Cable TV Networks Give Back Year Round
The season for giving continues, but members of the cable industry have programs in place year-round to ensure that kids, needy families, schools, and communities worldwide receive the funds and resources they need to thrive. Cable TV networks in particular have a large reach and impact when it comes to the millions and millions of people they touch around the world through the shows and entertainment they produce, so it makes sense that these networks make it a priority to give back to the viewers and audiences that support them.
Through programs that encourage employee volunteerism to funding events that bring communities together, cable networks are committed to using their brands and resources to serve as catalysts for societal change. Take a look at some of the philanthropic programs and initiatives that cable programmers are invested in below, which only account for a fraction of the industry's myriad of charitable giving activities throughout the year.
The Ovation Foundation, Ovation TV’s community giving organization, focuses its efforts on making art accessible. The foundation offers free educational art resources to teachers to use in their classrooms. The toolkit is updated every quarter, meaning teachers can truly integrate arts education into their curriculum regardless of funding. Additionally, the InnOVATION Grant Awards selects recipients from a wide range of community art programs to receive funding to continue their work. Beyond that, the network also partners with Americans for the Arts and participates in Arts Advocacy Day to educate decision-makers and the public on the importance of arts education.
A+E Networks is active in numerous fundraising activities through its partnerships with Habitat for Humanity, the Food Bank for New York City, the Los Angeles Regional Food Bank, and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Other focus areas of its philanthropic activities include building awareness about people with disabilities, highlighting veterans, and supporting teachers and schools. The network also pairs with Lifetime in a mentorship initiative that provides online and on-air resources to motivate young girls to aspire to senior leadership positions at school and eventually in the workplace.
HBO Inspires is the corporate social responsibility team at HBO. Through matching grants, paid time off for volunteering, and community engagement initiatives, the team encourages employees to take part in philanthropic initiatives and events that elevate important social issues. The network also teams up with NOVA, a nonprofit that develops training programs for jobs in the film industry, to offer professional development opportunities for people who live in the communities where HBO films on location. These are geared for people who aspire to join the TV and film industry, but who would have never been afforded the opportunity to get their foot in the door. HBO also partners with schools all over the country to offer select HBO programming with a companion curriculum for documentaries and specials that encourage civic discourse in the classroom.
Discovery Impact, Discovery's corporate social responsibility unit, encourages its employees to help improve local communities worldwide through volunteerism at homeless shelters, schools, community centers, and rebuilding parks and waterways. "Discover Your Impact Day" is the organization's annual event where over 4,000 of Discovery employees around the world go out into the communities at the same time to volunteer for a day. Discovery also has a partnership with GlobalGiving, and matches employee donations to many disaster relief efforts around the world. Another of its popular charitable giving events includes 'Say Yes to the prom,' a prom dress donation drive and outreach event that aims to remove the financial burden for high school students who can't afford to attend their proms, as well as to provide college scholarships and internship opportunities.
ESPN celebrates and funds programs that use sports to energize and motivate underserved communities through its Sports Humanitarian Awards program. ESPN grants $1 million every year to the charities and groups that are either nominated or take home an award at the event. The event itself honors athletes, teams, leagues, and members of the sports industry who are using sports to make a positive impact on society.
Food Network and Share Our Strength have partnered together for the past 12 years to support the No Kid Hungry program. The network assists in providing meals to shelters and needy families, and in raising awareness to eliminate childhood hunger. The network has funded millions of meals with the program in its quest to provide homeless children with healthy food and nourishment every day.
Univision formed its foundation in 2017 to promote the well-being of the Hispanic community through advancing education, health, civic engagement, and charitable activities. The foundation partners with other groups and businesses to raise funds for educational media initiatives and campaigns that align with these objectives, as well as to deploy funds that support victims of natural disasters.
Viacommunity is Viacom's corporate social arm that leverages Viacom's brands to make a positive social impact through focus areas such as diversity and inclusion, political and environmental causes, healthy living, and youth and education. The organization also holds Viacommunity Day every year, an annual event when over 6,000 Viacom employees volunteer around the world to participate in more than 200 projects and causes, which include cleaning up parks, working in soup kitchens, mentoring students, caring for animals, and various other community service activities.
Crown Media Family Network's announced a new initiative this year, called Hallmark Channel's Hometown Christmas. The annual event aims to bring the holiday spirit to towns that have suffered a catastrophe or are in need of hope and revitalization. Hallmark Channel gave new homes to 15 families in Beauregard, Alabama, after a tornado devastated the town and killed 23 people. The channel also hosted a holiday event in David City, Nebraska, which had experienced a major setback after one of its largest employers closed numerous jobs. The network, aiming to boost morale, donated holiday decorations, hosted activities for kids and encouraged visitors to come to the town's shops and volunteer in various service projects.