The foundation, started in 1962, started small but has grown to be the largest corporate foundation in the Greater Cincinnati area. Its annual budget has grown from $100,000 in 1971 to more than $100 million today. It also manages the Greater Cincinnati Fund and presents the annual National Journalism Awards, awarding a $175,000 for 17 prizes for the 2009 awards given in 2010. 
The Scripps Howard Foundation, along with Roy Howard's children, established the Roy W. Howard Archive at the Indiana University School of Journalism in 1983. Additionally, they established the The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University in Virginia.