Top 12 Corporate Funders In The U.S.

Author:

Karen Lee

,

Account Executive

Reviewed by:

Published:

September 20, 2022

Last Updated:

February 13, 2024

Did you know that corporations contributed more than $21.08 billion to nonprofits? And, more importantly, that number is expected to grow year over year?

Employees and consumers want to feel good about the companies they work for and buy from, and one way companies are addressing that is by giving back to the community.

With more funding on the table, if you’re not looking at corporate funders for your nonprofit, you’re missing out. These grants are often substantial in size and bring increased visibility that could help take your nonprofit to the next level.

Let’s take a quick look at an overview of corporate philanthropy, including the current landscape and some of the top corporate funders, to help you up your grant-finding game.

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The Corporate Funding Landscape

Corporate philanthropy is an important part of a company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy. It’s a way for companies to show they are good stewards by giving back a portion of their profits to help those in need.

Below, we’ll explore the current landscape of corporate funders.

Trends in Corporate Giving

Corporate funders often focus their nonprofit funding on areas that complement their strategic priorities, but what else are they looking for?

Current trends in corporate giving include:

  • Economic impact on budgets: As companies brace for an anticipated recession, they may begin to shrink their corporate philanthropy efforts.
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI): According to Forbes, DEI is a continued focus area for many companies as they strive to drive racial equality.
  • Current events: Many organizations have a reserve to draw from to help address in-the-moment needs, helping them take important positions on a global, national, or global scale.
  • Workplace giving: Many companies give their employees the opportunity to give back through work, whether that is financially or through volunteerism.
  • Deeper partnerships with nonprofits and corporations: Companies are looking for long-lasting partnerships to make a bigger impact vs. a one-time gift.

The good news is that these trends apply across the board, and we’re seeing more involvement in CSR work in companies of all sizes, including small to mid-sized organizations.

Now is a fantastic time to leverage your network and try to make connections at companies to find corporate funders.

Are Corporate Foundations Worth Pursuing Over Other Funders Offering Grants?

The best nonprofit funding strategies leverage a mix of grant types. By doing so, they protect the financial health of the company, so you’ll want to pursue grants by a blend of the following:

Depending on the corporate foundation, these grants may be larger than others, making it worth pursuing. However, corporate funding should only be one part of your larger strategy.

Profiles of The Top U.S. Corporate Funders

Here’s a look at the top corporate funders in the United States, including an overview of their corporate philanthropy, impact, and more.

These insights are just the beginning of what you can uncover with Instrumentl’s 990 insights.

The James Irvine Foundation

The James Irvine Foundation


The James Irvine Foundation
strives to help empower people living throughout California, providing more economic opportunity for low-income workers throughout the state.

First founded in 1937, the James Irvine Foundation has awarded more than $2.6 billion in grants. Over the last three years, the James Irvine Foundation has contributed to both new and existing partners, with gifts covering a broad spectrum.

  • Average gift: $265,706
  • Median gift: $23,000
  • Minimum gift: $150
  • Maximum gift: $18,085,000

The James Irvine Foundation focuses its giving on opportunity building in the following top areas:

  • Philanthropy, Volunteerism, & Grantmaking Foundations, including organizations that focus on providing management & technical assistance, alliances & advocacy support, and professional societies & associations.
  • Community Improvement & Capacity Building, including nonprofit management, community & neighborhood development, and economic development.
  • Employment, including employment preparation & procurement, labor unions, and job training.

The hallmark of the foundation is that it only funds opportunities within California. However, you’ll see below that if you are located elsewhere, you can still apply for funding. As long as the programs will be implemented within California, you are eligible to apply.

Where The James Irvine Foundation's grantees are located


The James Irvine Foundation is an invite-only funder, which means that at this time, the foundation is not accepting unsolicited inquiries.

States they award the most grants to

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Virginia

Grant Focus Areas

  1. Philanthropy, Volunteerism & Grant Making Foundations
  2. Community Improvement & Capacity Building
  3. Employment

Top recipients (2022)

  1. Tides Center - $15 million
    The Tides Center is focused on strengthening worker organizations in California.
  2. Sierra Health Foundation Center for Health Program Management - $14 million
    Sierra Health Foundation helps promote health, racial equity, and racial justice in communities throughout California.
  3. Inland Empire Community Foundation - $9.345 million
    The Inland Empire Community Foundation helps to empower communities through economic development.

Citi Foundation

Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation is committed to promoting economic progress worldwide and improving the lives of people in low-income communities through financial empowerment, employment opportunities, and other means.

Currently, the Citi Foundation offers four different programs, all of which are open for applications.

  • Community Finance Innovation Fund: Helps to build assets and wealth within low-income communities.
  • Community Progress Makers: Supports nonprofits that provide economic opportunities within the community.
  • Global Innovation Challenge: Funds innovative solutions to improve food security.
  • Pathways to Progress: Provides career readiness tools and resources to young adults.

Within these funds, the nonprofits they award grants to typically are within the following three areas.

  • Community Improvement & Capacity Building, including community and neighborhood development, management and technical assistance, and alliances and advocacy.
  • Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, providing pass-through grants to support others.
  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, including management & technical assistance, professional societies & associations, and research institutes & economic development.

The Citi Foundation is a heavy hitter when it comes to grants. On average, they award 727 gifts annually to support this important work, and a breakdown is as follows.

  • Average gift: $403,624
  • Median gift: $250,000
  • Minimum gift: $50,000
  • Maximum gift: $10,000,000

While their giving is typically focused within the United States, Citi Foundation has provided grants globally, investing in youth education and culture through Unesco.

Where the Citi Foundation's grantees are located

States they award the most grants to

  1. Virginia
  2. New York
  3. California

Grant Focus Areas

  1. Community Improvement & Capacity Building
  2. Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
  3. International, Foreign Affairs & National Security

Top recipients (2022)

  1. Calvert Impact Capital Inc. - $5.5 million
    Calvert Impact Capital Inc. is a global nonprofit investment firm, and this grant helped fund a small business program.
  2. Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Inc. - $3.5 million
    Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund Inc. partners with local municipalities to provide support to local communities.
  3. Capital Impact Partners - $2.4 million
    Capital Impact Partners helps to provide credit and other financial services to underserved populations throughout the United States. This grant was especially to create a CDIB program or a Certificate of Degree of Indian Blood program. 

Enterprise Holdings Foundation

Enterprise Holdings Foundation

Enterprise Holdings Foundation makes a difference in their local communities, championing requests from their employees to give back. Since 1982, they have contributed more than $500 million, and currently, they offer the following five programs.

  • ROAD FORWARD (Respect, Opportunity, Achievement, Diversity), which helps advance social and racial equity.
  • Fill Your Tank, which helps address food insecurity.
  • Routes and Roots, which helps fund conversation challenges and efforts throughout the world.
  • 50 Million Tree Pledge, which strives to plant 50 million trees by 2056.
  • American Red Cross Annual Disaster Giving Program, which supports critical needs throughout the United States during natural disasters.

Because of these core programming efforts, their top funding areas are focused in the following categories.

  • Human Services, including alliances & advocacy, professional societies & associations, and management & technical assistance.
  • Food, Agriculture & Nutrition, including food banks & pantries.
  • Education, including research institutions & public policy analysis and higher education.

On average, the Enterprise Holdings Foundation provides 20,613 gifts per year.

  • Average gift: $8,447
  • Median gift: $2,500
  • Minimum gift: $26
  • Maximum gift: $6,000,000

At this time, to be eligible for a grant from Enterprise Holdings Foundations, you must be nominated by an employee.

Where the Enterprise Holdings Foundation's grantees are located

They have awarded grants in all 50 states.

States they award the most grants to

  1. Texas
  2. Florida
  3. California

Grant Focus Areas:

  • Human Services
  • Food, Agriculture & Nutrition
  • Education

Top recipients (2022)

  1. The Nature Conservatory - $6 million
    The Nature Conservatory helps protect against climate change while protecting our natural resources.
  2. Feeding America - $3.5 million
    Feeding America helps provide food to those in need through a network of food banks.
  3. Everglades Foundation - $2.5 million
    The Everglades Foundation helps protect the Florida Everglades, which has been declining over time due to climate change.

The Goldman Sachs Foundation

The Goldman Sachs Foundation

Since 1999, The Goldman Sachs Foundation has given back globally, investing in areas that foster innovation, address critical economic and social issues, and empower underserved communities.

They have given more than $2.2 billion in grants through partnerships with more than 9,400 nonprofits in 140 countries around the world. Their top three funding areas include:

  • Education, including supporting other education nonprofits, universities, and management & technical assistance.
  • Community Improvement & Capacity Building, including community, neighborhood, and economic/small business development.
  • Housing & Shelter, providing support to homeowners & tenant associations, housing expense reduction support, and alliances & advocacy efforts.

The Goldman Sachs Foundation typically awards about 235 grants each year.

  • Average gift: $598,244
  • Median gift: $153,100
  • Minimum gift: $25,000
  • Maximum gift: $8,000,000

A majority of their giving is within the contiguous United States over the last four years, though they have funded global programs in Switzerland, France, and Eswatini to support small businesses and fund entrepreneurship.

Where The Goldman Sachs Foundation's grantees are located

States they award the most grants to

  1. New York
  2. Ohio
  3. California

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. Education
  2. Community Improvement & Capacity Building
  3. Housing & Shelter

Top recipients (2022)

  1. International Finance Corporation - $5,392,190
    This grant helped support the women entrepreneurs opportunity facility, which helps increase access to capital for women to start businesses and more.
  2. University of Oxford - $5,368,848
    Goldman Sachs Foundation helped implement a 10,000 small business initiative throughout the United Kingdom at the University of Oxford.
  3. Babson College - $3,371,606
    Another grant to a university that helped manage and deliver the 10,000 small businesses national curriculum across local partners.

The Pfizer Foundation

The Pfizer Foundation

The Pfizer Foundation strives to build healthier communities, addressing global health challenges and urgent health concerns throughout the world. Their programming focuses on three general areas:

  • Global Health Challenges, ensuring all have access to safe and effective healthcare.
  • Natural Disasters, providing emergency healthcare during times of crisis.
  • Community engagement, helping Pfizer employees give back in ways that are meaningful to them.

As a result, the top three giving areas for the Pfizer Foundation include the following.

  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, including research initiatives & public policy analysis, alliances & advocacy, and management & technical assistance.
  • Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, giving to other foundations and nonprofits to maximize the impact they can make.
  •  Arts, Culture & Humanities, promoting culture and ethnic awareness to further their emphasis on foreign affairs.

There are active opportunities available for the Pfizer Foundation throughout the year, and on average, they award 16,604 grants throughout the year.

  • Average gift: $6,383
  • Median gift: $250
  • Minimum gift: $1
  • Maximum gift: $15,716,631

Within the last three years, they have focused their giving within the United States, though the programs themselves can have a global focus.

Where The Pfizer Foundation's grantees are located

States they award the most grants to

  1. New York
  2. Pennsylvania
  3. California

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. International, Foreign Affairs & National Security
  2. Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
  3.  Arts, Culture & Humanities

Top recipients (2022)

  1. Charities Aid Foundation of America - $8 million
    The Pfizer Foundation provided significant funding to support the Ukraine humanitarian crisis response.
  2. The Carter Center
    The Carter Center helps to resolve conflicts, advance democracy, and prevent diseases, and this was a legacy gift from the Pfizer Foundation.
  3. Ukraine House DC Foundation Inc.
    Another gift that was largely in response to the war in Ukraine, the Ukraine House helps provide a home away from home for many Ukrainians in Washington, D.C.

Abbvie Foundation

Abbvie Foundation

At its core, the Abbvie Foundation is committed to giving back, investing in global philanthropy and volunteerism in the following areas.

  • Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, focusing primarily on fundraising and distribution.
  • Education, investing in two-year colleges, as well as professional societies & associations.
  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, providing international relief, especially with a focus on health development throughout the world.

Within these grantmaking areas is an overall emphasis on how the Abbvie Foundation can help make a difference in:

  • Health care systems
  • Educational programming
  • Community empowerment

On average, they award about 2,751 grants per year, and here’s a look at their giving stats over the last three years.

  • Average gift: $44,157
  • Median gift: $370
  • Minimum gift: $10
  • Maximum gift: $12,368,436

The Abbvie Foundation gives globally across North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia.

Where the Abbvie Foundation's grantees are located

At this time, the Abbvie Foundation is not accepting unsolicited applications for funding.

States they award the most grants to

  1. Illinois
  2. California
  3. Wisconsin

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
  2.  Education
  3. International, Foreign Affairs & National Security

Top recipients (2022)

  1. The Blackbaud Giving Fund - $7,010,769
    The Blackbaud Giving Fund helps connect and distribute funds to nonprofits throughout the world.
  2. Foundation for the Carolinas - $2,461,500
    The Foundation for the Carolinas helped provide relief to Abbvie employees who are facing hardship.
  3. United Negro College Fund - $2.4 million
    This helped develop a workforce diversity program through the UNCF Healthcare system.

Ford Motor Company Fund

Ford Motor Company Fund

The Ford Motor Company Fund is committed to empowering communities, focusing its efforts both within the United States and more than 40 countries worldwide.

They focus their efforts within three core impact areas:

  • Access to essential services
  • Education
  • Entrepreneurship

Within these, nonprofits who receive funding from the Ford Motor Company fund fall in these top three areas.

  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, supporting various international organizations and efforts.
  • Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief, including automotive safety and disaster relief.
  • Education, particularly professional societies and associations.

They award an average of 1,025 grants annually.

  • Average gift: $90,333
  • Median gift: $25,000
  • Minimum gift: $2,000
  • Maximum gift: $10,300,000

At this time, Ford Fund is not accepting open grant applications. Much of their funding goes to core auto manufacturing hubs, including Michigan, where its headquarters is located.

Where the Ford Motor Company Fund's grantees are located

States they award the most grants to

  1. Michigan
  2. Illinois
  3. California

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. International, Foreign Affairs & National Security
  2. Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief
  3. Education

Top recipients (2022)

  1. Global Giving Foundation Inc. - $10,322,325
    Global Giving Foundation Inc. helps provide a crowdfunding platform for grassroots charitable efforts.
  2. Governors Highway Safety Association - $2,380,201
    The Governors Highway Safety Association helps promote safety and safe driving.
  3. United Way for Southeastern Michigan - $2 million
    The United Way for Southeastern Michigan helps families meet their basic needs in the greater Detroit area. 

GE Foundation

GE Foundation

The GE Foundation has been inspiring the next generation for more than 100 years, using its power for good to bring about change across the world.

They invest in four big buckets, which include:

  • Employment
  • Health care
  • Disaster relief
  • Volunteerism

Within these areas, nonprofits have the best shot at receiving funding if they operate within the following domains:

  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, especially for relief efforts.
  • Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, leveraging other foundations and giving programs to make a difference.
  • Education, advancing education through alliances & advocacy, research institutes & public policy, and management & training assistance.

At its core, the GE Foundation strives to use its power and influence for good. They award 6,889 grants annually.

  • Average gift: $4,325
  • Median gift: $350
  • Minimum gift: $25
  • Maximum gift: $4,000,000

They fund programs on nearly every continent except Antarctica.

Where the GE Foundation's grantees are located

A majority of the funding is within the United States. Depending on the project, the GE Foundation may accept applications, or the funding may be invite-only.

Instrumentl can tell you which opportunities are open as you search through Form 990.

States they award the most grants to

  1. New York
  2. Massachusetts
  3. Ohio

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. International, Foreign Affairs & National Security
  2. Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
  3. Education

Top recipients (2021)

  1. Family Health International - $4 million
    Family Health International provides global support to ensure that there is equitable access to research, resources, and relationships to help all lead full and healthy lives.
  2. Boston Education Development Foundation Inc. - $2.494 million
    The GE Foundation is a big supporter of the Boston Public School system, which is partially because that’s where the organization is headquartered.
  3. Essex County Community Foundation - $1.319 million
    The Essex County Community Foundation supports the greater Boston area by strengthening the community.

The Allstate Foundation

The Allstate Foundation

You’re in good hands when you’re with Allstate, and that includes the Allstate Foundation. They are committed to empowering communities and inspiring the next generation of leaders.

To help provide focus to their charitable efforts, they offer funding within four general areas.

  • Youth empowerment
  • Domestic violence
  • Racial equity
  • Nonprofit leadership development

As you look deeper into their funding history, you’ll see that they further differentiate their funding.

  • Education, focusing on alliances & advocacy, elementary & secondary schools, and scholarships & student financial aid.
  • Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, including research institutes & public policy analysis, and professional societies & associations.
  • Human Services, providing support for children and youth services, as well as family violence shelters to help care for families.

The Allstate Foundation offers an average of 4,288 grants annually to nonprofits.

  • Average gift: $24,943
  • Median gift: $1,000
  • Minimum gift: $100
  • Maximum gift: $35,700,000

While the Allstate Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications, you can fill out an inquiry form to learn more.

Allstate is headquartered in Illinois, which is one of the biggest states it offers funding; however, it awards grants in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico and Guam.

Where The Allstate Foundation's grantees are located

States they award the most grants to

  1. Illinois
  2. New York
  3. Texas

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. Education
  2. Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
  3. Human Services

Top recipients (2022)

  1. Cara Program - $1 million
    The Cara Program helps provide personal and professional development, and the Allstate Foundation provides a general operating grant.
  2. Center for Employment Opportunities Inc. - $1 million
    The Allstate Foundation provided a generating operating grant to the Center for Employment Opportunities Inc. to help them fund more resources.
  3. Donorschoose Org - $1 million
    By partnering with Donors Choose, The Allstate Foundation helped fund a community service project match.

The Centene Charitable Foundation

The Centene Charitable Foundation

The Centene Charitable Foundation wants to dismantle barriers to health, and they’re doing it one person at a time by focusing on:

  • Health care access
  • Social services
  • Education

Ultimately, they focus on inclusion, wellness, and community development. The top three areas in which it awards grants are as follows:

  • Arts, Culture & Humanities, advancing research while supporting the arts, humanities, and DEI efforts.
  • Health Care, providing equitable access to care.
  • Education, including higher education, management & technical assistance, and professional societies & associations.

Health equity is of the utmost importance to the Centene Charitable Foundation. They award 1,091 grants annually to local organizations throughout the United States.

  • Average gift: $78,004
  • Median gift: $20,000
  • Minimum gift: $13
  • Maximum gift: $4,400,000

The Centene Foundation accepts applications during the spring (March 1-May 31) and fall (Sept. 1-Nob. 29) grant cycles.

Where The Centene Charitable Foundation's grantees are located

They are located in Missouri, and much of their funding is centralized there; however, they have awarded grants to nearly every state.

States they award the most grants to

  1. Missouri
  2. California
  3. Texas

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. Arts, Culture & Humanities
  2. Health Care
  3. Education

Top recipients (2022)

  1. United Way of Greater St. Louis Inc - $1,016,090
    This gift was a part of the United Way national match to help inspire support.
  2. National Urban League Inc - $1 million
    The Centene Charitable Foundation helped the National Urban League construct a new building.
  3. The Saint Louis Zoo Foundation - $1 million
    This grant helped to fund the Grizzly Ridge Exhibit at the St. Louis Zoo.

Visa Foundation

Visa Foundation

The Visa Foundation wants to create a world where everyone can thrive, regardless of their economic situation. They prefer to invest in:

  • Gender diverse businesses
  • Community development
  • Disaster relief

The Visa Foundation likes to be a partner, listening to what communities need to challenge systemic barriers and champion scalable solutions.

Their most funded areas include:

  • International, Foreign Affairs & National Security, particularly alliances & advocacy, management & technical assistance, and professional societies & associations.
  • Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations, primarily by funding other foundations to further their work.
  • Community Improvement & Capacity Building, providing assistance for community coalitions, research institutes & public policy analysis, and community development.

The Visa Foundation awards an average of 111 grants per year throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Africa.

  • Average gift: $691,280
  • Median gift: $350,000
  • Minimum gift: $10,000
  • Maximum gift: $6,800,000
Where the Visa Foundation's grantees are located


They are open to new and existing partnerships, but at this time, the Visa Foundation is not accepting unsolicited proposals.

States they award the most grants to

  1. California
  2. New York
  3. Maryland

Grant Focus Areas:

  1. International, Foreign Affairs & National Security
  2. Philanthropy, Voluntarism & Grantmaking Foundations
  3. Community Improvement & Capacity Building

Top recipients (2022)

  1. Tipping Point Community - $6.8 million
    The Visa Foundation grant helped to support programming that addresses and prevents youth homelessness in the Bay Area.
  2. Black Economic Alliance Foundation - $3 million
    They helped to support the Center for Black Entrepreneurship, empowering innovative minds.
  3. The United States Fund for Unicef - $2 million
    This grant helps provide crisis and humanitarian aid with an emphasis on families and children who have been impacted by the war in Ukraine.

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By now, you should have a clear understanding of:

  • Current corporate funder trends
  • Why you should pursue corporate grants
  • The top corporate funders

You have all you need to find your own corporate funders.

Instrumentl has many great resources to help you on your journey, including a 990 search that can revolutionize how you find funding opportunities.

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Karen Lee

Karen Lee

Karen Lee, an Account Executive at Instrumentl, is an onboarding specialist who is passionate about teaching both beginner and expert grant seekers best practices in uncovering new potential ​​prospects, evaluating funding opportunities, and systemizing the end-to-end fundraising cycle from prospect research to awarded grants.

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