Top Corporate Grantmakers for Nonprofit Organizations

Amanda Luzzader

Take a look at some of the most generous grantmakers for nonprofit organizations

When asked about the challenges they face, managers and owners of nonprofit organizations will often list many of the same items. Mission creep, difficulty finding good personnel, and chronic volunteer shortages will usually make the list. But the same item is almost always at the top: funding.

Because nonprofits rely on the generosity of individuals, government agencies, and corporations, funding is almost always uncertain, especially over the long term.

Is your organization looking for a new source of grants? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the most generous grantmakers for nonprofit organizations.

Walmart and Walmart Foundation Local Community Grants

Walmart rose to the status of retail super corporation in the late 1980s but was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 and has been a publicly-traded company since 1972 and is the world’s largest corporation by annual revenue, which is tops $500 billion. Walmart employs 2.2 million employees and more than 10,000 retail operations worldwide, including supercenters, grocery stores, and discount retail outlets such as Sam’s Club.

While many corporate philanthropy programs give annual grants with set amounts and purposes, Walmart’s grants are somewhat more “free form.” Eligible charitable nonprofit organizations may apply for Walmart’s “Local Community Grants” under the following eight areas of funding interest:

-Community and Economic Development-Diversity and Inclusion-Education-Environmental Sustainability-Health and Human Service-Hunger Relief and Healthy Eating-Public Safety-Quality of Life

Grant amounts vary from $250 to a maximum amount of $5,000, but organizations can apply for multiple grants each year. According to a company statement, “Walmart and the Walmart Foundation provided over $1.2 billion in cash and in-kind donations for a wide range of community causes across the U.S.”

3M Foundation and corporate giving

3M (short for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company) is an international conglomerate corporation headquartered near St. Paul, Minnesota. Founded in 1902, 3M produces more than 60,000 products under various brand names, for both consumers and industry. Their goods include Scotch tape and adhesives, Post-it office supplies, and ACE bandages and wraps.

According to 3M’s annual giving report, the massive firm gave away $88 million through their charitable trust, 3M Foundation, and also via charitable corporate giving and employee donations.

3M gives large sums to programs that support education and employment and gives generously to K-12 school partnerships, higher education diversity programs, and partnerships involving STEM skills and jobs. 3M is especially invested in education and employment equity. One of their stated objectives is, “to advance economic equity by supporting programs that will help increase participation of underrepresented populations in STEM and skilled trades careers.”

Coca-Cola Foundation

The Coca-Cola Company was officially founded in 1892 in Atlanta, Georgia, has been publicly traded since 1911, and is now one of the most recognizable corporations in the world. It is of course the maker of a wide variety of beverages, including its flagship drink Coca-Cola, which is sold in more than 200 countries worldwide.

The Coca-Cola Foundation states that its goal is to donate 1 percent of its annual operating income to charities and nonprofit organizations but has been donating a monetary figure closer to 2 percent, which amounts to $1.2 billion since the foundation was organized in 1984. The foundation’s most recent report says that, early on during the COVID-19 pandemic, it donated $56 million for humanitarian relief alone, which was distributed among “local organizations and vulnerable communities. In 2021 it made an additional donation of $35 million for the same purpose.

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