Alcoa Foundation: Grants for STEM Education

OVERVIEW: The foundation funds climate change and biodiversity projects in communities where the company has a presence.

IP TAKE: The foundation limits its science education grantmaking to managing and reducing local and global impacts of climate change. Alcoa does not accept unsolicited LOI and grant applications are by invitation only.

PROFILE: The Alcoa Foundation, founded in 1952, is the philanthropic branch of Alcoa, the metal manufacturing and engineering company, which has one of the United States’ leading corporate responsibility programs. The foundation seeks “to address local needs in a sustainable manner” and “contribute to environmental excellence, economic success and social responsibility around the globe.” Approximately 50 percent of its grantmaking budget supports organizations that address the needs of the local communities in which the company has a presence. Its key priorities include education, environment, governance, and community enhancement.

The remainder of the foundation’s budget funds its Signature Grants program. The program intends to build climate change resilience and promote biodiversity. Alcoa awards Signature Grants to “leading global nonprofit organizations.” As a result, smaller or less established organizations will find it difficult to secure a grant.

The foundation’s tax filings reveal that the majority of its grants range from $10,000 to $75,000. Alcoa does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding. The foundation maintains an active web presence and uses social media to promote scholarship opportunities and deadlines and other key announcements.