Prudential Foundation: Grants for College Readiness

OVERVIEW: The Prudential Foundation invests in college readiness programs that prepare students for their careers, as well as for their postsecondary education. Prudential broadly funds community development initiatives across the nation. Throughout its history, it has given away over $850 million in grants and corporate contributions.

IP TAKE: Prudential’s website offers no clear way of applying for funding. It appears to seek out partnerships on its own initiative. It also limits its grantmaking geographically to organizations located in cities where the company has a significant presence.

PROFILE: Incorporated in New Jersey in 1977, the Prudential Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the financial services company, Prudential Financial. According to the foundation’s website, its “strong sense of social responsibility,” guides its “efforts to help people now and in future generations achieve peace of mind and a more secure future. Its focus areas include education, economic development, and arts and civic infrastructure.

Prudential’s primary vehicle for college readiness funding is its Opportunity Youth program. The foundation uses the term “opportunity youth” to describe “young people between 16 and 24 not in school or employed.” These grants support for public education reform, student empowerment, educator leadership, youth development, after-school programs, extended day programs, summer programs and programs addressing summer learning loss. Past and current partners include the Forum for Youth Investment, which “focuses on advocacy, training, and support for opportunity youth,” Year Up, which “helps opportunity youth reach their full potential through professional careers and higher education,” and Our Piece of the Pie, which supports youths in Hartford, CT, by “placing them on a pathway to a high school diploma, postsecondary program or sustainable employment.”

Prudential also has a special focus area dedicated to Newark, NJ, where the company was founded. Its Billion Dollar Commitment has an education component that includes Charter School Development, School District Reform, and the Newark College Freshman Institute, which “mentors 125 Newark high school grads every year as they get ready for their first year of college.”

Grant amounts typically range from $100,000 to $300,000. While the Prudential Foundation is not currently accepting unsolicited proposals, the foundation periodically announces calls for proposals on its website. Prudential strongly prioritizes communities where it has a corporate presence. In addition to Newark, NJ, this includes Chicago, IL; Dubuque, IA; Hartford, CT; Houston and Dallas, TX, Jacksonville, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis, MN; Philadelphia and Scranton, PA; and Phoenix, AZ.


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Corporate Social Responsibility at Prudential