The PBS Foundation was created in June 2004 and seeks donations from individuals, corporations and foundations to support the work of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) at a national level.
In a May 2005 speech, then-PBS President Pat Mitchell provided further information about the motivation for the Foundation’s creation as follows:
“To make it possible to solicit the kinds of major gifts from individuals and private foundations that enable us to launch new national and local initiatives, to invest in more content, to fully optimize this content with new technologies, we set up a PBS Foundation.”
In the same speech, Mitchell announced that the liberal Ford Foundation had committed $10 million in support of the PBS Foundation, representing the first contribution to its coffers.
Located in Arlington, VA, the PBS Foundation is currently led by Brian Reddington, its executive director, who in 2010 succeeded the inaugural executive director, Cheri Carter. The foundation’s fund-raising efforts include an online donation initiative and a program started in 2014 that focuses on building an endowment.
In 2015, money raised by the PBS Foundation was used to support PBS production of news/current affairs, scientific, learning and arts programming.
Foundations that have contributed to the PBS Foundation are: Adobe Foundation, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Anne Ray Foundation, Arthur Vining Davis Foundations, Atlantic Philanthropies, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Charles H. Revson Foundation, Ford Foundation, George Lucas Family Foundation, Grable Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, Kern Family Foundation, Newman’s Own Foundation, Orfalea Foundation, Skoll Foundation, and W. K. Kellogg Foundation.
Around the time of his appointment as PBS Foundation Executive Director, it emerged that Brian Reddington had from 2003 to 2006 jointly owned a New York City condominium with PBS President Paula Kerger and her husband.