OVERVIEW: The Coca-Cola Foundation has ample resources and a global presence. The foundation invests in projects that improve the economic conditions related to women’s empowerment, healthy lifestyles, and water issues in communities around the world.
IP TAKE: As with most big foundations, Coca-Cola receives way more applications than it can fund. To attract its grantmaking attentions, grantseekers should determine if and where their work intersects with multiple areas of interest at the foundation—for instance, women’s empowerment as it relates to water and sanitation.
PROFILE: Since 1984, the Coca-Cola Foundation has been one of the largest corporate foundations in the United States with a global presence in over 122 countries. The foundation ultimately seeks to "refresh the world; inspire moments of optimism and happiness; and to create value and make a difference."
The foundation funds projects in three key program areas: Women, Water, and Well Being. In a media release, the foundation said, “We know that empowering women to be entrepreneurs and leaders yields dividends of community growth, prosperity and sustainability.” Coke is one of the many large international funders that seek to close the gender equality gap. It does so through funding organizations that work within the realms of women’s economic empowerment and entrepreneurship.
The foundation splits its well-being giving into three categories: education and youth development; active and healthy living; and health. Coke's active and healthy living and health-related grantmaking go to organizations promoting healthy lifestyles through increased physical activity and good nutrition. The foundation also supports HIV/AIDS prevention and awareness programs in Latin America and Africa.
Lastly, the Coca-Cola Foundation’s education and youth development grants largely focus on education and skills development in youth populations in an effort to advance socio-economic development—particularly in youth bulge regions of world such as Africa.
Finally, water stewardship is one of the Coca-Cola Company's corporate credos, and its foundation's charitable water work is guided by the company's environmental goals. Among these: returning water in amounts equal to what the company removes from a region; increasing water use efficiency; mitigation of water risk; and the treatment and recycling of wastewater. The foundation shows a preference for projects that are water-related and provide an economic boon for the community in some other capacity. Much of Coke’s water and sanitation giving occurs through the Coca-Cola Africa Foundation (TCCAF).
In general, its global development-related grants range from $25,000 to $200,000. Large, established organizations sometimes receive upward of $1 million or $2 million if there is a corresponding size of project scope. Grantseekers can browse the foundation’s latest charitable contributions list to get a better idea of the types of projects it funds.
This foundation is large, but also efficient and approachable. Applying for Coca-Cola Foundation funding is relatively simple. Note that you must apply online for foundation support. Any written or faxed requests will be returned.
- Helen Smith Price, President