3M Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The 3M Foundation supports large universities, community colleges, and the foundations of academic institutions.

IP TAKE: This funder awards both project specific and general operating support grants. 

PROFILE: The philanthropic sister of its corporate arm, the 3M Foundation was established in 1953. Indeed, it was one of the first corporations to establish a foundation. The foundation “improves lives and builds sustainable communities through social investments and thoughtful engagement of 3Mers worldwide.” 3M funds programs in education, community, and the environment.

The foundation supports higher education through its education program. It collaborates with academic institutions and community organizations in order to “ensure students and teachers have the tools, resources and knowledge they need to succeed.” 3M awards academic institutions and organizations that increase student achievement in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM); attract and retain post-secondary students; and promote equity and education in all communities.

Tax filings reveal that average grants to higher education are around $9,300. However, most 3M grants range from $5,000 to $50,000. The foundation awards grants to organizations located in areas in which 3M has a business presence. To learn more about the types of organizations 3M supports and at what level, download its education grants list

The 3M foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding from organizations located in St. Paul, Minnesota and Austin, Texas. Applicants located in other states must direct their funding requests to their local 3M office.


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