Grainger Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: Grainger’s disease grantmaking is diverse. The foundation tends to back local chapters of large national organizations, but leaves room for smaller local groups as well.

IP TAKE: Grainger makes its grants via recommendation. With a large number of locations around the country, it should not be too difficult for grantseekers to get in touch with the right people.

PROFILE: W.W. Grainger, Inc. was started in Illinois 1927 by William Wallace Grainger. Today, it is a self-described “leading distributor of industrial supplies, MRO equipment, tools and materials.” Grainger’s philanthropy is channeled through its Corporate Responsibility program as well as the Grainger Foundation. Giving is distributed nationwide in areas where the company has a corporate presence, and includes a wide range of recipients - including those in higher education. More specifically, Grainger has four main giving methods: Disaster Preparedness and Response, Education and Workforce Development, Local Civic and Community Engagement, and an employee matching gifts program.

The majority of Grainger’s disease-related grants are distributed through its Local Civic and Community Engagement program. While diseases are not a stated priority, Grainger has a history of backing organizations in cancer, autism, behavioral health, blindness, and Down syndrome, among others. It generally prefers to support local chapters of national organizations, such as the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, and Alzheimer’s Association.

Grants are typically under $10,000. The foundation does not have a clear way to seek funding and seems to prefer working with already-established partners. Grainger also lacks a searchable grants database, but its Annual Reports are available.


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