FirstEnergy Foundation: Grants for Higher Education


OVERVIEW: FirstEnergy is a U.S.-based “diversified energy company” committed to philanthropy through its corporate enterprise as well as through its charitable arm, the FirstEnergy Foundation. Support goes to education, community development, and arts and culture. In order to be eligible, your institution must be located in a community that receives FirstEnergy services (primarily portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois and Michigan).

IP TAKE: FirstEnergy gives both modest and large amounts to STEM initiatives at colleges, universities, and professional organizations. Unsolicited applications are not accepted, but that shouldn't stop you from reaching out to local management or the company's Community Involvement Department.

PROFILE: FirstEnergy, a “diversified energy company” headquartered in Akron, Ohio, is a funder of STEM higher education through the FirstEnergy Foundation. The foundation provides funding to entities operating in areas where it provides services and does business. This includes substantial portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois and Michigan.

The foundation states that its education grants focus on advancing “an educated workforce by supporting professional development and literacy, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives.” It’s also useful to keep in mind that the foundation seeks to “improve the vitality of our communities and support key safety initiatives,” as well as “promote local and regional economic development and revitalization efforts,” because STEM education programming can be related to these efforts, as well.

FirstEnergy Foundation STEM higher education giving goes directly to general studies colleges and universities for its STEM education programs. Amounts can range from $50 to $1 million, with most between $1,000 and $5,000. The foundation has also given to STEM-centric schools (such as engineering colleges) and professional societies that support post-secondary STEM education. Separately, universities and colleges have sometimes received funding at similar levels for work in the arts as well as civic activities.

The FirstEnergy Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications, but don't let this deter you, as the foundation encourages you to make contact with local management and/or reach out to the staff of its Community Involvement Department (see below).

While you’re making those inroads, you can also take a look at the grant application you will eventually fill out and mail to the foundation in hard copy.


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