Give to SMPA

Our first president, George Washington, envisioned a university that would prepare leaders for the nation. In the heart of GW’s Columbian College of Arts & Sciences is the School of Media and Public Affairs (SMPA): a trailblazer in the theory and practice of political communication, journalism and media for nearly 30 years. 

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Making Headlines & History

Our formula for success is simple, yet sound. We engage students through a rigorous curriculum and programming to facilitate their intellectual advancement. We explore theories and solution-based practices in the areas of journalism, media, and politics. And, we empower our students, faculty, alumni, and community by fostering an entrepreneurial setting that encourages the exchange of ideas to create change in our world.


Ways to Give Back

The School of Media and Public Affairs is committed to educating the next generation of communicators by providing our students with opportunities for success in the classroom and beyond. Donors provide our students and faculty with the resources and experience they need to excel.

You can make your gift to SMPA in a number of ways:

By mailing your check, made out to The George Washington University and with SMPA in the memo line, to:

The George Washington University
PO Box 98131
Washington, DC 20077-9756

or by phone, calling the GW Annual Fund at 1-800-789-2611.

To learn more about ways you can give back to SMPA, please contact Brendon Smith at [email protected] or consider giving to one of SMPA's initiatives.


Support Our Engagement


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Institute for Public Diplomacy and Global Communication

IPDGC is a leader in research, practice, training and innovative thinking in the areas of global communication and public diplomacy. The Institute engages in a variety of activities, including prominent events, research and workshops. It also hosts scholars and leading government figures, including several Under Secretaries of State. IPDGC is jointly administered by GW's Elliott School of International Affairs.

Panel on stage at the Planet Forward Summit in 2019

Planet Forward

Planet Forward is where experts and engaged citizens come together to find solutions to our shared challenges, specifically in the areas of energy, climate, and sustainability. A storytelling platform for sustainability ideas, Planet Forward curates the best ideas and innovations from scientists, business leaders, advocates, students, and government leaders.


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The Project for Media and National Security 

The Project for Media and National Security brings journalists together with senior American defense and national security officials and experts. Over 50 news organizations are members of the Defense Writers Group which the Project convenes with leaders in the field to deepen Americans' understanding of national security issues. The journalists’ forum includes large national and regional newspapers, online outlets, international news wire services, magazines, and trade publications.

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The Ted Turner Endowed Fund 

The Ted Turner Endowed Fund will fund a professorship of environmental media marrying Mr. Turner’s passion for the environment with the mission of teaching the next generation of journalists and media professionals to effectively convey the challenges facing our world. With the recent announcement of a $500,000 gift from CNN, the fund also will support activities that reflect Mr. Turner’s passion for environmental activism, such as a major annual event jointly hosted by SMPA and CNN focused on creative storytelling. Give today.

Help Us Explore



Institute for Data Democracy and Politics 

Trolls, bots — bits of computer code designed to augment social media activities — have emerged as disruptive elements in foreign and domestic politics. Through a robust team of faculty researchers, we are studying and responding to the disinformation problem. IDDP’s mission is to help the public, journalists, and policymakers understand digital media’s influence on public dialogue and opinion, and to develop sound solutions to disinformation and other ills that arise in these spaces.

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The Media and Peace Building Project

The Media and Peace Building Project works towards a better understanding of how new information and communication technologies (ICT) drive political violence and polarization and disseminates information and tools for peace-builders on best practices in the new information environment. The Project's three initial initiatives focus on mobile phones, political violence and peace building in conflict-fragile states; reconciliation in the United States; and peace journalism.

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Project on Ethics in Political Communication

The Project on Ethics in Political Communication encourages students, academics, and practitioners to consider what, if any, ethical obligation political communication professionals have and to whom or what they have it. The Project draws scholars, students, and political communication professionals to examine and improve the ethics of our political communication by: publicly engaging the question of what, if any, ethical responsibilities those who work in political communication have, and to whom or what they have those responsibilities; identifying ways to put ethical communication principles into practice, and encourage political professionals to adopt these practices; and providing political communication students with an ethical foundation for their professional work.

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Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research Fund

Two SMPA students, one political communication major and one journalism and mass communication major, receive the Manheim-Sterling Undergraduate Research prize each year. The awards allow students to collaborate with a faculty member, travel for research or reporting projects, or attend events to present a paper or project. This fund honors two legendary SMPA faculty members, Jarol Manheim, who led the creation of the political communication major at GW, and Chris Sterling, who brought media history to life with his booming voice and deep research on radio.


Empower Our Students


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SMPA Career Access Network (CAN)

Enhances the value of an SMPA education by supporting experiential learning, enhancing professional connections and creating community among current students and alumni. SMPA CAN has three components: an internship fund, mentoring program and networking events. The internship fund provides stipends to underwrite the cost of otherwise unpaid, or underpaid, internships thereby allowing SMPA students of all means to gain meaningful experience and develop their skills. SMPA provides students the chance to be paired with an accomplished professional to provide tangible advice and comradery as they plan for a career. Lastly, CAN provides networking opportunities in the form of exclusive events, brown-bag lunches and other engagement opportunities where current students and alumni can network and exchange ideas fostering the GW spirit.


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J. Michael Shanahan Journalism Internship Fund

The Shanahan Fund allows students majoring or minoring in journalism to take an internship they may not otherwise be able to afford in the summer after junior year. The experiential learning and networking opportunities from hands-on work with professionals in the field are invaluable for aspiring journalists. The Fund honors the late Professor J. Michael Shanahan (1943–2014), by supporting an area that Professor Shanahan deeply cared about—student internships.


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SMPA Student Support Fund

Student aid helps reduce the loan burdens of GW graduates so the cost of their education will not limit their ability to make their mark on the world, no matter their area of study or professional path. More than 42% of GW students benefit from student aid in the form of merit or need based scholarships to help them pursue their goals.


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Cokie Roberts Tuition Relief Fund

This fund is earmarked for undergraduate (majors and minors) and graduate SMPA students who demonstrate financial need for tuition expenses due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The amount of the scholarships will vary, but the goal is to help as many students as possible. The Fund has been made possible thanks to the vision and the generosity of J.B. and M.C. Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs Steven V. Roberts in honor of his late wife, Cokie.


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Director’s Catalyst Fund

Emerging and urgent opportunities present themselves every day, and through the Director’s Catalyst Fund, SMPA remains at the forefront of cutting-edge technology, groundbreaking studies, and strategic partnerships. The fund provides the Director with the flexibility to make surgical and strategic investments to foster the development of SMPA, support faculty and staff, and provide seed funding for initiatives that support the school’s mission.