Ecolab Foundation: Grants for Theater

OVERVIEW: Ecolab Foundation, the philanthropic arm of its corporate namesake, supports a broad swath of programs and interests, including arts and culture, education, community development, and the environment.

IP TAKE: Ecolab Foundation prioritizes funding for communities in which it has a corporate presence. The foundation views supporting performing arts—including music—as an important component of its community involvement.

PROFILE: Ecolab Foundation was established in 1986 by its corporate namesake, a company that describes itself as a “global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services.” The foundation’s grantmaking prioritizes “educational, cultural, environmental, and community development programs that are good for business and good for society.” The foundation’s theater grantmaking falls under its Arts and Culture funding area.

Ecolab Foundation frames theater support as a quality-of-life issue for its communities, stating: “Through arts, creativity and talent is nurtured. People learn to tap into the power of their imagination, which is where good ideas come from in life and in business.” It supports companies and their full seasons, rather than backing one-off performances, and it will not give grants to individual performers or playwrights. New grant seekers should also keep in mind that as part of its Arts and Culture mission, Ecolab Foundation supports arts education, so theater programs with a youth development component will be in a stronger position to receive Ecolab Foundation funding.

Grants range upward of $5,000. Past theater grant recipients from Ecolab Foundation include the Penumbra Theatre, The Actors Theater of Minnesota and the Steppingstone Theatre. The application process is online.

Ecolab Foundation only funds 501(c)(3) organizations and projects in either the St. Paul, Minnesota area (where Ecolab is headquartered) or in one of the corporation’s 17 regional communities located throughout the U.S.


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