Dominion Foundation: Grants for Conservation

OVERVIEW: Dominion Resources, Inc., is a power and energy company. Its foundation focuses on education, environmental stewardship, community development, social services, and arts and culture in the states in which it works and serves. 

IP TAKE: Like many energy companies, Dominion commits itself to environmental granting. But the foundation sets itself apart with its focus on preserving and supporting wildlife and their habitats, particularly those that are water-related. It also sets itself apart by providing a signficant amount of its environment dollars through funding higher ed institutions.

PROFILE: Dominion is a U.S. energy provider and transporter. Like many companies of its kind, it also runs a foundation, the Dominion Foundation (previously called the Consolidated Natural Gas Company Foundation). Also like many companies of its kind, its foundation branch places signficant and visible focus on supporting environmental programs. 

Most generally speaking, the Dominion Foundation is committed "to improving the physical, social and economic well-being of the communities served by Dominion companies." Those communities include a particular focus on Connecticut, Maryland, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, and West Virginia (see all the details of geography here).

"Protecting the Environment" is one of four focus areas for the foundation, with a throughline of "Protecting natural resources and helping nonprofit organizations make efficient use of energy." The granting for this occurs through the foundation's Environmental Stewardship Grants Program, which further prioritizes natural habitats, water quality, pollution control, green spaces, nature accessibility, and environmental stewardship.

The Dominion Foundation lives in the here and now when it comes to the environment. It only provides grants to "specific, short-term projects that promise measurable results to improve the environment," and explicitly does not fund long-term research projects. For more on its recent grantees, click here.

The foundation explicitly notes that K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions are not eligible for Environmental Stewardship Grants if they're seeking to fund educational projects. That's because there is already a big chunk of the foundation's change going toward education, with a notable emphasis on the environment. At the K-12 level, this primarily focuses on classroom or school district projects, but at the post-secondary level, the Dominion Foundation supports some major environmental research and change-making iniatiatives.

Regardless of the funding stream, applicants are expected to clearly describe the proposed program, target population, anticipated outcomes, evaluation methods, and plans for sustainability beyond the grant period. The foundation's website provides sample grants to emulate. 

It's a rigorous application, but a major plus for qualifying applicants is Dominion's open application process.

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