Stanton Foundation

Stanton Foundation
Founded January 2009 (2009-01)
Founder Dr. Frank Stanton
Type Private Independent Foundation
Focus Informed Citizen/First Amendment, Nuclear Security, Canine Welfare
Key people
Liz Allison Co-director
Andrew Weiss Co-director
Endowment $226,026,377 (2014)
Mission To complete Frank Stanton’s philanthropic agenda
Formerly called
Frank and Ruth Stanton Fund

The Stanton Foundation is a private foundation established by Frank Stanton, a long-time president of Columbia Broadcasting System (“CBS”). The Foundation focuses primarily on three areas in which Stanton was unable to complete his philanthropic plans within his lifetime: (1) supporting the First Amendment and creating a more informed citizenry, particularly in regards to civic issues, (2) supporting policy research in international security, with special emphasis on nuclear security and (3) advancing canine welfare. The Stanton Foundation is primarily a “no unsolicited proposals” foundation, although it operates several open application programs as detailed on its website.[1]


The Stanton Foundation is the creation of Frank Stanton, who served as president of CBS from 1946 through 1971, and, following his retirement from CBS, as chairman of the American Red Cross, chairman of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Visiting Committee, trustee of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences in Stanford, California, Harvard Overseer, trustee of the Museum of Broadcasting, and chairman of the RAND Corporation. He died in December 2006 at the age of 98.

Upon his death, he provided funding for the Stanton Foundation, a New York Foundation and successor to the previously unfunded Ruth and Frank Stanton Fund.[2] The Stanton Foundation began grant-making activity in 2009. Its early grants included funding for the Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows [3] and for strengthening Wikipedia’s technology infrastructure.[4]


The Stanton Foundation’s mission is to complete Frank Stanton’s philanthropic agenda. The areas it funds are three: Informed Citizens/First Amendment, Nuclear Security, and Canine Welfare.

Informed Citizens/First Amendment

Informed Citizens

The Foundation’s interests include classic and twenty-first century First Amendment issues and the larger challenge of the creation of a better informed citizenry.[1]

Major grants in this area include two technology grants to the Wikimedia Foundation to improve Wikipedia’s ease of use ($890,000) and the development of the Visual Editor[5] ($3.6 million), and a $1.2 million grant to improve the quality of public policy articles.[6] A grant of $1.39 million was made to the Wiki Education Foundation,[7] a Wikipedia spinoff.

Numerous small grants are also made to innovative high school teachers in U.S. History and Civics.[8][9][10]

First Amendment

Frank Stanton was generally praised for his "passionate and courageous commitment to a free press."[11]

Major grants in this area include: a First Amendment professorship at Stanford Law School,[12] the creation of First Amendment Fellowships at Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF),[13] the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press (RCFP),[14] and, jointly with the Knight Foundation, at Yale Law School’s Media freedom and Information Access Clinic.[15]

Nuclear Security

Within the general area of international security, the Foundation has a very strong emphasis on nuclear security issues. It defines nuclear security as including nuclear terrorism, nuclear proliferation, nuclear weapons, nuclear force posture, and, as it relates to nuclear security, nuclear energy.[16]

Major grants in this area include two nuclear security professorships at Stanford,[17] and one at MIT in the Political Science department,[18] currently held by Frank Gavin.[19] It also funds postdoctoral Stanton Nuclear Security Fellows six major research centers, including the Carnegie Endowment,[20] Council on Foreign Relations (CFR),[21] Harvard,[22] Massachusetts Institute of Technology,[23][24] RAND,[25] and Stanford.[26]

Canine Welfare

The Foundation’s support for canine health and welfare includes both research and traditional grant programs to promote the welfare of dogs and strengthen the human/dog bond. The Foundation is pragmatic in its orientation and strives to approach the question of, “What is good for the dog?” without preconception.[27] The Foundation has several open application programs in this area.

Major grants and programs include the Center for Shelter Dogs at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine,[28] and a professorship in canine health and welfare at Ohio State College of Veterinary Medicine.[29] The Foundation also funds post doctoral research fellows at Duke’s Center for Canine Cognition and other research and academic institutions, both in the US and abroad. Its open application programs include support for the establishment of K9 units in local police departments,[30][31][32][33][34] the creation of dog parks in Massachusetts communities,[35][36][37][38] and acquisition of mobile adoption vans.[39][40][41]


In 2012, the Foundation provided funds for a paid Wikipedian in residence at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. This became controversial due to links between the Belfer Center and the Stanton Foundation (the directors of each are married) and ongoing concerns about conflict-of-interest editing on Wikipedia.[42]


  1. 1 2 "The Stanton Foundation". The Stanton Foundation.
  2. "Former CBS Exec Frank Stanton Dies at 98". CBS News.
  4. "Wikipedia gets $890,000 for the Luddites - CNET".
  5. "Stanton Foundation Awards Wikimedia $3.6 Million for Technology Improvements". Wikimedia Foundation.
  6. "Wikimedia Foundation will engage academic experts and students to improve public policy information". Wikimedia Foundation.
  7. "Wiki Education Foundation/Monthly Reports/2014-03". Wikimedia.
  8. "St. Mark's Receives Prestigious Stanton Foundation Grant to Support Collaborative Development of III Form Seminar". St. Marks School.
  9. "Rutgers Prep Teacher Wins Grant from Stanton Foundation". Rutgers Prep.
  10. "History Teacher Awarded Grant and Fellowship". Brooks School.
  11. Dunham, Corydon B. (1997). Fighting for the First Amendment: Stanton of CBS vs. Congress and the Nixon White House. Praeger Press. p. 2. ISBN 978-0275960278.
  12. "Stanford Law School to Establish First Amendment Professorship with $5 Million Gift". Stanford Law School.
  13. "RCFP Fellowships". Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
  14. "Noted First Amendment Lawyer Lead Yale Law Media Freedom and Information Access Clinic". Yale News.
  15. "The Stanton Foundation - Security". The Stanton Foundation.
  16. "FSI Receives $5 Million from Stanton Foundation for Nuclear Security Professor at CISAC". CISAC FSI Stanford.
  17. "Frank Stanton Chair in Nuclear Security Policy Studies established in Department of Political Science". MIT News.
  18. "Frank Gavin MIT Bio". MIT.
  19. "Stanton Nuclear Security Fellowship -- DC". Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
  20. "Stanton Fellowship". Council on Foreign Relations.
  21. "Stanton Fellowships". Harvard Belfer Center.
  22. "Stanton Fellowships - SSP". MIT Security Studies Program.
  23. "Stanton Fellowships - NSE". MIT Nuclear Science and Engineering.
  24. "Stanton Fellowships - RAND". RAND.
  25. "Stanton Fellowships - Stanford". Stanford University.
  26. "The Stanton Foundation - Canine". the Stanton Foundation.
  27. "Center for Shelter Dogs". Center for Shelter Dogs.
  28. "Ohio State University Trustees Approve New Masters Degree Programs Establish Center". Ohio State University.
  29. "K-9 Grant Current Participants - First Dog". Stanton Foundation K-9 Grant Program.
  30. "K-9 Grant Current Participants - Second Dog". Stanton Foundation K-9 Grant Program.
  31. "Somerset police department gets $25,000 grant toward K-9 program". The Herald News.
  32. "Grants offered for establishment of K-9 programs". Massachusetts Municipal Association.
  33. "West Bridgewater receives $25,000 for police dog and training". The Enterprise.
  34. "Dog Park Grant Current Participants". Stanton Foundation Dog Park Grant Program.
  35. "Stanton Foundation willing to help pay for Arlington off-leash dog park". Wicked Local.
  36. "Welcome to the Agawam Dog Park". Agawam Dog Owners Group.
  37. "Mashpee dogs have their day at new park". Cape Cod Times.
  38. "Oklahoma City Memorandum" (PDF). Oklahoma City.
  39. "Mobile Pet Adoption Vehicle Donated to BARCS". South BMore.
  40. "Washington Humane Society Names Mobile Adoption Center Adopt Force One". Adopt Force One - Facebook.
  41. "One of Wikimedia's largest donors accused in paid editing scandal". The Daily Dot.
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