3M Foundation: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW: The 3M Foundation funds theater organizations and groups with project specific and general operating grants.

IP TAKE: This funder focuses its grantmaking on undeserved communities.

PROFILE: The philanthropic sister of its corporate arm, the 3M Foundation was established in 1953. Indeed, it was one of the first corporations to establish a foundation. The foundation “improves lives and builds sustainable communities through social investments and thoughtful engagement of 3Mers worldwide.” 3M supports programs in education, community, and the environment.

The 3M foundation funds theater projects through its community program, which seeks to“provide access to vibrant and diverse art opportunities.” The program aims to:

  • Improve the quality of life in underserved families.
  • Increase access to youth development programs for underrepresented children.
  • Provide access to vibrant and diverse art opportunities.

Past theater grantees include, the Guthrie Theatre Foundation in Minneapolis, Minnesota. To learn more about the types of organizations 3M supports and at what level, download its community grants list

Tax filings reveal that the foundation’s arts-related grants average just over $18,000. However, most 3M grants range from $5,000 to $50,000. The foundation awards grants to organizations located in areas in which 3M has a business presence. The foundation does not award grants to individual artists or for the support of film or video productions.

The 3M foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding from organizations located in St. Paul, Minnesota and Austin, Texas. Applicants located in other states must direct their funding requests to their local 3M office.


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