People For the American Way Foundation is the charitable arm of People For the American Way, a progressive advocacy organization in the United States.
In 1980-81, American film producer and left-wing activist Norman Lear, along with liberal former U.S. Representative Barbara Jordan (D-Texas) and other aligned business interests, founded People for the American Way (PFAW) as a means to fight against the “radical and extremist agenda” of conservative televangelists and all of the religious right. Lear created a series of television commercials featuring famous faces (notably champion boxer Muhammad Ali and actress Goldie Hawn) alongside blue-collar Americans that gained notoriety attacking the televangelist preachers for imposing their political views. Building on these commercials, Lear founded PFAW as a means to further expound upon this message.
In a 1985 speech entitled “the Threat of the Religious Right,” Lear criticized “ultra-fundamentalist evangelists” including Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson for their simplistic solutions to complex problems and for proclaiming a monopoly on truth based in their Biblically self-evident moral answers.
Falwell retorted, “Norman Lear is clearly anti-Christian,” whose “vendetta is against everyone who is preaching the gospel.” Lear’s fervent opposition to Falwell’s Moral Majority became the early soul of Lear’s PFAW organization. 
By 1986, headed by controversial D.C. insider Tony Podesta, PFAW emerged as a preeminent force on the left, with a $5 million annual budget that relied on the media to amplify its message.
PFAW’s operations initially were focused on opposing religious-minded censorship and continued federal funding for schools to teach “secular humanism.” PFAW opposed numerous efforts to nominate conservative judges, including helping defeat the nomination of Judge Robert Bork to the U.S. Supreme Court. PFAW also led the battle to secure a constitutional protection for flag-burning.
Over the ensuing years, PFAW has partnered with other left wing groups such as the NAACP, ACLU, and the AFL-CIO. Moreover the group has increasingly involved itself in political campaigns. In 1998, PFAW underwrote a national television campaign called “Let’s Move On” to attack Republican critics of President Bill Clinton, and the same year they established the People For The American Way Voters Alliance PAC that since 2002 has given 100% of its more than $400k in campaign contributions to Democrats.
Similarly, the People for the American Way Foundation has received support from a number of left-wing philanthropies including the Carnegie Corporation of New York, the Bauman Family Foundation, the Nathan Cummings Foundation, the Open Society Institute (now Open Society Foundations), the Public Welfare Foundation, the Barbra Streisand Foundation, and the Ford Foundation.