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Herb Block Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-07-22

At A Glance

Herb Block Foundation

1730 M St. N.W., Ste. 901

Washington, DC United States 20036-4509

Telephone: (202) 223-8801


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Additional Descriptor

  • Celebrity: Entertainment

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2015-09-30)

Assets: $49,226,421

Total giving: $1,630,000



Additional Contact Information

Scholarship address: The Herb Block Scholarship, ISTS, 1321 Murfreesboro Rd., Ste. 800, Nashville, TN 37217, tel.: (855) 670-4787, e-mail:


Established in 2001 in DC and VA - Founded in the name of the late Herb Block, who was the editorial cartoonist for The Washington Post for over 50 years. Upon Mr. Block's death in 2001, he left $50 million with instructions to create a foundation to encourage the art of editorial cartooning, and to support charitable and educational programs that help promote and support the causes he championed during his 72 years of cartooning

Purpose and Activities

The foundation is committed to defending the basic freedoms guaranteed to all Americans, combating all forms of discrimination and prejudice, and improving the conditions of the poor and underprivileged through the creation or support of charitable and educational programs with the same goals. It is also committed to providing educational opportunity to deserving students through post-secondary education scholarships, and to promoting editorial cartooning through continued research.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Defending Freedoms

The foundation seeks proposals which aim to safeguard the basic freedoms guaranteed in the Bill of Rights, and to help eliminate all forms of prejudice and discrimination, as well as oversight of government agencies. Anti-discrimination projects which involve joint efforts of two or more organizations are encouraged. The foundation will also consider proposals that address contemporary societal issues that may arise.

Encouraging Citizen Involvement

The foundation seeks to help ensure a responsible, responsive democratic government through citizen involvement. Proposals may focus on citizen education, greater voter participation in the electoral process. All projects must be nonpartisan and may not involve lobbying for specific legislation or candidates.

Grants to Individuals Program

Scholarships to high school graduates, first-year college students, and adult learners, who are permanent residents of Washington, DC, Prince George’s or Montgomery Counties in MD, Arlington or Fairfax Counties, or the cities of Falls Church or Alexandria in VA who wish to further their education. Prizes to cartoonists for excellence in editorial cartooning.

Herblock Prize & Lecture

The foundation awards this prize to honor excellence in editorial cartooning. The prize was created in 2004 to encourage editorial cartooning as an essential tool for preserving the rights of the American people through freedom of speech and the right of expression. The prize is presented each spring at the Library of Congress. The winner receives a tax free $15,000 cash prize as well as a sterling silver Tiffany trophy. The contest is open to any newspaper, magazine, wire service or syndicate cartoonist for editorial or political cartoons published in a daily or weekly newspaper or magazine published in the U.S. or its territories. Cartoons appearing in U.S. editions of foreign publications are also eligible. The foundation will also accept animated cartoons for consideration. See foundation web site for specific entry guidelines and form.

Pathways Out of Poverty

This program focuses on helping needy young people and adults gain a quality education. For projects serving youth, the foundation seeks proposals which focus on improving student achievement and healthy development of young people of middle school age and above. Projects may include in-school and community-based educational programs, after-school activities, and mentoring programs. Programs designed to increase high school graduation rates are encouraged to apply. For projects serving adults, the foundation seeks proposals to provide literacy education and GED preparation, and to offer vocational training and job placement.

Scholarship Program

This program is designed to serve high school graduates, first-year college students or those who went to work after high school, and now wish to resume their studies. The scholarship is last dollar valued at up to $8,000 per academic year, not to exceed $16,000 over the life of the scholarship. The award covers tuition, mandatory fees, books, and supplies, as well as limited transportation and on-campus childcare expenses.

Fields of Interest

  • Adult literacy
  • Civic participation
  • Education
  • Employment
  • Freedom of association and expression
  • High school equivalency
  • Human rights
  • Individual liberties
  • Youth development
Population Groups
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2015-09-30

Assets: $49,226,421 (market value)

Expenditures: $2,965,953

Total giving: $1,630,000

Qualifying distributions: $2,697,841