Running a nonprofit, while rewarding, can also be difficult. There are just so many things to juggle even before you take into account all your fundraising efforts.
That is where corporate grants can be lifesaving. Landing just one of these can give your nonprofit the help it needs to fund a campaign, cover operational expenses, or take that big new project to the next level.
This article will go over some of the top corporate grants for nonprofits, as well as some best-practice tips to help you find and secure the best grants for your organization.
What Are Grants for Nonprofits?
To put it simply, a nonprofit grant is a non-repayable fund awarded to a nonprofit by an external source. They are typically given by government agencies, other foundations (including private family-run foundations or public ones), and corporations.
Companies that give grants to nonprofits have different priorities and eligibility requirements, affecting which types of projects, campaigns, and nonprofits they wish to support. Some grants might also be based on geography, with the granter preferring to fund initiatives that will directly impact their local communities.
The application process will also vary depending on the grant. From deadlines to what sort of information you must include with your application, each grant will have its own set of unique requirements.
Here’s an example of what Chevron’s El Segundo Refinery is looking for in its grant applicants, though keep in mind this is specific to this location. Many corporations have their requirements locked behind a sign-in wall on various applications to help ensure only eligible organizations can apply.
Importance of Grants for Nonprofit Sustainability
As you think about your nonprofit budget for the year, it’s important to have diversified streams of income to protect the financial health of your organization. Examples of this could be:
Oftentimes, the two biggest elements of a nonprofit’s fundraising strategy are donations and grants, and grants play a critical role when it comes to a nonprofit’s long-term sustainability. Grants—especially corporate ones—are usually substantial amounts of money, so they can almost entirely fund specific projects or initiatives. Additionally, they can open up the door for long-term partnerships.
Because grants are opportunities that you find and apply for, they can give you a greater sense of control once you crack the code to writing winning grant proposals. There are many different organizations that provide grants to nonprofits, and these relationships also drive visibility, helping others discover the great work you’re doing and want to be a part of it.
Grants are not just important for nonprofits. They are also an important part of a company’s strategic priorities, particularly their corporate social responsibility efforts. More on the types of companies that give grants to nonprofits below.
Types of Organizations Offering Nonprofit Grants
Not all nonprofit grants are created equally. Depending on the type of organization that’s offering them, there may be different restrictions and requirements on how they can be used. So, what types of organizations give grants to nonprofits?
Common organizations that provide grants to nonprofits include:
Public companies, which are organizations that are owned by shareholders. These types of companies are required to provide financial reports that detail their earnings and how they are spending their money, including charitable giving. This includes corporations that are publicly traded, such as the J.P Morgan Chase Foundation.
Private companies, which are organizations that are owned by individuals or groups of individuals. These companies are not required to report any of their financial activity, though you can often find charitable giving information available on their websites.
Charitable foundations, which are public or private organizations that are focused on giving back to the community. Often, larger corporations will have independent charitable foundations as part of their corporate social responsibility efforts.
Government, which are state and federally-funded opportunities intended to support the public good across all different types of sectors.
There are a lot of funding opportunities out there, and it can be difficult to sort through the noise to find grants and organizations that align with your mission and values. Grant prospecting tools like Instrumentl can play a huge role in helping, saving you time and resources that you can invest in other areas.
In the next section, we’ll discuss the top companies that give out grants. This will give you a sense of the big players in the field and what they’re looking for to help you be more competitive.
Top Organization Grants for Nonprofits
Corporate grants, or company grants, are grants awarded by corporations.
Typically, corporate grants tend to focus on issues related to the company’s brands, services, or products. Here’s a list of the top 14 organizations that provide grants to nonprofits in 2023.
Overview of Organizations Offering Nonprofit Grants
So, what companies give grants to nonprofits?
These are some of the top corporations offering nonprofit grants. Because they are often larger monetary amounts from more well-known companies, the competition will be fierce. That just means the payoff will be even sweeter when you land one!
If you don’t see a corporation listed here, that doesn’t mean they don’t offer nonprofit grants. Companies that give out grants often have a charitable foundation as part of their organization. You can check out their corporate giving pages for more information. Often, this will include funding cycles so you know when the next opportunity will open
If you’d like to save time, you can use Instrumentl to research current grant opportunities by location, funding area, and more to help you discover active grants.
The Carnegie Foundation
One of America’s oldest grant funders, The Carnegie Foundation, was established in 1911 by Andrew Carnegie. They believe that international peace and prosperity are achieved through the advancement of education.
Established in New York, they tend to favor state-based initiatives, though they also support nonprofits that benefit the American public and those that work to advance education in sub-Saharan Africa.
Some useful facts about The Carnegie Foundation’s grants include:
There are no deadlines to apply for funding
However, you must first send out a letter of inquiry
From environmental and social justice to addressing problems in education and community development, Bank of America’s philanthropic efforts cover a variety of issues. Their grants are separated into two different categories: one for those who wish to meet individual needs, and one for those who wish to address the needs of a community.
Some useful facts about Bank of America’s grants include:
The grant for individual needs and the grant for community needs have different deadlines
You must apply online
Funding opportunities are focused in the United States, with international programs being by invite only
Past grants varied from $2,500 to over $50,000
General Electric's Foundation aims to help the world through the development of health, education, and engineering-based solutions to today’s problems. Not only do they help create equal access to STEM education for a wider set of individuals from diverse backgrounds, but they also seek to help the next generation of engineers receive the education they need to start their careers.
Some useful facts about General Electric’s grants include:
General Electric’s has two main education initiatives, the GE Star Award scholarship and the newly established Next Engineer initiative
Though education seems to be the main focus of their work, they also provide an immense amount humanitarian aid and relief
Because they operate in a multitude of countries, their philanthropic efforts are not limited to the United States
In 2021, they awarded $25 million to philanthropic causes
Rather than a traditional grant, Google's philanthropic initiatives involve providing its different platforms to help nonprofits more efficiently raise funds for their causes.
The Google for Nonprofits program allows nonprofits to not only find new donors, but also new volunteers. Available in over 65 countries, eligibility is open to all nonprofit organizations of good standing that do not operate as government agencies, as hospitals, or as educational institutions.
Some useful facts about Google for Nonprofits include:
The process for setting up your account and joining Google for Nonprofits can take between 2 and 14 business days
You have the potential of receiving up to $10,000 of in-kind advertisement
As the company responsible for some of your favorite food brands, it is only natural that General Mills’ grants focus on food safety and access.
As they were first established in Minneapolis back in 1866, and as their headquarters is still based in the city, they often prioritize local nonprofits whose efforts help marginalized communities and address the dietary needs of K-12 students. That being said, they also have the Hometown Giving Initiative that supports organizations around the world.
Some useful facts about the General Mills Foundation include:
The General Mills Foundation has given a cumulative $2.6 billion since they were established in 1984
Applications for the grants are invite-only
However, you can submit an inquiry form, which may lead to an invitation to submit a full application
The average grant amount is estimated to be around $15,000
With its headquarters in California, Intuit is a software company specializing in the financial sector. Their foundation is centered around financial empowerment, literacy, and independence. They donate their most popular programs (TurboTax, Quickbooks, and Mint.com) so that nonprofits can more efficiently manage their operational expenses.
Some useful facts about the Intuit for Nonprofits Program include:
This program is only available to nonprofits that operate on a budget of less than $10 million a year
Organizations can request either one product per fiscal year, or one product for the lifetime of the organization
Recipients must be willing to provide Intuit with information so they can create testimonials or case studies about this program
A 15-lesson learning guide on how to use Quickbooks is available for recipients
The Coca-Cola Foundation
The Coca-Cola Foundation was established in 1984 as the international philanthropic branch of the Coca-Cola company. It aims to invest 1% of the company’s previous year’s operating income to support nonprofits around the world through its grants.
It has a wide area of focus, with the foundation awarding grants to nonprofits that empower women, work toward environmental justice, and advance education efforts around the globe.
Some useful facts about the Coca-Cola Foundation grants include:
You can also apply for sponsorship through this online application system
Potential recipients must pass an eligibility quiz after registration
In 2021, the Coca-Cola Foundation awarded grants to over 500 different organizations
Amazon Web Services Imagine Grant
Awarded by one of today’s most lucrative companies, Amazon Web Services Imagine Grant focuses on nonprofits who integrate technology into their solutions for today’s most pressing problems. They are open to both pilot projects and existing programs, so long as the nonprofit can demonstrate how they are utilizing technology in new and creative ways.
Some useful facts about the Amazon Web Services Imagine Grant include:
The grant provides two distinct awards, with the categories being differentiated by the type of technology used and how it is incorporated into the project
Organizations are limited to one application per award cycle
Guidelines for the grants go live around March, with the round 1 of application starting around May and lasting for a month
Award packages can include up to $150,000 in unrestricted financial support, up to $100,00 in AWS promotional credit, and opportunity for AWS marketing promotion
The Ford Foundation was established in 1936 by Edsel Ford, the son of Henry Ford from the world-famous Ford Motor Company. The foundation’s mission is to fight inequality through social and environmental justice. They are one of the companies that offer grants to nonprofits who align with their values and goals.
Some useful facts about the Ford Foundation include:
You must submit your application through their online form
They award an estimated 1,500 grants every year
They work with nonprofits around the world
Grant amounts can vary, with some being over $300,000
State Street Foundation
State Street is the second oldest continually operating bank in the United States, and in addition to financial services, they also offer community assistance through the State Street Foundation. This is the company’s charitable arm, offering grants that focus on providing long-lasting and sustainable benefits to the communities they live and serve in.
They offer grants to help reduce equity gaps with an emphasis on promoting educational achievement and enhancing employability. Some useful facts about the State Street Foundation include:
You must submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) by December 31 to be considered for the following calendar year.
State Street Foundation grants are invitation only, and only organizations that submit EOIs are considered.
You have to operate in the communities State Street serves.
State Street Foundation awarded over $20 million in grants in 2022.
Chevron is a global energy company that’s committed to paying it forward. As part of their corporate sustainability efforts, they invest in the community, giving back to nonprofits that focus on education, particularly K-12 STEM programming. They also provide support for environmental efforts, health, human services, and other civic and cultural activities.
Some useful facts about Chevron include:
They provide global support but check for local opportunities in your refinery’s area or online to find what is available for you. They like to give back to the communities they operate in.
Deadlines vary based on the chapter you are applying for. Some accept grants continually, while other cycles have deadlines.
Grants range from $5,000 to $50,000.
The Home Depot Foundation is primarily focused on giving back to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, providing grants and financial support to organizations focused on veterans and veteran housing. Additionally, they also support labor training and natural disaster relief. Their focus is on supporting the communities in which they operate and the populations they serve.
Some useful facts about the Home Depot Foundation include:
The Home Depot Foundation offers three cycles throughout the year, which are awarded in April, August, and December.
Nonprofits must focus on veterans to qualify.
Priority is given to organizations serving large cities (300,000 or more), though smaller areas are considered.
Awards range from $100,000 to $500,000
When you’re looking at companies that offer grants, the Target Foundation has three arms where they focus on making a difference at a hometown, national, and global level.
To win a grant with Target, your work needs to be focused in one of four areas: asset building, housing, workforce development, or small business. Their goal is to help empower the underserved communities to break systemic and structural barriers, especially in indigenous and BIPOC populations.
Some useful facts about the Target Foundation include:
You can apply for hometown opportunities, but national and global grants are awarded by invitation only.
Hometown grants support the Minneapolis-St. Paul area.
The application cycle opens in the spring.
Grants typically range between $25,000 and $200,000.
The Walmart Foundation focuses its charitable giving efforts in four different areas. They strive to create opportunity, advance sustainability, strengthen the community, and advance the Center for Racial Equity. At the heart of all they do is a strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Some useful facts about the Walmart Foundation include:
They accept applications on a quarterly basis.
You can submit up to 25 applications or receive up to 25 grants per annual cycle.
Your organization must be within the following areas: community and economic development; diversity and inclusion; education; environmental sustainability; health and human services; hunger relief and healthy eating; public safety; and quality of life.
Grants range from $250 to $5,000.
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How to Properly Apply to Grants
When it comes to corporate grants, finding them is only half the battle.
Determining whether or not these funding opportunities are a good match for your nonprofit and crafting a winning application package that addresses both your mission and the funder’s priorities is a difficult process that requires careful hard work.
Below, you’ll find some tips and best practices to help you use your time effectively while also increasing your chances of securing more money for your cause.
Understand Your Mission and Needs
At first, this step may seem rather obvious. After all, you are pouring your soul into this cause, dedicating hours of your time so your nonprofit will not only succeed but thrive.
And yet, sometimes it is the most obvious steps that are also the most important and the most easily overlooked.
You’ll need to be realistic and specific. When trying to articulate why your nonprofit or your project needs a grant, be sure to consider the potential obstacles you are likely to face. This simple step will help you become familiar with your mission on a deeper level, which in turn will also help you discover how to best present these ideas to others.
In other words, by taking the time to clearly determine your mission, you will be better equipped to tackle your research and, when the application phase starts, write a stronger grant proposal.
Do Your Research
Although we have given you a list of some of the best 2023 company grants you can apply for, there are many others out there that could be a great fit for your nonprofit.
Doing your research is key. Not only must you ensure that your nonprofit is eligible for the grant, but you must also check that your mission aligns with that of the company. After all, grants are increasingly competitive, and you do not want to waste your or your team’s time applying for ones that you had no chance of winning due to lack of alignment.
You can also look up the website of many of the companies you are familiar with to see if they have any information available there. Most corporations will have this information on their “About” page, or they will have a “Giving Back” page dedicated to their philanthropic work.
Use Grant Match Platforms
One of the best ways to facilitate the research process is to use grant match platforms.
Instrumentl is a platform that helps nonprofits find fundraising opportunities more efficiently.
Through its intuitive design, Instrumentl makes the process of finding, applying, and managing your grants easier and faster. Not only that, the information Instrumentl provides on each grant and funder helps you be strategic with your application.
By matching you with grants that align with your mission, your projects, and your geographic area, Instrumentl saves you a lot of time during the research process. And because Instrumentl is always searching for active grants, you’ll be notified of new opportunities as they appear.
Instrumentl also offers tools that allow you to assign tasks to your team and keep track of deadlines, keeping everyone on the same page.
Narrow Your Search
As much as we would love to cast a wide net by applying to as many grants as possible, doing so would not be realistic. Applying for grants is a long process, and there’s simply not enough time to give each application the attention it needs to succeed.
Therefore, narrowing your search is a crucial step in your grant strategy.
Research who was awarded those grants in the past. Can you identify a pattern or unifying attribute among winners? Is your nonprofit similar to them in any way? Can you learn anything from those applications? Your research should be targeted and robust enough to address all these questions.
Also, take into consideration the timeline for each grant. Look at the requirements and estimate the time you need to allocate to craft your application. Can you do it well in that amount of time, while still juggling your regular workload?
Finally, is the money you would receive from this grant worth the amount of work you and your team would invest in it? If you’re seeking to narrow your long list of potential grants, you must prioritize the ones that would give you the highest return on investment.
This process can be emotionally difficult since, at this point, all of these grants seem like potential sources of funds that you are giving up on before even applying. Instead of looking at them as wasted opportunities, reframe your thinking so that rather than giving up on shooting your shot, you are increasing your chances of securing the best company grants possible.
Craft your Applications
As you’ve observed throughout this article, each grant has a unique application process and requirements you must follow.
To craft your application, you must compile together the information you gathered from your research and the facts and data about your nonprofit by bringing them together in an interesting narrative.
Grant writing is both a process and a skill, both of which take time to perfect. When crafting your application, make sure to take that time into account so that you can put together the best proposal possible. Schedule plenty of buffers in case you face some unexpected setback or need to make more revisions than expected.
Track your Applications
With so much to do, the grant application process can, at times, feel overwhelming.
After all, managing so many different tasks and ensuring that your team knows what they are meant to be doing and by when is difficult. Doing so on top of your regular workload only adds an extra layer of stress.
This is why properly tracking your application is crucial. If you can do so well, not only will you decrease your chances of missing important deadlines, but you will also make the entire grants management process easier.
Softwares like Instrumentl facilitate this process so that you don’t have to try to keep track of all the details and can instead focus on your research and writing.
Instrumentl’s tools allow you to:
Create a calendar so you can keep track of all your deadlines
Get weekly updates on the status of saved grants, including changes in deadlines
Review information on saved grants for easy reference
Wrapping Up: Top Corporation Grants for Nonprofits
For many nonprofits, one single corporate grant can make a big difference. It can be the final push that launches their newest initiative off the ground, it can help support operational expenses so the staff can continue to do their best work, and, most importantly, it can directly contribute to their cause.
Though finding the best grant for your nonprofit can seem overwhelming at first, this article hopefully gave you some tools and insightful tips to get you started on this journey.