The Wyncote Foundation, based in Philadelphia, was founded in 2009 with funds from the Otto and Phoebe Haas Charitable Trusts, at the direction of John C. Haas. A place-based funder, Wyncote is a strong player in the field of media philanthropy and believes deeply in supporting local communities by lifting up the stories and voices of those who are not usually heard in mainstream media. (In 2019, Wyncote made about $5 million in grants under its Public Media & Journalism program area.)

On Wyncote’s funding strategy, Vice Chair David Haas—a decades-long supporter of MIF and former MIF Board Chair—said the foundation “takes an ecosystem approach, combining a strong commitment to accountability journalism with support for a range of community information needs and resources, creative storytelling, and independent media.”

The foundation also works to inform and inspire other place-based funders. Over the years, it has produced several reports profiling local foundations’ grantmaking strategies and support for a range of media projects.

Wyncote recently released a new report, “Culture, Heritage, and Place: How Media Amplifies Community Narratives,” which focuses on the work of media organizations across the U.S. dedicated to local and regional cultural expression and connection. MIF and Wyncote are co-hosted a launch event on June 1 to engage funders on the topic of supporting media to foster cultural expression and community narratives. Watch the discussion.

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Media Impact Funders

Media Impact Funders

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Media Impact Funders traces its roots back to the Council on Foundations, a longtime philanthropy-serving organization. Formerly Grantmakers in Film, Video & Television, MIF began on a volunteer basis in 1984 as an affinity group for funders interested in the power of film to highlight social issues. Reflecting changes in technology and media behavior over the past decade, it was renamed Grantmakers in Film & Electronic Media (GFEM) and formally incorporated in 2008 to advance the field of media arts and public interest media funding. It had 45 members and was headed by former MacArthur Foundation Program Officer Alyce Myatt. GFEM was renamed Media Impact Funders in 2012 and has since expanded its strategy to include a broad range media funding interests such as journalism, immersive technologies, media policy and more. Since that time, MIF has grown to more than 80 organizational members representing some of the largest foundations, and holds more than 40 in-person and online events yearly.