The mission of the foundation is to provide funding and support to nonprofit organizations in the United States and globally. The foundation and its Board of Directors are also directly involved in the community with innovative projects that further its mission to advance the public well-being through improved communication. The foundation encourages the development of effective ways to share ideas and knowledge and it is committed to core values of responsiveness, accessibility, fairness and involvement. Also, the foundation believes in funding organizations that have a deep level of community involvement, are led by effective leaders and tackle challenging and timely problems. Specific organizational attributes valued by the foundation are: visionary leadership, impact, sustainability, innovation, organizational strength, network of partnerships plus the population being served (thus, creating the acronym VISION+).
Established in 1989 in PA - Founded by the late Walter H. Annenberg, the Annenberg Foundation is a family foundation established in 1989. He was president, and subsequently, chairman of the Board, of Triangle Publications, which included TV Guide and Seventeen Magazine, as well as radio and TV stations nation-wide.The Annenberg Foundation was established with $1.2 billion, one third of the assets from the sale of Triangle Publications.Upon Walter H. Annenberg's death in 2002, his wife Leonore assumed leadership of the foundation. In March, 2009, Leonore passed away, leaving the foundation's leadership to Wallis Annenberg and three of her children: Lauren Bon, Gregory Annenberg Weingarten and Charles Annenberg Weingarten. At their direction, the foundation has evolved from a traditional grantmaking institution to one that is also directly involved in the community with its unique charitable activities through which large-scale solutions to systemic problems are pursued.
Annenberg Alchemy is a free capacity building and leadership development program designed to assist small to midsized Los Angeles-based nonprofit organizations and their leaders. The sole cost of admission is the attendance of the nonprofit's executive director and board chair during the sessions. Annenberg Alchemy includes two phases: Leadership Seminar, Alchemy's signature course, and Alchemy+, the higher level course for graduates of Leadership Seminar who want to take their learning further.
In partnership with other funders, the Annenberg Foundation established Project Grantmanship, offering a comprehensive, hands-on workshop that covers the complete grant development process, from designing sustainable programs and researching funding sources to writing and reviewing actual grant proposals. It is open to paid staff or board members of organizations based in Los Angeles County with IRS 501(c)(3) public charity status and annual budgets under $10 million.
The Annenberg Learner division of the foundation uses media and telecommunications to advance excellent teaching in American schools. This mandate is carried out chiefly by the funding and broad distribution of educational video programs with coordinated web and print materials for the professional development of K-12 teachers. Annenberg Learner delivers its more than 100 multimedia courses and workshops free through learner.org.
The foundation operates a number of activities which expand and complement the traditional program areas and contribute to systemic change. These activities redefine the boundaries of traditional philanthropy. Among them are explore, championing the selfless acts of others; GRoW, which is dedicated to supporting innovative projects in the arts, education and humanitarian efforts; Metabolic Studio, which aims to transform resources into energy, actions and objects that nurture life; Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands, which presents and hosts conferences, retreats and seminars on issues of national and international importance. The Annenberg Space for Photography is a cultural destination dedicated to exhibiting both digital and print photography. The venue is the first solely photographic cultural destination in the Los Angeles area. And, the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Preforming Arts, a major cultural and education hub for audiences of every age and which produces and presents productions with the participation of established stage artists.
In 1997, the foundation made a one-time, interest-free loan to the Annenberg Rural Challenge.