The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences on Friday launched a $500 million fundraising drive, pegged to the upcoming centenary of the Oscars.

Named Academy100 -- ahead of the 100th Oscars ceremony, set for 2028 -- the drive is intended to diversify finances for the group, which plays a key role in fostering new filmmakers and preserving movies, as well as handing out the annual Academy Awards.

It comes at a time when viewership of the Oscars has drastically shrunk, and as the Academy's lucrative, long-standing broadcast deal with ABC for the ceremony telecast is nearing its end.

"The Academy will soon enter its second century, and we want to ensure that we continue to be the preeminent leader of our international film community," said Academy CEO Bill Kramer, in a statement.

"Like all healthy organizations, the Academy needs a sustainable and diverse base of support," he added.

Sponsors have already committed more than $100 million to the campaign, the Academy said.

The Academy's members -- there are around 10,000 -- are invited to join based on their filmmaking achievements. They range from directors and producers to A-list actors and visual effects artists.

Membership has become increasingly international and diverse in recent years. Academy100 is intended to "deepen our worldwide reach and impact," said Kramer.

The group also launched the popular Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles in 2021.

But despite a slight recent uptick in viewership, audiences for the all-important Oscars ceremony remain well below historical levels.

Some 21 million tuned in this year to see "Oppenheimer" fend off rivals such as "Barbie" to win the best-picture award. Just a decade ago, audiences regularly topped 40 million.