The application review process

ITVS staff review and evaluate application materials. The top 10 to 15 percent are asked to submit materials for the finalist phase. An internal review panel made up of programming staff evaluates the materials and makes recommendations for funding. The call is competitive with five to 10 percent of applicants receiving an award.

The entire proposal review and recommendation process takes three to four months. DDF funds are disbursed in three installments over the course of a six-month contract period.

Timetable for the Development Diversity Fund:

  • Internal Review: After the submission deadline, all applicants will receive notification by mail or email within eight weeks.
  • Finalist Phase: A limited number of applicants will be asked to send a revised proposal answering additional questions regarding the project along a more detailed budget. Finalists receive a final decision within six weeks of submitting additional materials.

Program funding selection

Programs are selected and funded through a license fee for public television broadcast. The detailed ITVS guidelines for funding explain the process and criteria for program selection. Decisions are based on the merits of a proposed project and at the discretion of ITVS professional staff and peer panels. Decisions on program selection are made solely by ITVS, which is an independent nonprofit corporation and not within the control of any other public or private entity.

Production and distribution for ITVS funded programs

The Diversity Development Fund is not a grant. Accepted applicants receive funding in the form of a development agreement that assigns ITVS certain important rights over the project during the term of the contract. The independent producer maintains creative, editorial and financial control of the project, owns the copyright to the program and delivers all elements within six months of the contract date. ITVS retains the option for U.S television broadcast rights, among others, up to 90 days after the receipt of all deliverables required under the contract.

Here are some additional things to know about working with ITVS if your program is funded through the Diversity Development Fund:

PBS standards

  • All ITVS funded programs must adhere to PBS Editorial Standards. PBS makes their standards public in their Red Book. The ITVS Production Manual is also available for sale, which contains useful forms and information on producing to PBS standards.

Production funds

  • The goal of the DDF is to help producers create programs that will be competitive in our other funding initiatives and in the public television system at large. Funded programs are encouraged to apply to other ITVS initiatives but DDF funding is not an automatic guarantee of production funding.