FCA Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The FCA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the automobile manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Overall, it funds education, youth development, military families, and multicultural inclusion. Higher education grants support schools in the communities where Fiat Chrysler has a significant presence, as well as regional and national programs. Support for scholarship programs is also abundant.  

IP TAKE: The FCA Foundation is particularly mindful of underserved student populations and automotive-related programs, but the process of applying for funding is not entirely transparent.

PROFILE: Established by the Chrysler Corporation in 1953, the FCA Foundation (previously the Chrysler Foundation) has distributed more than $500 million in the years that have followed. Positioning itself in today’s world of philanthropy, the foundation states that it exists to "help empower people, and build strong, viable communities." The FCA Foundation seeks to achieve this goal through education, youth development, multicultural and diversity initiatives, and the military.

The FCA’s education grantmaking particularly focuses on STEM education at both the K-12 and post-secondary levels. The FCA Foundation’s higher education funding, in contrast, supports colleges and universities not directly in its corporate geographic orbit, as well as regional and national programs, particularly those that support STEM in higher education for underserved student populations.

Higher education grants tend to range from about $25,000 to $250,000. Past grantees include Communities in Schools, Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program (DAPCEP), FIRST in Michigan, and the National College Access Network (NCAN), and Women of Tomorrow, among many others.  When it comes to supporting local-level programs, the foundation primarily focuses on communities where it has corporate operations, which may be found on this map. Information about how to apply for funding from FCA is not clearly available on the foundation’s website.  In its support of higher education, the FCA Foundation does widen its giving scope, including to colleges and universities not directly in its corporate geographic orbit, as well as to regional and national programs, particularly those that support STEM higher education for underserved student populations.

The foundation only accepts grant proposals by invitation, however the site does suggest potential grantseekers contact fcagrants@fcagroup.com for more information.

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