Cummins Foundation: Grants for Global Devleopment

OVERVIEW: The Cummins Foundation prioritizes education and access to basic economic and social opportunities in its global grantmaking.

IP TAKE: Cummins’ global grantmaking strategy is about empowering marginalized and underprivileged populations around the world. While the foundation does not name specific geographic areas of focus other than the nearly 200 countries in which Cummins Inc. operates, it tends to focus on larger regions of the world like China and India. 

PROFILE: The Cummins Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the global power company Cummins, Inc. Established in 1954, the foundation awards grants in the communities of over 190 countries around the world in which the company operates.  

The Cummins Foundation has designated social justice and equal opportunity as major areas of grantmaking priority. According to the foundation, it seeks to “[s]upport the groups that are marginalized with the belief that if anyone is unable to access basic economic or social opportunities, the entire community is diminished.”  

As education may be considered human rights issue, Cummins also seeks to identify workforce skills gaps in current education systems to improve their quality, while also aligning those education systems with workforce needs. The goal of the foundation in this area is to ensure “[t]hat the students of today are ready for the workforce of tomorrow.”

The foundation also names the environment as another global grantmaking priority. It is not out of the ordinary for the foundation to award grants in areas where its priorities intersect. For example, the foundation has supported projects promoting the use of clean cookstoves that use biomass instead of fossil fuels in rural China.

Cummins Foundation provides up to about $250,000, but most grants through its global priority area range between $10,000 and $100,000.

The foundation accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry throughout the year. Though it does not have a grant application, grantseekers should include a preliminary proposal, the problem being addressed, anticipated outcomes, and operating budget in all inquiries.  


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