The Scripps Howard Foundation, the philanthropic arm of The E.W. Scripps Company (NASDAQ: SSP), in partnership with Scripps employees and audiences across the country and the Scripps and Howard families, gave $6.4 million in charitable gifts during 2021.
The Foundation’s philanthropy reflects the company’s mission to create a better-informed world by advancing journalism education, promoting childhood literacy and supporting vital needs in communities where Scripps operates.
“It wasn’t an easy year for many people across the country,” said Liz Carter, president and CEO of the Scripps Howard Foundation. “These hardships inspire us and our donors to be able to address the needs in our communities; to be there for our employees during difficult times; to advance childhood literacy by making books available to the students who need them the most; and to support our industry by furthering journalism education and defense of the First Amendment.”
“The Scripps Howard Foundation is a force multiplier for the mission-oriented work The E.W. Scripps Company does through its journalism and community stewardship across the nation,” said Adam Symson, President and CEO of The E.W. Scripps Company. “The Foundation’s resources and funds support the company’s goal to do well by doing good.”
The Foundation’s 2021 giving included:
The Foundation invested approximately $1 million in childhood literacy, with a special focus on the annual “If You Give a Child a Book…” campaign. Through the campaign, the Foundation raised $870,000 to distribute more than 200,000 books to children in need in communities across the country. Scripps employees, public awareness and fundraising campaigns by Scripps television stations in 41 markets and gifts from members of the Scripps family support the campaign.
In Greater Cincinnati, home of Scripps’ corporate headquarters, the Foundation invested $120,000 toward childhood literacy through a grant to help establish the Queen City Book Bank, a resource hub that will guarantee book access to an estimated 35,000 Greater Cincinnati kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students who lack consistent, if any, access to books, and to provide supportive literacy programming.
The Foundation also made gifts totaling $1.5 million to hundreds of nonprofits nationwide through grants recommended by Scripps television stations, the Scripps Networks and Scripps employees. The grants addressed a wide range of issues and causes such as food insecurity, autism, Alzheimer’s, homelessness, racial inequality, women’s issues, domestic violence, youth programs and military veterans. The Foundation provided relief and support in response to natural disasters, such as the tornadoes that ravaged several Western Kentucky communities in December.
Denver7 Gives, a collaboration between the Scripps-owned television station in Denver and the Foundation, inspired an outpouring of support for individuals, families and causes in Greater Denver. Denver7 Gives provided $545,706 in assistance for local needs and ended 2021 by establishing the Denver7 Gives Wildfire Relief Fund to support victims of the most recent Colorado wildfires. As a result of the overwhelming response from viewers, the effort raised $679,212 for wildfire relief between Dec. 31-Jan. 28.
Advancing Journalism: Education, First Amendment Advocacy
The Foundation invested $3.1 million in First Amendment causes and journalism education programs that provide students with hands-on reporting experience and promote diversity in newsrooms.
The Foundation’s Howard Centers for Investigative Journalism again produced groundbreaking work, including the University of Maryland Howard Center investigation into how white-owned newspapers incited racial violence for nearly 100 years and the Arizona State University Howard Center investigation into the lack of follow-through on child sex abuse cases on Native American reservations. Eleven Howard Center graduates were awarded yearlong Roy W. Howard Fellowships to deepen their investigative reporting experience at partner non-profit news organizations.
Dozens of students from a variety of universities and early career journalists from diverse backgrounds were awarded Scripps Howard internships, Scripps Howard fellowships in partnership with the Scripps Washington Bureau/Newsy and ProPublica, and Ted Scripps Fellowships in Environmental Journalism.
Additionally, the Scripps Howard Emerging Journalists Program was launched in partnership with Elon University in North Carolina and the University of North Texas with the goal of inspiring high school students of diverse backgrounds to embark on journalism careers. The Foundation awarded $100,000 to each school as part of a three-year, $600,000 commitment. The programs are a combination of online seminars, in-person camps and hands-on opportunities with professional journalists.
The Foundation gave $100,000 to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. The organization provides pro bono legal representation, amicus curiae support and other legal resources to protect First Amendment freedoms and the newsgathering rights of journalists.
The Foundation also supported employees who were adversely affected by COVID-19 during the first year of the pandemic. From March 2020 through March 2021, the Foundation gave $1.3 million in assistance to Scripps employees across the country for needs that included food and basic household supplies, housing-related assistance and childcare or eldercare costs.