FEMSA: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The charitable arm of a major Mexican beverage company, the FEMSA Foundation gives awards grants for water access and sustainability projects as well as those related to food security and nutrition in Latin America and the Caribbean.

IP TAKE: FEMSA supports organizations that work in the global development fields of water and nutrition and that can potentially bring about “momentous changes,” that are both long lasting and sustainable. This funder offers support for both small and large organizations. 

PROFILE: The Mexico-based multinational FEMSA has diverse business interests and operates throughout Latin America. FEMSA comprises the world's largest Coca-Cola bottler, OXXO convenience stores, and part of Heineken, the Dutch beer. In 2008, FEMSA established the  FEMSA Foundation, which supports projects "ranging from exploration of new ideas to improve the lives of communities to cooperation platforms scalable solutions that greatly impact on a regional level." The foundation seeks to serve as an "instrument of social investment that supports the conservation and sustainable use of water and improving the quality of life in the community through education, science and technology applied."

The foundation's water-related work centers on sustainable development of water resources and WASH projects. It supports grantees that work on watershed conservation, safe water access (particularly in marginalized and indigenous communities), rainwater harvesting systems, and disaster response. FEMSA is also is interested in water-related capacity building and scientific research. Related grants are typically awarded out of FEMSAs Sustainable Development of Water Resources program. 

One of seven programmatic areas of interest, the foundation approaches nutrition from two main perspectives. First, it seeks to promote food security by improving access to food. Second, it supports nutrition education in order to improve the overall well-being of food insecure populations in FEMSAs regional areas of focus. Related grants are awarded through the foundation’s Quality of Life program. In addition, it's nutrition related giving supports projects that promote healthy and active lifestyles by improving hygiene and supporting health services among children and teenagers.

For a more concrete idea of the types of projects funded by FEMSA, interested parties can look over the foundation’s Strategic Alliances web page, which also includes links to its annual reports. Although it is not of the largest funders in this area, the foundation reflects a strong commitment to improving overall quality of life as it relates to food and water in the regions where its corporate side does business.

In order to apply for a grant, grantseekers must email the foundation your proposal. Most kinds of individuals and groups (governmental and nongovernmental) are eligible to apply for FEMSA funding. In assessing its applicants, the foundation seeks projects with measurable impacts and long-term benefits that outlast the life of the grant. FEMSA does not give grants for projects taking place outside of Latin America and the Caribbean. 

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