OVERVIEW: The FCA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the automobile manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and gives grants to community, regional, and national initiatives in support of education, youth development, military families, and multicultural inclusion.
IP TAKE: The FCA Foundation’s college readiness support is primarily focused on STEM education and STEM-related professional development, particularly for students coming from underserved populations. The foundation limits its funding to specific cities where it operates for its community giving, but also looks to support regional and national programs.
PROFILE: Established by the Chrysler Corporation in 1953, what's now called the FCA Foundation (previously the Chrysler Foundation) has distributed more than $500 million in the years that have followed. Positioning itself in today’s world of philanthropy, the foundation states that it exists to "help empower people, and build strong, viable communities."
Through its education giving, the FCA Foundation is looking to "inspire young minds," which should inherently go hand-in-hand with college readiness programs, but be sure to sell your project to the FCA Foundation as engaging and providing a larger world context (you know, rather than being boring and isolated).
It's also useful to be aware of all four areas of funding the FCA Foundation pursues in order to empower:
- Education—with a particular focus on STEM at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels
- Youth Development—to develop “skills and leadership qualities”
- Multicultural and Diversity Initiatives—promoting “inclusion and opportunity for diverse populations”
- Military—assistance for active and retired service members and their families
Having a sense of the foundation's non-education funding priorities can help you strengthen your college readiness pitch, particularly when it comes to multicultural and diversity initiatives, because that is where this foundation particularly focuses its college readiness support.
Some recent examples of FCA Foundation college readiness support are:
- $65,000 to Winning Futures for its scholarship program
- $30,000 to Great Minds in STEM for its scholarship program
- $3,750 to Gateway to College National Network for general operating support
- $3,500 to U.S. Hispanic Youth Entrepreneur Education for general operating support
- $3,000 to Warren-Conner Development Coalition for its Youth on the Edge of Greatness program
Be mindful that this foundation primarily focuses on communities where it has corporate operations. Some of these communities are major U.S. cities, but others are less known on the map: Yucca, AZ; Irvine, CA; Englewood, CO; Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Belvidere IL; Lisle, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Kokomo, IN; Elkridge, MD; Detroit, MI; Syracuse, NY; Tappan, NY; Perrysburg, OH; Toledo, OH; Twinsburg, OH; Addison, TX; and Kenosha, WI. For college readiness, the foundation also lends its support to regional- and national-level programming.
Also worth noting: The foundation has affiliated itself with the FIRST Robotics Competition by supporting middle school and high school teams throughout the country with grants ranging from $2,000 - $10,000 for each team. FCA also likes to be in the car game, funding Formula SAE programs at the four-year college and university level, as well as automotive programs at the four-year college and community college levels. So if you have a college readiness program that has an automotive slant, you're more likely to get this funder's attention.
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