GE Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: GE Foundation supports both large universities and smaller colleges in the United States.

IP TAKE: The GE Foundation’s higher education grants tend to go toward general operating support rather than specific projects.  

PROFILE: As the philanthropic arm of GE, the GE Foundation funds projects around the world to advance “economic development," and to "improve lives.” The foundation “works to solve some of the world’s most difficult problems,” through its main grantmaking programs: Education & Skills, Developing Health, and Disaster & Humanitarian Relief. The foundation also operates a Matching Gifts program. GE created the program in 1954 to support its employee’s personal philanthropy. The company provides a 1:1 donation match.

In the education space, GE does not maintain a specific program dedicated to higher education; however, it awards related grants through its Education & Skills program as well as its Developing Futures and Developing Skills initiatives. Through these initiatives, GE “seeks to empower all 14 to 24-year-old students to become globally productive citizens by providing access to learning experiences necessary for the workforce of tomorrow.” According to the foundation’s tax filings, past grantees include Arizona State University Foundation, Duke University, and the Thurgood Marshall College Fund.

Grants from the foundation can be sizable, with some ranging from $1 million to $5 million. Most grants however, range from $25,000 to $500,000. The GE Foundation does not accept unsolicited grant applications or requests for funding and instead, chooses grantees through “ongoing research in the field.” Grantseekers may contact the foundation at


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