Who funds KQED?Who funds KQED?

KQED is an independently owned and operated nonprofit public benefit corporation.

Have you ever turned on the TV or radio, only to catch a pledge drive? What you saw or heard is true — we’re a member-supported organization. The majority of our funding comes from donations from members of the community like you, followed by grants, endowments and bequests. We also receive some funds from businesses and nonprofit organizations through sponsorships. Less than 10% of our revenue comes from the federal government through annual grants from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. See our most recent financial statement in our Annual Report to the Community.

However, none of these revenue sources play any part in guiding the journalism, content and programs produced and distributed by KQED. 

How do we ensure that the organizations that give us money don’t influence our journalism?

KQED is committed to transparency regarding the funding of our organization.   

The KQED Board Gift Acceptance Policy states that “KQED represents the core values of public media: trust, fairness, integrity, and quality content. Our listeners and viewers depend on KQED for objective and accurate information. As stewards of public media, we have an obligation to avoid conflicts of interest, personal bias or undue influence. Accordingly, KQED will not accept any gift offered with the expectation of, or that raises the perception of, donor editorial influence.”

KQED maintains editorial control of its coverage and our editorial judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors or any revenue source. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content. In order to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization, KQED retains full authority over editorial content. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

Furthermore, we maintain a firewall between sponsorship activities and editorial functions. For example, corporate sponsors are acknowledged on our broadcast channels, website and digital platforms in the form of short underwriting announcements between programs, podcasts and newscasts, and as promotional banners on kqed.org and email newsletters. These brief identifying messages recognize businesses and organizations that provide financial support for KQED. Here’s how the firewall manifests:

  • The voices you hear announcing those sponsorship credits are those of our announcers/operators — never our journalists.
  • The content of underwriting credit announcements is crafted cooperatively by each underwriter and KQED corporate support staff who are not within any editorial capacity.

KQED provides sponsors with guidelines that make clear what kind of content they can and cannot include in their announcements and banners.

As another example: KQED staff that work with our funders may not approach a reporter to ask about coverage of a funder.

Further, KQED’s science journalists have regular meetings with many Bay Area science institutions, major universities and government agencies engaged in scientific research. At the inception of these meetings, KQED reiterates that we reserve the sole right to make decisions about story coverage and we offer no promise of coverage to any researcher or institution.

Major Funders of KQED Journalism, Content and Programs in 2022

In order to advance our independent and objective journalism, we publicly disclose funders giving grants and gifts of $5,000 and above. Please see our annual Go Public magazine for a full list of major supporters.

Below are restricted grants and gifts of $5,000 and above for specific KQED reporting areas, content and/or programs:

Akonadi Foundation
Shelley and Steve Brown
The California Endowment
The California Healthcare Foundation
The Civil Liberties Project at the California State Library
The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Crescent Porter Hale Foundation
First Republic Foundation
The Germanacos Foundation
Gilead Foundation
Greater Good Science Center
Susan and Thomas Harrington
The Heising-Simons Foundation
The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
Susan and David Hodges
The James Irvine Foundation
The Jenerosity Foundation
Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
Koret Foundation
Patrick J. McGovern Foundation
Nicola Miner and Robert Mailer Anderson
Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The National Endowment for the Arts
Craig Newmark Philanthropies
Bernard Osher Foundation
San Francisco Foundation
Eric and Wendy Schmidt / The Schmidt Family Foundation
Jan Shrem and Maria Manetti Shrem
Silicon Valley Community Foundation
Sidra Stich Stuart Foundation
The Todd Charitable Account
Vadasz Family Foundation
The Westly Foundation

Table of Contents: 

An introduction to KQED’s standards and practices

Who is KQED, and what do we do?

Who makes decisions for KQED?

What are our editorial policies and practices?

What do we ask of you, our audience?

How does KQED stay connected to our audiences?

How does KQED protect the information you share?

What are your thoughts? And additional resources.

Do you have questions about our funding? Let us know.

Online Form – Standards and Practices – Funding