In an effort to raise more money to support diversity initiatives, the Associated Press Sports Editors this past year established the APSE Foundation.
The foundation works with its parent organization to raise money and was officially recognized by the IRS in January as a 501(c)(3) entity. That classification that allows donations to be tax-deductible.
After his stint as APSE president in 2018-2019, John Bednarowski wanted to take on additional work to bring in money for the diversity fellowship program, an annual opportunity for aspiring sports editors. Getting the foundation set up seemed like the right idea.
“Based on our track record, the program is helping,” Bednarowski said. “I wanted to make sure that we furthered that. It’s a big project that I’m very proud of that we’ve got up and running. Now it’s just a matter of securing funding for it.”
Former APSE president Michael Anastasi is the foundation’s president, a position he will hold for three years.
“Having our own non-profit allows us to apply for grants and receive donations we would not have been able to before because of the 501(c)(3) status,” Anastasi said.
Don Shelton, former sports editor and executive editor of the Seattle Times, will serve as the foundation’s executive director. In addition, the foundation has two board spots designated for past presidents in order to maintain the APSE connection.
The foundation has already brought in an $8,000 grant from the Gannett Foundation. As the new entity attracts more donors, Bednarowski believes the money may allow APSE to expand its diversity program’s class size–now typically four to six people–or provide more education-based programs.
Larry Graham of the Toledo Blade says he hopes the foundation can have an impact on the industry as a whole. The foundation’s status should help create “a lot more opportunities to have more funding to implement changes, to broadcast change and to bring about change in sports diversity and sports journalism hiring practices,” Graham said.