups with government affiliation.
When searching for educational TV grants, you'll need to fit into one of the following groups to qualify:
1. Producers of educational television programs focused on exploring topics within the genres of art, history or science.
2. Public television stations in need of educational TV funding and grants as provided by federal legislation.
3. University-based or other non-profit TV stations in need of staff development training funds or technological upgrades to provide digital signals.
Tap into official government grant funding for educational programmingNo Child Left Behind legislation provided grants for children's television through the US Government. Depending on subject matter, your TV production may qualify for NCLB-related funding, or it may fall under another funding source. You'll need to complete detailed grant applications, so research all possible avenues to find the best fit before you begin sending queries.
US Department of Education, Ready To Learn Television grants program. Or, visit the National Endowment for the Arts to find funding for art-focused productions.
Pursue private funding for educational TV showsOften you'll find that your program doesn't meet the exacting requirements of federal funding for educational TV programming, so private funding may be the answer. Research your options carefully; private foundations usually will only fund certain types of programs covering specific subjects or contribute to specific causes.
Seek educational TV programming funding for university stations and small public stationsAlthough most funding for educational television is still based on advertiser or private membership income, there are grants for college TV stations to use for costly digital television conversion and staff training. Novel programming and stations that foster journalistic education and training, especially for minorities or underserved geographical areas, are particularly interesting to private foundations such as the Gannett Foundation.
- Search grant databases for grants for educational TV if you like, but never pay a fee for those searches. There are plenty of free searches available, particularly through government websites, and few reputable search engines charge fees for grant searches.