Hasbro Children's Fund: Grants for Early Childhood Education

OVERVIEW: Toy and game manufacturer Hasbro has a long history of corporate philanthropy. The company has been active since 1984 with an employee volunteer program, in-kind donations of toys and games, and generous financial support to nonprofits through the Hasbro Children's Fund. Today, the fund provides support for programs that inspire hope, provide playtime to underserved children, and empower youth through service.

IP TAKE: A large part of Hasbro's national and regional funding and in-kind giving is funneled to existing strategic partners in early childhood development and education.  Even so, Hasbro does have a local program targeting communities where it has "operating facilities" (Renton, WA; Los Angeles, CA; and the state of Rhode Island) that may be the best bet for fundraisers.

PROFILE: Hasbro has three core principles that guide all of the foundation's grantmaking efforts. Specifically, the fund's mission is "to empower childhood by bringing 'the sparkle of Hope, the joy of Play and the power of Service' into the lives of the children who need us most." It's important that nonprofits align their efforts with these areas because the fund has a history of working with strategic partners.

On the national and regional levels, Hasbro's giving currently exclusively supports strategic partnerships  that include the likes of Toys For Tots, Operation Smile, and GenerationOn. The latter, which has become a signature Hasbro grantee, provides service-learning opportunities to children and young people - a focus that is clearly aligned with the foundation's principles. Targeted at "kids ages 3 to 18" as well as "the parents, educators and non-profits who work with them," GenerationOn received a $5 million initial commitment from Hasbro and now counts a number of additional corporate sponsors among its supporters.

Hasbro's local grantmaking program might be the most appealing to fundraisers. The program supports nonprofits in Renton, WA; Los Angeles, CA; and the state of Rhode Island (the program has also previously supported organizations in Springfield, MA, but that location is not currently listed on its web site). Hasbro uses a request for proposal process in its local grantmaking efforts. Interested grantseekers should pay close attention for RFP announcements each year.

In terms of support, the three principles are still in play, but there are some distinct differences. Local grants are focused on on programs that provide "stability for children in crisis; pediatric physical and mental health services; hunger security; educational programs; quality out of school time programming and programs that empower youth service." The local grants also are community-focused, going to programs that broadly impact large numbers of children. Examples of local nonprofits that recently received support from Hasbro Children's Fund include Boys and Girls Club of Pawtucket, Rhode Island KIDS Count, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Puget Sound.  Hasbro has also worked with the Mark Wahlberg Youth Foundation, which focuses on "raising and distributing funds to inner-city youth service and enrichment programs." A more comprehensive list of recent grant recipients can be found here.

Beyond direct financial support, Hasbro also collabrorates with its strategic partners through its "Gift of Play" program, which provides millions of dollars' worth of toys to "nonprofit organizations that provide around-the-clock care for children, such as hospitals and shelters," for summer camps serving sick or needy children," and for distribution of toys to needy children during the holiday season.  At this time, however, this program is "not accepting any unsolicited donation requests."

Although Hasbro doesn't have a wide-open grant-giving program, it's still an important funder of early childhood nonprofits. The fund provides millions of dollars in overall grants each year as well as generous in-kind donations of products. To get the best shot at Hasbro grants, stay up to date on its grant guidelines as well as whether it is currently accepting proposals.

KEY PEOPLE:

  • Karen Davis, Senior Vice President, Global Philanthropy and Social Impact
  • Lori Bessette, Grants Manager, Global Philathropy and Social Impact

LINKS: