Dominion Foundation: Grants for Climate Change

OVERVIEW: Dominion Resources, Inc., is a power and energy company. Its foundation focuses on education, environmental stewardship, community development, social services, and arts and culture in the states in which it works and serves. 

IP TAKE: Like many energy companies, Dominion commits itself to environmental granting. But the Dominion Foundation is unique in terms of the multiple programmatic ways it gives its environmental dollars, including big allowances to higher ed institutions.

PROFILE: Dominion is a U.S. energy provider and transporter. Like many companies of its kind, it also runs a foundation, the Dominion Foundation (previously called the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation). Also like many companies of its kind, its foundation branch places significant and visible focus on supporting environmental programs. 

Most generally speaking the Dominion Foundation is committed "to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies." Those communities include a particular focus on Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia (see all the details of geography here).

Environmental protection is one of four focus areas for the foundation, with a throughline of "Protecting natural resources and helping non-profit organizations make efficient use of energy." The granting for this occurs through the foundation's Environmental Stewardship Grants Program, which further prioritizes natural habitats, water quality, pollution control, green spaces, nature accessibility, and environmental stewardship. Climate and energy issues and programs touch upon many of these priority areas.

The Dominion Foundation lives in the here-and-now when it comes to the environment. It only provides grants to "specific, short term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment," and explicitly does not fund long-term research projects.

Most environment related grants coming out of Dominion tend to fall in the $10,000 to $25,000, with a handful of awards going for $30,000 to $50,000. To learn more about Dominion Foundation grantees, explore its Recent Grant Awards page.

The foundation explicitly notes that K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions are not eligible for Environmental Stewardship Grants if they're seeking to fund educational projects. That's because there is already a big chunk of the foundation's change going towards education, with a notable emphasis on the environment. At the K-12 level, this primarily focuses on classroom or school district projects.

At the post-secondary level the Dominion Foundation supports some major environmental research and change-making initiatives, including in the arena of climate and energy. This support flows through the foundation's Higher Education Partnership Grants.

Regardless of the funding stream, applicants are expected to clearly describe the proposed program, target population, anticipated outcomes, evaluation methods, and plans for sustainability beyond the grant period. The foundation's website provides sample grants to emulate. 

It's a rigorous application, but a major plus for qualifying applicants is Dominion's open application process.

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