Caterpillar Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The Caterpillar Foundation supports organization working to alleviate the root causes of poverty. The foundation considers education a strong factor in breaking the cycle of poverty. The Caterpillar Foundation offers broad support to higher education institutions in the United States.

IP TAKE: This funder seeks collaborative organizations that address pervasive global challenges, particularly poverty.

PROFILE: The Caterpillar Foundation was established in 1952 as the philanthropic arm of the Peoria, Illinois based heavy machinery company Caterpillar. The foundation works with partners around the world to “alleviate poverty and place people on the path to prosperity,” and focuses its grantmaking on education, the environment, and basic needs.

Caterpillar’s grantmaking directed towards higher education supports “programs that achieve a measurable knowledge increase, improvement in academic progress, or employment outcomes for individuals.” The Caterpillar Foundation also conducts higher education grantmaking through its environmental and basic needs programs. Its environment-related higher education funding supports programs that “focus on restoring natural infrastructure while improving the quality of life as it relates to poverty.” Similarly, its basic needs investments support access to food, water, shelter, energy, disaster relief, and advocacy. Universities conducting research, policy work, or justice work in these areas may qualify for funding.

While grant amounts vary widely, most higher education grants range from $5,000 to $125,000. Past grantees include a number of colleges and universities across the country such as Temple University, the University of Portland, and Dartmouth College. To learn more about select grantees, explore the foundation’s partners page.

The Caterpillar Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests for funding or grant applications. Those invited to apply for a grant must submit their applications between February 1 and July 1.


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