In recent years, wealthy donors give often for STEM education as more foundations have entered this space. Applicants seeking STEM grants explicitly focused on K-12 or higher education institutions should be prepared to conduct in-depth research in order to locate the right fit for their respective projects and programs. Although top STEM funders that prioritize higher education have, in recent years, given hundreds of millions of dollars in annual funding, they represent a fraction of the total foundations that award such grants.
Technology is also key to STEM funding. In that vein, several major foundations are also concerned with increasing the number of students who enroll in postsecondary education and graduate with the skills to meet the demands of the 21st century workforce. Alongside more traditional investments in scholarships, research awards and technology provision, many innovative and forward-thinking programs have taken off lately have sought to use technology to empower students and bridge the pathway from high school to college.
STEM grantmaking also occurs through Inside Philanthropy’s Science Research and Medical Research funder guides, which center on institutional and academic funding for scientists, engineers, doctors, and other professions related to STEM.
The IP higher ed team tracks and analyzes major individual gifts made to colleges and universities for STEM education in our Campus Cash guide. We look at who's giving, who's getting, what the gifts are for, and how STEM donors are cultivated. READ more here.
The 3M Foundation’s science education related giving focuses on increasing students’ interest and achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math.
To boost student interest in mathematics and in the actuarial profession, this funder provides modest but accessible grants at the K-12 levels and scholarships for higher education.
The Agilent Technologies Foundation focuses its grantmaking on biosciences and pre-university science programs.
The Akamai Foundation focuses its grantmaking on promoting mathematics and technology studies in grades K-12.
STEM is one of two priorities here, and Alco gives big in the U.S. and internationally. Recipients, include nonprofits, school districts and workforce trainers. Giving is concentrated in areas where Alcoa operates.
ACGT exclusively supports research for cancer management and treatment through cell and gene therapy. Its awards are substantial in size, but highly competitive. Funding for gene and cancer research often benefits academic scientists and researching occurring in higher education.
ACS education grants support chemistry students, educators and researchers from high school through the post-doctoral state, as well as research.
Focusing its grants exclusively on youth STEM education, the American Honda Foundation makes one-year awards to public and private elementary and secondary schools, as well as youth education programs.
This funder's science education funding focuses on two priority areas—professional development for teachers and practitioners, and giving teachers and students the tools for hands-on learning experiences.
This funder dedicates itself to integrating environmental classroom learning with hands-on field study for K-12 students, particularly scientifically rigorous projects that focus on ecology and conservation.
Getting funding from the philanthropic arm of AT&T is tough. It supports college and career readiness with an emphasis on improving STEM education opportunities at the K-12 level.
The Baxter International Foundation awards science education grants to academic institutions at the K-12 and postsecondary levels.
Bechtel is spending down by 2020, and while STEM grantmaking has been on the rise, it has stopped taking unsolicited inquiries. It prioritizes spending in California.
The Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation only supports science— primarily life science and chemistry—with support for education and research. Its research programs fund undergraduate work and early-career scientists working on innovative, unfunded projects.
The charitable arm of the electronics giant supports a range of tech educational programs to help prepare teens for college and careers, with emphasis on computer and digital skills for the 21st century.
Berger Charitable Foundation awards grants to higher education institutions around the world.
The Bezos Family Foundation explicitly states that it seeks to partner with "organizations that bring thoughtful innovations in K-12—with emphasis on STEM education."
The philanthropic arm of the Cambridge-based drug maker, the Biogen Idec Foundation benefits the communities in which it operates, primarily in North Carolina and Massachusetts, but also internationally.
Boeing's higher education STEM funding supports students directly through scholarships; university partners are eligible to receive funding for research, K-12 curricula development, and providing teacher professional development.
Brinson’s higher education spending prioritizes Chicago, which the exception of its Scientific Research program, which is national in scope and funds astrophysics, cosmology, biology, geophysics, and medical research.
Eli and Edythe Broad pledged to give away 75% of their massive fortune by supporting education, science and medical research, and the arts. Most of the foundation’s funding is based in Los Angeles. The Broad Foundation does not have a higher education grant program, but it predominately supports universities and academic researchers to further clinical therapies for major diseases, with a particular focus on irritable bowel disease.
The majority of the foundation's backing is for STEM education. Funding mostly serves areas where Broadcom operates; funding supports universities, science competitions, and local K-12 initiatives.
The charitable arm of the law firm Brown Rudnick supports K-12 and STEM education programs in areas where it has a significant business presence.
Burroughs Wellcome Fund funds researchers through competitive awards and gives a handful of grants to nonprofits working to improve the general environment of science.
The Cabot Corporation Foundation supports programs that encourage students to explore science, technology, engineering, and math. It also awards grants to educators working in the STEM fields.
The Captain Planet Foundation is dedicated to the environmental education of children in all aspects of their lives—schools, communities, and at home.
Cargill supports organizations that build others’ skills in science, technology, and engineering.
Carnegie's education funding is heavily focused on STEM through improving standards, recruiting and training teachers, and school and classroom design.
The Cathay Bank Foundation invests in community and economic development, education, civic and community, and health and welfare.
Chevron conducts philanthropy not only through a foundation, but also directly from the company itself. Much of its education giving is directed at the K-12 set, but it has also formed partnerships with a number of postsecondary institutions and minority professional associations.
Cisco's grantmaking to science education includes K-12 programs focusing on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) as well as secondary and higher education programs focusing on technology, engineering, and math.
While not a foundation, the company’s corporate sustainability program funds science education, including afterschool and summer STEM programs and scholarships.
The Dodge Foundation does not have a dedicated higher education STEM program, but colleges and universities occasionally received funding through its Environment program. Dodge prioritizes New Jersey-based organizations.
The Dominion Foundation's diverse support for postsecondary STEM education is only available in regions where it has a corporate presence. Some of its STEM higher education grants emphasize solar research, the environment, energy, and nuclear research.
While the Duke Foundation does not have a dedicated STEM education program, it’s STEM educationing and science research grantmaking occurs through its programs in Medical Research and the Environment.
The philanthropic arm of this chemical goliath integrates giving with its business strategy, supporting causes like STEM education in K-12, higher education funding, chemical research and community development projects.
One of largest foundations associated with the Dow Chemical Company, this family funder prioritizes grantmaking in Michigan and supports arts and community programs, but education, with an emphasis on science, gets the most attention.
The Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation seeks to move the field of chemistry forward. Its grants acknowledge individuals who have contributed to increasing diversity in the field and support early-career faculty, undergraduate students, mentorships, research, and accomplished chemists.
Ecolab has a firm commitment to education, particularly for at-risk students and STEM programming. It supports classroom educators and outdoor experiences in communities where Ecolab has a presence.
Edison International’s education grantmaking focuses mainly on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
The Elsevier Foundation supports science and health education projects and programs in Amsterdam, London, and New York.
STEM priorities include K-12 teacher training, improving the quality of STEM education, funding higher education through research and scholarships, biodiversity and conservation.
The insurance company funds K-12 teachers promoting STEM education through two grant/contest programs that involve public voting for prospective grantees.
FCA's education giving focuses on STEM at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels. The foundation focuses on specific cities for its community giving, but also supports regional and national programs.
FirstEnergy funds STEM education through both the Corporate Affairs & Community Involvement departments and through the company’s charitable arm, the FirstEnergy Foundation.
The Fluor Foundation focuses its science education grantmaking on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
Gates approaches its K-12 education giving, including science education, with the goal of improving college access and readiness, and student success once they get there. Its higher education giving also supports a variety of science research.
Among the foundation's key initiatives is supporting improvements and innovation in math and science teaching. GE targets urban school districts and works with a small number of grantees for large-scale partnerships.
Genentech awards grants to support science education programs across the country.
The foundation’s STEM grantmaking predominately supports students from the third to 12th grades and college students.
Hearst's higher education grantmaking supports post-secondary programs that prepare students for the "global society," with significant support for STEM initiatives. It also supports STEM work related to the arts, as well as museums and science centers.
HHMI is an expansive private funder of science education and research. Awards fund individual biomedical research, diversity initiatives, early career support, and improving science education.
The Infosys Foundation’s science education grants invest in computer science programs or projects that benefit children and young adults from underrepresented groups.
Intel's philanthropy is devoted to STEM education. Emphases include support for women and minorities, faculty research, undergraduate science research, semiconductors, education competitions, scholarships, fellowships, and teacher development.
The Keck Foundation wants to expand research opportunities for undergraduate STEM students with a specific focus on the U.S. west and southwest, as well as Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the south and midwest. It also funds scientific, engineering, medical research, and organizations with a national focus on undergraduate education.
The Kern Family Foundation is a major player in charter schools and other school choice programs, though it also works with non-charter organizations. Kern's efforts are geared at large-scale, systemic change, and it does not accept unsolicited proposals.
The Kresge Foundation’s educational grants seek to help lower-income students get into, pay for, and succeed at the postsecondary level, but Kresge's Education Program also features two specific approaches that focus on innovation: Pathways to and through College and Strengthening Institutions.
The Lemelson Foundation supports programs in the U.S. and internationally to “create a pipeline of inventors and inventor-based enterprises.”
The Lockheed Martin Foundation focuses its science education grants on projects that promote student achievement, teacher development, and gender and ethnic diversity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
This charitable arm of the home improvement chain prioritizes public K-12 STEM education and community betterment projects. Most of its funding is allocated to schools and falls in the range of $2,000-$5,000, though larger grants are awarded in select cases. Lowe’s funds projects like public school facility improvements, technology upgrades, and STEM initiatives.
The Luce Foundation's STEM funding largely comes through grants, scholarships, fellowships, and professorships aimed at increasing the number of women in STEM fields in higher ed. Colleges and universities have also received grants for environmental policy work.
While the MacArthur Foundation does not have a dedicated higher education STEM program, it’s science research work benefits university level researchers and students who concentrate on nuclear and climate research.
Microsoft Philanthropies supports science education primarily centered on computer sciences, but it also broadly funds STEM programs and projects.
Based in Palo Alto, California, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation invests in science, conservation, patient care and preservation of the San Francisco Bay Area. Its support of K-12 education stems from the science and technology museum subprogram of the Bay Area preservation initiative.
Motorola's science grants support all levels of education and include support for increasing student interest in STEM, teacher training, and bringing more women and underrepresented minorities into the field.
Murdock is a large regional funder dedicated to improving the lives of people in Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Two of its key funding interests are science research and science education.
As a “pass-through” foundation, this is not a source of funding unto itself. Rather, NMSI is an initiative launched by some huge donors to put resources into successful projects and replicate them nationwide.
Northrop Grumman supports postsecondary STEM education through direct grants to national-level organizations and matching funds for employee giving. Higher education giving supports scholarships, diversity initiatives, active and veteran servicemen and women, and career pipeline and cybersecurity programs.
NXP invests in STEM education, health, and the environment.
The Omron Foundation awards science education grants from the elementary to the college level.
The Overdeck Family Foundation focuses its science education grantmaking on organizations measurably improving all children’s access to out-of-school STEM experiences.
PPG Industries Foundation supports education, community sustainability and employee engagement in the areas where its parent corporation operates. PPG funds STEM education through K-12 schools and other organizations.
RCSA supports the junior faculty research, undergraduate education, and teaching that draws from one's research. It also supports many small- and mid-sized grants across a wide geographic range.
Roche awards science education grants to academic organizations and institutions in developing and developed countries.
The Salesforce Foundation supports colleges, universities, and academic organizations.
Sanofi Genzyme supports medical education programs around the world.
The Saxena Family Foundation focuses its grantmaking on STEM education and empowering women in the United States and India.
This is the corporate foundation of the world’s largest oilfield services and equipment company, Schlumberger Limited. Schlumberger’s flagship grantmaking program is Faculty for the Future, which provides Ph.D. and postdoc fellowships for women working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).
Siebel Scholars is a competitive program that awards a $35,000 grant to grad students with outstanding abilities in bioengineering and computer sciences. Siebel Scholars also serve as key advisors to the foundation.
Siemens supports STEM education, mostly in the form of its Siemens Scholars competition in Math, Science and Technology, but also through targeted grants.
The Simons Foundation generally awards more than tens of millions of dollars a year in scientific research and STEM grants, making it one of the largest STEM funders in the United States, providing grants to entire institutions and affiliated scientists. Its grantmaking supports mathematics, physical sciences, life sciences, autism research, and STEM education.
Sloan has a major program devoted to higher ed in science focused on improving minority access to STEM higher ed and careers, and research into making STEM education effective and attractive to students.
Sprint gives to science ed through STEM partnerships, grants, matching gifts, and providing technology to schools. Much giving focuses on the Kansas City area, but funding is available for K-12 programs nationwide.
The Starr Foundation's higher education funding prioritizes scholarship and exchange programs; colleges and universities have received medical science grants through its Medicine and Healthcare program.
Templeton, mixing religion with science, often supports work that addresses "the big questions" or those that fall outside more traditional funding sources. It makes grants for contests, online education resources, and general support for higher education.
Thermo Fisher Scientific supports STEM education programs at the K-12 level and the post-secondary level.
Toshiba America Foundation focuses on science and math learning in K-12 classrooms by supporting classroom teachers. Grants typically fund projects that make math and science learning fun and engaging.
Toyota is solely dedicated to support of STEM education. It gives out large amounts, primarily for the K-12 set. Science education funding is also available through the corporation's community and education programs.
The Verizon Foundation's science education grants support projects and organizations that promote science, technology, engineering, and math education.
Walton does not specifically target STEM education, but it's a major education funder. Walton is particularly interested in charter schools, school choice, and preparing grads for the high-tech workforce.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg supports grade-level science education programs.
Xcel Energy Foundation science education grants focus on STEM education programs in the communities in which Xcel Energy operates.
The Xerox Foundation funds science education, environmental affairs, and arts and cultural programming.