ExxonMobil: Grants for STEM Education

OVERVIEW: The ExxonMobil Foundation prioritizes math and science education, women’s economic empowerment, and efforts to combat malaria.

IP TAKE: Like many big corporate foundations, ExxonMobil partners with organizations (like the National Math and Science Initiative) and generously funds them over multiple years. This funder supports higher education as well as job and skills training. However, funding is directed toward areas where ExxonMobil has a community presence and unsolicited requests are rarely accepted or approved.

PROFILE: The ExxonMobil Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of oil and gas company ExxonMobil. It “has a strategic focus supporting education with an emphasis on math and science in the United States, promoting women as catalysts for economic development and ending deaths from malaria.” The majority of ExxonMobil's science education grants support a handful of high-profile initiatives, but it does give smaller amounts to some secondary programs.

ExxonMobil’s STEM Education program has contributed over $1.25 billion to organizations that support STEM teaching, diversity initiatives, and education pathways. It’s STEM education giving occurs both internationally and nationally, with separate priorities. It’s U.S.-based giving focuses on giving teachers the tools and skills necessary to support students and future career readiness in STEM-related jobs. Specifically, it’s national giving invests in the National Math and Science Initiative (NMSI), an effort to provide K-12 “scalable and rigorous program solutions that empower school communities to prepare all students to succeed in college and the workforce,” as well as in a College Readiness Program, “a comprehensive three-year program designed to increase student participation and performance in rigorous Advanced Placement® coursework in math, science and English.” Teacher Pathways and the UTeach Institute, both sponsored through the NMSI initiative, further advance STEM education through teacher support and training.

Unfortunately, ExxonMobil has seemingly discontinued it’s previous environmental and higher education grantmaking.

ExxonMobil is a large, but unapproachable funder. It prefers organizations in communities where it has “established or proactively developed relationships,” though it occasionally supports “organizations that operate across a nation or around the globe.” Furthermore, it “does not seek and rarely funds unsolicited grant applications and project proposals.” For more information on ExxonMobil’s giving areas and recent recipients, check out its most recent Worldwide Giving Report, found on the corporation’s Worldwide Giving home page.

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