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.
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 aid of worthy causes. For example, in 2001, NCS members in the syndicated community dedicated their newspaper features to a Thanksgiving initiative that raised more than $50,000 for victims of the 9/11 attacks, and members contributed an additional $18,000 through the proceeds of a private auction. In 2016, during the Reuben Awards weekend in Memphis, the Foundation organized a program of personal appearances, auctions and public events that raised more than $100,000 dollars in aid of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
Every Reuben Awards weekend, members of the NCS visit a local children’s hospital, bringing goodie bags of toys, comics, books and crayons, to draw for the patients as part of our Cartooning For Kids initiative.
The NCSF underwrites and maintains an NCS presence at all the major U.S. comics conventions and festivals, providing booth space for NCS members to meet and greet the public. Among the events where we appear are San Diego Comic Con, Wondercon, New York Comic Con, MOCCA, C2E2 and many more. In 2019, the NCSF staged NCSFest, the largest FREE comic arts festival ever staged in the United States, featuring more than 100 major guests from all over the world. NCSFest will now be a part of the Reuben Weekends going forward.