Dissemination Program

Please note: This program area has concluded its grantmaking.

While changes in the way news is received and consumed began sometime earlier, for the past decade there has been a revolution in how the public encounters new ideas.  The Dissemination Program has acted as a small yet flexible vehicle for examining this revolution, which directly impacts the dissemination of our ideas, research and policy priorities.

Supported by an annual appropriation from the trustees, this catalytic fund has developed successful strategies for amplifying and reinforcing the Corporation's grantmaking and institutional goals. The resulting strategies, after careful planning, are implemented collaboratively within the Corporation as well as with our sister foundations, institutions of higher learning, NGOs and others.

Dissemination Program goals are to:

  • Amplify major program goals through special initiatives and strategic communications projects
  • Support capacity-building programs that will advance the work of Corporation grantees; stimulate, through outreach activities, a broader conversation on the work of other organizations that share Corporation priorities
  • Encourage and support journalism education reform and build awareness of the critical role journalism plays in sustaining America's democracy.

Dissemination Awards are organized into six categories:

Carnegie Forums

Carnegie Forums are occasional midday seminars that bring government, academic, business and philanthropic leaders together to discuss issues of critical importance to society. The first forum, held in fall 2000, focused on the education platforms of presidential candidates Al Gore and George W. Bush. Others have centered on the implications of Census 2000, the promise of digital communications, homeland security, the business of news and campaign finance reform.

Strategic Communications Projects

These projects can help facilitate the role of a particular research or a Corporation-supported publication in policy conversations in Washington, DC, and elsewhere. Awards in this category support efforts to expand and create new audiences for grantee projects and publications as well as to position and coordinate initiatives of the Corporation.

Special Initiatives

Special Initiatives encompass program grants resulting in new information that informs or updates the knowledge base. In such cases, Dissemination Awards fund large, targeted projects focusing on a single issue or grant. Special Initiatives typically have multiple components that may include a launch, media coverage, public discussions and multimedia products.

Technical Assistance

Funding allows grantees to incorporate dissemination strategies into their work, and the Corporation is one of just a few foundations providing communications capacity-building opportunities. Most years, new grantees are brought together for strategic communications workshops in the United States and Africa conducted by experts in the field. Among the topics covered are communications fundamentals, mission and message development, media readiness training and Web communications.


Projects that complement the foundation's mission and objectives may receive small catalytic grants, although the Corporation does not have a journalism or media program per se.

Outreach Initiatives

Programs that share and advance the Corporation's mission may receive Dissemination Awards for such projects as forums, publications or strategies designed to reach new audiences.

Program News

June 6, 2014

Investing for Real and Permanent Good Learn More

April 30, 2010

Boston Review, a Grantee, Wins Prestigious Magazine Award for Best Writing Learn More

November 16, 2009

Does Investigative Reporting's Decline Spell The End Of Nonprofit Accountability? Learn More