Our Mission

The Lillian Lincoln Foundation has a long history of making impactful contributions across the globe and in our community, often through filmmaking and advocacy, and to give voice to people and stories.

Photo: Russell Fischella

Our History

Since 1985, the Lillian Lincoln Foundation has been a family owned non-profit foundation operating out of the San Francisco Bay Area. The foundation was established by Lillian Lincoln, founder of local television station KTSF-TV, Channel 26, who moved to the Bay Area in 1957.

Lillian was the original license holder for the station and the first woman to own a broadcast television station in San Francisco. KTSF began transmitting from San Bruno Mountain in 1976, providing programming to an Asian market that was, at the time, underserved by traditional media.

After KTSF was up and running, Lillian moved into philanthropic ventures, although her generosity to helping others fulfill dreams had happened long before, including her funding of IVF research in the late 1960’s through the mid 1970’s, which soon led to the worlds first “test tube baby” in 1978.

Lillian started the foundation to tell stories about the world she found engaging and had meaning to her in a documentary format. Many of her projects went on to have public television runs and used for educational purposes to drive impact and change.

“My mother was a visionary in the broadcasting industry and a generous philanthropist. She took big risks in her life and created our station’s mission: to serve the underserved. That she did and as her legacy, that, we’ll continue to do.

Lincoln Howell, Lillian’s son, KTSF-TV President

Following Lillian’s death in 2014, the foundation passed into the hands of her family. The first documentary project, uncovered the global crisis of snakebite envenoming, which lead to the foundation’s greater involvement in this movement. The foundation has played a pivotal role in developing advocacy programs, other short snakebite films and impact programs to encourage public, private, philanthropic and civil society sectors to play a greater role in this emerging issue.

The foundation has also provided a number of grants within the snakebite envenoming field, in addition to local and national programs dealing with homelessness and medical innovation.

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WATCH: Lillian's Life Story