TABLE OF CONTENTS
Money is a continuous topic of conversation in the nonprofit world.
How much money do we need? Where can we find it? Which funding source should we focus on? What’s the best choice for our nonprofit?
All these questions and more often haunt nonprofit professionals and frequently cause stress and burnout.
This is because, most of the time, nonprofit professionals are much more apt at creating impactful programs than they are at fundraising.
However, it’s exactly when the clarity about funding sources is lacking that money starts to become an issue. Either there isn’t enough of it, or it doesn’t flow to the areas where it would do the greatest good, or there’s a hectic fundraising scramble last minute. Too often, the result is that wonderfully-imagined programs simply don’t happen or they do, but they have considerably less impact than they could have had.
This is where corporate giving comes in.
Nonprofit organizations can benefit greatly from soliciting donations and other forms of support from companies and businesses of all sizes.
Benefits of corporate giving for nonprofits
1. Ability to tackle larger projects
Corporate-nonprofit partnerships can help nonprofits tackle larger projects that they might otherwise not have been able to due to lack of resources and infrastructure.
2. Increased reach
Partnering with corporates can help nonprofits increase their reach. This happens especially when the partnerships transcends the purely transactional relationship and instead becomes a cause-marketing campaign.
Through such partnerships, nonprofits can gain new donors and advocates who will share the stories of positive impact and donate to the cause.
3. Increased impact
By being able to tackle larger projects and reach a wider audience, nonprofits can scale their societal impact and further their missions.
And the businesses get benefits too. Not only do corporate donations benefit the wider community, but they also help brands build goodwill. Charitable giving is really good PR, so it makes sense for businesses to give back.
Furthermore, employees and consumers increasingly look for socially responsible companies to work for and buy from. Recent studies suggest that millennials have driven the social responsibility movement, with 70 percent of them reporting that they'll spend more with brands that support causes.
Company workplace culture can also improve with increased employee involvement and a positive general attitude.
Last, but not the least, businesses also get tax benefits when they donate to a bona fide 501(c) (3) organization.
Many companies, of all sizes and in all industries, donate to non-profit organizations.
25 companies that are giving back
Many of Johnson & Johnson’s corporate philanthropy efforts focus on improving the health of mothers, infants, and children.
Typically, they also support initiatives and organizations that are:
- Advancing women’s and children’s health
- Strengthening the healthcare workforce
- Promoting access to essential surgery
- Addressing global disease challenges, like HIV/AIDS
- Providing treatment for chronic conditions
- Providing disaster relief and building resilient health systems
In 2018, Johnson & Johnson Foundation (previously the Johnson & Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust founded 2007) engaged with 24 partners in 32 countries delivering over £4.4million to programs within the EMEA region benefitting 1,378,000+ people directly reached through our programs (excluding Donor Advised Funds).
J&J donates $2 for every $1 current employees donate (max $20,000 company contribution) and donates $1 for every $1 retirees donate (max $10,000 company contribution).
The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world.
They prioritize supporting efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant communities.
They state that their goal is to increase the number of low-income youth, primarily aged 16-24, who become employed or start an income-generating business through leadership and skills training, experiential learning, and access to professional network.
They also support efforts to develop a more inclusive financial system that provides greater access to financial products, services and capital to low-income communities and individuals.
Finally, they support collaborations among stakeholders such as local government, community-based organizations and residents, the private sector, and research institutions and invest in efforts that spur innovation in key areas, including affordable housing, environmental sustainability, job training and small business development.
Samsung’s three focus areas of philanthropy are education, healthcare, and environmental sustainability. They also offer several local grants and scholarships to support nonprofits that deal with science and technology.
To communities all around the world hit by coronavirus, Samsung has donated USD 39 million worth of funds and goods. A vast number of technologies, like tablets, have been provided to educational institutions so that children can continue to learn outside of the classroom.
Pro tip: The Samsung Grants Support Program can help you find the best funders for any upcoming technology program, and it’s a free service provided by Samsung.
Verizon focuses on ensuring digital inclusion by promoting technology as a tool to improve communities, education and the workforce. Their other funding priorities are aligned around Climate Protection and Human Prosperity. New applications are by invitation only.
However, you can contact your local community relations manager to see whether you are eligible to apply or learn other ways to get involved in your community.
As a company, Pepsi is focusing on nurturing more sustainable food systems, from investing in sustained nutrition, to promoting safe water access, effective waste management, and women’s empowerment.
PepsiCo has invested more than $60 million globally and catalyzed an additional $59 million in funding from others to bring food and other vital resources to the communities most affected by COVID-19.
Please click here for more information about requesting support, including product donations and program sponsorships.
Shell makes monetary grants to non-profit organizations within the U.S. They prioritize organizations in or near communities where Shell Oil Company or its affiliates in the United States have a major presence.
Shell accepts grant requests by invitation only. All grant requests must be entered through the online grant application. Final approval will typically occur within three months from the close of the RFP time frame and will vary by investment priority.
Their areas of focus are: community, education, and environment.
Shell funds a broad array of community outreach projects, particularly in areas where their employees work and live. These projects range from local neighborhood improvement efforts to regional non-profit organizations. They also fund projects at vocational and technical schools where chemical and refinery operators and technicians are trained. They are especially interested in supporting educational outreach in math, science and technology to women/minority students and academic institutions with ethnically diverse enrollments. Shell also funds projects that help restoration and preservation efforts, funding research projects for threatened wildlife and/or habitats.
7. SC Johnson
SC Johnson corporate philanthropy targets community development, social services, health, sustainability and other areas of need.
Your organization must be a registered, qualified tax-exempt, section 501(c)(3) charity based in the United States, or a government entity such as a school, library, or public agency.
Cisco and the Cisco Foundation concentrate their investments around education, economic empowerment, and critical human needs.
When it comes to education, they identify partners with innovative, technology-based programs that improve student performance and engagement, particularly in STEM studies and among underserved communities. They also make strategic investments in organizations that improve the speed and efficiency of meeting critical human needs, such as food, potable water, shelter, and disaster relief.
Cisco supports technology-based programs that connect underserved people to relevant skills, meaningful employment, entrepreneurial opportunities, financial products and services, and other resources they need to thrive in the digital economy.
They occasionally support organizations outside their investment areas when they discover highly innovative uses of IT or an opportunity to scale the impact.
The Home Depot Foundation primarily focuses on improving the housing situations and quality of life of U.S. veterans; providing natural disaster relief to communities in need, and education such as transforming individuals into skilled tradespeople and addressing the skilled labor gap.
Their community impact grants award up to $5,000 to 501(c)(3) designated organizations (recognized and in good standing with the IRS for a minimum of one year) and tax-exempt public service agencies in the U.S. that are using the power of volunteers to improve the community. Grants are given in the form of The Home Depot gift cards for the purchase of tools, materials or services and are required to be completed within six months of approval date.
Their Veteran Housing Grants Program awards grants to nonprofit organizations for the new construction or rehabilitation of permanent supportive housing for veterans. Awards typically range from $100,000 to $500,000.
Toyota focuses on four key areas in the U.S.: workforce readiness, inclusive mobility, financial inclusion and community resilience. National programs in these areas must have a broad reach by impacting several major U.S. cities, communities or groups.
Toyota also matches team member donations made to eligible nonprofits and also gives grants to nonprofits based on the number of hours a team member volunteers.
Toyota works on education programs that empower students to learn, achieve and succeed, and they aim to reduce environmental impact by implementing clean energy projects.
11. General Motors
General Motors mostly invests in STEM education, vehicle and road safety and community development.
With STEM education, they focus on making sure all kids and young adults have access to mentorship in this field, especially kids from underrepresented and diverse groups.
They are educating on the dangers of distracted driving, advocating for seat belt usage and safe travel practices.
With their community development projects, they focus on equipping individuals with skills to gain secure employment, but also empower them with the tools to advance economically in communities that positively impact their well-being.
Please note: GM reviews applications January through September each year. The application links are not active October through December.
12. Levi Strauss
The Levi Strauss Foundation has been named “Best Corporate Donor of 2019” by Inside Philanthropy.
Just in 2019, the Levi Strauss Foundation allocated $1.0 million to a Strategic Response Fund, which supported organizations that protected the civil liberties of highly vulnerable communities across the United States and abroad – including immigrants, refugees, the transgender community and religious minorities.
The Levi Strauss Foundation focuses their energy on pioneering social change in the areas of HIV/AIDS, worker rights, worker well-being and social justice.
Read more about their grantmaking guidelines.
13. Gilead Sciences
Gilead work to improve health access, eliminate the barriers to healthcare encountered by underserved populations, advance education among healthcare professionals and support the local communities in which we operate.
Gilead welcomes funding requests for innovative, high-impact projects that relate to at least one of five core therapeutic areas:
- Liver diseases
- Hematology and oncology
- Inflammatory and respiratory diseases
They consider a number of factors when reviewing grants, but it is most important for applications to demonstrate a strong commitment to — and capacity for — delivering the specific services their grant would support.
Grant applications are accepted throughout the year.
14. Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo focuses their philanthropy on three key areas: housing affordability, financial health, and small business growth.
They also fund other programs that match their priorities, including diversity and inclusion, economic empowerment, and environmental sustainability. Learn more about the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation.
Wells Fargo encourages employees to contribute to the communities where they live and work. The company facilitates employee donations year-round and amplifies the donation impact through the Community Care Grants program. Through this program, employees can qualify for grants for giving and service activities, and then direct the funds to eligible charities of their choice. Furthermore, each year, eligible employees receive 16 hours of paid volunteer time to give back to local communities.
Goldman Sachs Gives has made nearly $1.8 billion in grants and partnered with 8,000 nonprofits in 100 countries around the world.
Eligible not-for-profit organizations are invited to apply for funding from the Goldman Sachs Bank USA Community Development Grants Program. The grants program seeks to support community development programs that serve low- and moderate- income individuals or communities and address key community needs such as:
- Affordable housing
- Community services such as education, including financial education for youth and consumers
- Small business development
- Neighborhood revitalization
This year they are particularly interested in supporting programs related to advancing racial justice, COVID-19 relief, and/or consumer financial health.
Read more about Goldman Sachs Giving here.
The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of the Exxon Mobil Corporation in the United States.
In 2019, collectively, Exxon Mobil Corporation, its divisions and affiliates, employees and retirees, and the ExxonMobil Foundation provided $253 million in contributions worldwide.
The Foundation has a strategic focus on math and science in the United States, promoting women as catalysts for economic development, and ending deaths from malaria.
In 2019, ExxonMobil provided $41.6 million to colleges, universities and other organizations that support higher education. Of this amount, more than $39 million benefited higher education in the United States.
Microsoft employees donated $221 million (inclusive of company match) to nonprofits, and volunteered more than 750,000 hours.
Microsoft works with more than 200,000 nonprofits and has donated more than $1.4 billion in cash grants and technology (as of February 2018), according to a LinkedIn article by Mary Snapp, corporate vice president and lead for Microsoft Philanthropies.
Microsoft provides monetary grants to eligible organizations whose missions and activities align with their core programs. Their cash grants are limited and typically result from an invitation to apply for a grant. Most of Microsoft’s grants to nonprofits are in the form of software, which they make broadly available to eligible organizations.
The Starbucks Foundation’s focus areas in 2020 included disaster response, origin grants, and neighborhood grants.
In 2020, The Starbucks Foundation supported local and global COVID-19 initiatives that extended emergency assistance to those in need. The Starbucks Foundation has also supported emergency preparedness, response and resilience for disasters ranging from the Australian wildfires and port explosion in Beirut to the hurricanes and wildfires in the U.S.
With Origin Grants, the Starbucks Foundation has invested more than $25 million in programs that strengthen coffee and tea-growing communities since its founding.
In June 2020, The Starbucks Foundation committed $1 million in Neighborhood Grants to promote racial equity and create more inclusive communities.
Since then, The Starbucks Foundation has also offered grants to organizations that are Black-led and/or serve Black and Indigenous communities and are dedicated to promoting economic mobility and opportunity, health and social services and youth.
19. Coca Cola
The Coca-Cola Company is committed to giving back 1% of its prior year’s operating income annually.
Presently, the Coca-Cola Foundation is providing additional funding and grants to communities and organizations in response to coronavirus. To date, over $55M has been provided to support local organizations and vulnerable communities during these times.
All requests for community support in the form of grants or sponsorships must be submitted through their online application system.
In 2019, a total of more than $279 million was directed in Kroger’s name to our communities. These funds were directed to nonprofit organizations focused on hunger relief, military service men and women and their families, health and nutrition, disaster relief and more.
To submit a Foundation grant request, please visit www.CommunityGifts.com. All requests must include a 501(c)(3) tax determination letter from the IRS.
The Salesforce Foundation helps young people reach their full potential by supporting Education, Workforce Development, and Thriving Communities programs.
They invest in:
- Academic Success: Providing engaging and inclusive science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) experiences.
- Educator Support: Increasing educator excellence by investing in professional development and inclusive, diverse educator pipelines.
- College and Career Readiness: Equalizing access to college and work opportunities.
Salesforce gave $406M+ in grants and 5M+ in volunteer hours.
Pro tip: Through the Power of Us program, nonprofit organizations and education institutions across both K-12 and higher ed can get access to Salesforce products and resources.
Over its 28-year history, the Nissan Foundation has awarded more than $12 million to approximately 150 organizations promoting respect and understanding among cultural and ethnic groups.
Nissan also runs Nissan Neighbors, a community-focused initiative dedicated to improving communities through charitable contributions and in-kind donations to nonprofit organizations working in three focus areas: education, the environment and humanitarian aid.
Nissan Neighbors accepts grant applications throughout the year. In support of a greener environment, the Nissan Neighbors application process is administered online. Hardcopy and paper applications are not accepted. To apply for funding, visit the Nissan Neighbors Grant Request.
23. Delta Airlines
The Delta Airlines Foundation's grants benefit a diverse group of organizations across 13 states including Alaska, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina and South Dakota.
The Foundation concentrated on organizations promoting diversity, education and health and wellness, as well as organizations supporting veterans and service members.
Merck provides financial and product donations to help promote health equity – the opportunity for everyone to attain their highest level of health. They run employee volunteer programs and give charitable grants to local nonprofits addressing critical health and social needs.
Their grant guidelines provide information about the eligibility criteria and proposal requirements. Please note that the Merck Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals.
Merck also provides donations in lieu of cash, such as providing water filtration devices to areas affected by natural disasters like Thailand and the Philippines, while also matching individual employee contributions up to $1,000 per year.
Their employees can take 40 hours of paid time off each year to volunteer with eligible nonprofit organizations and can donate their professional skills through virtual, short-term projects through a skills-based volunteer program. Furthermore, their Pro Bono Legal Program enables employees to offer expertise to members of the community that would otherwise be unable to access legal advice.
25. J.P. Morgan
JPMorgan Chase has been hugely proactive in donating money in recent years; in 2017, this sum reached $250 million, with a commitment to invest $1.75 billion (£1.35 billion) overall by 2023.
Their areas of philanthropic focus include animal welfare, arts and culture, civic activities, community development, education, environment, health and medical research, human and social services, international and religious causes. The geographic scope includes communities throughout the United States. Each foundation has its own mission and set of guidelines. View grant application guidelines.
The JPMorgan Chase Foundation supports programs designed to promote workforce readiness; small business expansion; financial capability; and community development. Special emphasis is directed toward neighborhoods located in areas of JPMorgan Chase's major operations.
Raising funds for your nonprofit
Whatever the mission of your nonprofit, funding is essential to achieve it. In addition to prospecting and reaching out to corporates, soliciting donations from individuals is key to ensuring long-term financial sustainability of your nonprofit.
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