AFTRA Foundation

AFTRA Foundation

The AFTRA Foundation is building for the future of performers, broadcasters, and recording artists. Founded by the AFTRA National Board of Directors in 1997 as a separate legal entity from the Union, the AFTRA Foundation is a charitable and educational organization funded through tax-deductible voluntary contributions, grants, and bequests – not member dues – to support projects outside the scope of normal activities of the Union, including charitable endeavors and other events.

Here’s how some of the more than $1 million in grants made by the AFTRA Foundation have helped Union members and the arts, entertainment and news media industries. The AFTRA Foundation:

  • Directly supports emergency benefit funds aimed at supporting members in need, including the Betty Mitchell Fund, the Frank Nelson Memorial Sick and Benefit Fund and the Nashville Benefit Fund. Provides scholarships for Union members and their families though the George Heller Memorial Scholarship Fund.
  • Provides support for educational programs, workshops, studies and seminars that benefit SAG-AFTRA members, such as the Assistive Technologies Forum, the Spanish-Language Broadcast Study, the biennial Diversity Leadership Training Workshop,  I am PWD, the Connie Zimit Conservatory, and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program.
  • Offers performers across the country access to comprehensive social, health care, employment and training and housing services through ongoing support to The Actors Fund (
  • Provides scholarships, workshops, counseling, mentoring and outreach to dancers through continuing support to Career Transition For Dancers (
  • Is the U.S. home of the International News Safety Institute—a global organization solely dedicated to the safety of journalists and other news professionals. Created in 2003 by a unique coalition of news organizations, journalist support groups and concerned individuals, INSI is a dedicated source of safety information and advice for journalists in or planning to visit dangerous areas (

SAG-AFTRA members support the AFTRA Foundation through contributions and automated donations of residuals checks. You may also further your tax, financial and estate planning goals through a planned giving program which offers a wide range of giving options in cash or other assets, immediate or deferred, during your lifetime or posthumously through trusts, annuities, wills or pooled funds.

Each year the AFTRA Foundation honors a select group of Union members who have shown exceptional success, commitment and integrity in their careers with the AFTRA Media and Entertainment Excellence Awards. The AMEEs are the gala fundraiser for the Foundation and continue to honor the distinguished legacy of AFTRA’s best in the fields of entertainment, broadcasting and sound  recordings.