Sprint: Grants for Science Education


OVERVIEW: The Sprint Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the telecommunication company. It supports education, youth development, arts and culture, the environment, and other areas where it sees a critical need.

IP TAKE: Sprint and its foundation support science education by funding youth and urban schools. Much of its grantmaking is limited to the Kansas City metropolitan area, but K-12 organizations outside this area are still eligible for support.

PROFILE: The Sprint Foundation prioritizes education and believes that “a quality education provides our young people with the building blocks they need to achieve success throughout their lives.” Sprint funds K-12 STEM education and supports projects that use telecommunication—both in the form of cash grants and material goods.

Sprint’s corporate headquarters is in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb in the Kansas City area, and the foundation focuses a lot of its STEM education grantmaking in the area. For instance, the Sprint Foundation is a member of the KC STEM Alliance, “a collaborative network of educators, business partners and affiliates that inspires interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math careers to generate a robust force of related professionals” in the Kansas City area.

Applications for funding in other regions "are considered on a case-by-case basis." Grants are accepted nearly year-round, "from January through the third Thursday in November every year," and funding requests must be submitted to the foundation's online application.

It is worth noting that as a legally separate entity from its namesake company, the foundation is unable to provide Sprint products or services to any applicants. Additionally, it cannot "provide grants to organizations or individuals that will be used to pay bills for Sprint products or services."

Sprint also offers education support through the 1Million Project program. Separate from the foundation, this initiative is part of Sprint's corporate responsibility program and seeks to “help 1 million high school students who do not have reliable internet access at home reach their full potential by giving them devices and free high-speed internet access.”

Sprint also provides matching gifts of nearly $3 million for "K-12 institutions" in a variety of regions. These donations generally tend to be on the smaller side and range from a few hundred to the low thousands of dollars. In STEM specifically, Sprint says it has “provided more than $450,000 over the past six years to support STEM education programs for K-12 students,” exposing students to STEM-related careers through grants for efforts like curriculum development and after school programs.