OVERVIEW: Boeing is the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world, and it gives grants with a commensurate scope and breadth. Primary areas of focus are education, workforce development, the environment, financial stability, and health—but there are other opportunities, as well.
IP TAKE: Boeing's areas of focus vary by state, and funding is not available nationwide. But a focus on early childhood education—STEM and beyond—is practically universal. Integrate ways to engage Boeing employees in your program to position yourself for a grant.
PROFILE: As the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world, it comes as no surprise that Boeing is committed to STEM education. But Boeing’s grant giving is wider in scope, including funding for early childhood education.
In the most general terms, Boeing states that it supports “organizations that are leaders in what they do, demonstrate innovation, and align and collaborate with others to achieve workable solutions to community issues.” This is also an excellent guidepost for its early childhood education support, which extends past STEM education to include arts education, environmental education, and general/core learning.
Here's Boeing's corporate statement regarding the importance of education at this early stage:
Boeing takes the long view that learning begins at birth. Our investments in early learning are intended to ensure that every child has access to quality early care and education. Early learning is essential to giving all students a good and equal start in life. Boeing supports efforts to improve the preparation of early caregivers and drive public awareness of the importance of early education. Research shows that early learning has a significant return on investment; youth who have access to high-quality early learning opportunities are better prepared for building literacy and numeracy skills and are less likely to require remediation in core subjects later on in life.
Boeing’s focus areas vary across the many states where it provides grants (plus Washington, D.C.). Boeing provides a user-friendly drop down to select your state and see more details about its giving focus, deadlines, and contacts.
Given that strong statement above, it's no surprise that early childhood education, which Boeing calls "Early Learning," is practically universal. Most states describe their emphasis as supporting "systemic improvements in early care and education programs that will ensure delivery of and access to quality early learning opportunities for children from birth to age five.” To get a sense of the Early Learning program’s philosophical approach and objectives, take a look at this one-page overview.
Beyond Boeing's corporate support, there's another Boeing funding stream to consider. It's called the Employees Community Fund of The Boeing Company, and is bankrolled solely by Boeing employee donations. It also breaks down its giving and priorities by state, and sometimes by region within a state. Boeing’s website also provides an excellent drop-down menu for these purposes to share specific guidelines for each of these funds.
Not all of these Community Funds are committed to early education education, but many of them are. Funded organizations include those providing direct services to young students, but they Boeing also funds organizations that provide professional and curriculum development in support of early learning.
One last note: Keep in mind that Boeing employees are involved in its grant projects whenever possible, so a strong proposal will include ways to engage with the company and its employees.
Lianne Stein, Vice President for Global Corporate Citizenship