OVERVIEW: Through its Community Giving Program, Edison International, the electric power company, gives more than $20 million each year in the name of education, the environment, civic engagement, and emergency preparedness to 15 counties in southern and central California.
IP TAKE: Edison International’s Community Giving Program gives in chunks of $5,000 to a wide range of programs throughout Los Angeles, its environs, and beyond. If you have a program that hits one of its focus areas, and particularly engages underserved populations, this chunk of cash can come your way.
PROFILE: Edison International’s Community Giving Program exists “to make a difference.” Though the program gives more than $20 million each year, it does narrow that focus significantly to its Education, Environment, Civic Engagement, and Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness programs.
Within those focus areas, Edison International seeks to support programs that particularly “make a difference” for underserved populations. Edison International’s examples are women, people with low incomes, “diverse ethnic groups,” senior citizens, people with special needs, and LGBT populations. It’s a large umbrella of need.
But that need, in these focus areas, comes with geography. Southern and Central California is where Edison International’s Community Giving Program gives its dollars, including Los Angeles County. (You can see the full scope of counties via the application’s Pre-Qualify portal.) In 2014, those dollars totalled more than $20 million given to almost 1,300 different organizations.
Education got more than half of those dollars. This area emphasizes STEM education (not surprising given Edison’s corporate business), but also puts emphasis on arts education at the middle and high school levels. Edison International supports programs that emphasize tutoring and academic enrichment. It also emphasizes access to college, as well as direct scholarships for students.
When it comes to the environment, Edison International also has an educational slant. It supports programs “that educate and engage the public in preserving a healthy and sustainable environment.” In 2014, this focus area received $2.8 million.
Edison International defines its Civic Engagement focus as supporting underserved populations through mentorship, leadership development, access to technology, and veteran workforce development. Through this area of giving, Edison International also supports “boosting the effectiveness of local nonprofit organizations.” In 2014, Civic Engagement received over $5 million.
Public Safety & Emergency Preparedness, another intuitive focus for an electric power company, gets the smallest amount of Edison International’s pot, but that still amounted to $1 million in 2014.
Payouts in all of these areas of focus primarily come in the form of $5,000 grants to nonprofit, community-based organizations. The $5,000 grants are an open, online process, with two deadlines each calendar year. However, Edison International does state, “Organizations that have demonstrated success in making a difference in our priority areas may be invited to apply for larger grants.” Creating a connection through their $5,000 community grants is a viable and accessible way to start.
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