About the NCSF
What is the National Cartoonists Society Foundation?
The National Cartoonists Society Foundation is the charitable arm of the National Cartoonists Society, the world’s largest and most prestigious organization of professional cartoonists. The NCS Foundation was formed in 2005 to continue the charitable and educational works that have been a hallmark of the NCS since its inception in 1946.
The National Cartoonists Society Foundation is a registered 501(c)(3) charity that works in tandem with the NCS to advance the ideals and standards of the cartooning profession, to stimulate and encourage aspiring cartoonists through scholarships and educational programs, and to provide financial assistance to cartoonists and their families in times of hardship.
The Foundation also encourages the active involvement and participation of NCS members in the charitable and educational projects undertaken by the Foundation, thereby utilizing the Society’s greatest assets and strengths. The NCS has a treasured tradition of members donating their expertise and talents to good causes in person and through their art.
How We Were Founded
The NCS Foundation continues the outstanding work done in the name of the NCS by our predecessor organization, the Milt Gross Fund.
Thanks to contributions from NCS members, and bequests from such NCS luminaries as Nancy creator Ernie Bushmiller, the Milt Gross Fund grew from relatively humble beginnings to become a vehicle that helped many cartoonists over the years, and has made sizeable contributions to cartoon museums and other educational bodies that promote the artform. Under the auspices of the NCS and the Milt Gross Fund, cartoonists toured war zones and military installations around the world, entertained at VA hospitals, and contributed to many U.S. government programs. Their efforts benefitted the likes of NASA, USIA, the Treasury Department Savings Bond division and the President’s Council on Physical Fitness, as well as the Boy Scouts of America, the American Red Cross and the United Nations.
A large bequest to the NCS from the estate of cartoonist, illustrator and NCS member David Pascal coincided with bequests from the estates of editorial cartooning great Herblock and NCS stalwart Toni Mendez.
It was decided that a new charitable entity should be formed that would continue the work done by the Milt Gross Fund.
Thus, in 2005, the National Cartoonists Society Foundation was formed, absorbing the Milt Gross Find in the process. In gratitude for his stewardship, and in recognition of his dedication and service, longtime Milt Gross treasurer Larry Katzman received the NCS Gold Key Award and was elected to the NCS Hall of Fame.
What We Do
The National Cartoonists Society Foundation offers aid and assistance to cartoonists and their families in times of need and hardship, whether that means a contribution to medical bills, or something as simple as assisting with NCS membership dues.
The annual Jay Kennedy Scholarship, in memory of the late King Features editor, was funded by an initial $100,000 grant from the Hearst Foundation/King Features Syndicate and additional generous donations from Jerry Scott, Jim Borgman, Patrick McDonnell and many other prominent cartoonists. Submissions are adjudicated by a panel of top cartoonists and an award is given to the best college cartoonist. The recipient is feted at the annual NCS Reuben Awards Convention attended by many of the world’s leading cartoonists.
The NCS Foundation has funded scholarships in the names of Herblock and Toni Mendez to colleges that offer degrees in cartooning, including: The Savannah College of Art and Design, The California Institute of the Arts, The Minneapolis School of Art and Design and The School of Visual Arts.
Educational and Charitable Programs
The Foundation supports organizations such as the Ohio State University Cartoon Research Library and other cartoon-related museums and libraries.
NCS cartoonists carry on a great tradition of donating their time, expertise and artwork. In 2001, NCS members in the syndicated community dedicated their newspaper features to a Thanksgiving initiative that raised over $50,000 for victims of the 9/11 attacks, and members contributed an additional $18,000 through the proceeds of a private auction.