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 funds education, community development, and arts and culture. In order to be eligible, institutions 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. In order to be eligible, institutions must be located in a community that receives FirstEnergy services.

PROFILE: FirstEnergy, a “diversified energy company” headquartered in Akron, Ohio, funds STEM higher education through the FirstEnergy Foundation. It supports education, STEM research and education, arts, and civic work. 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 “promote an educated workforce by supporting professional development and literacy, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives.” The foundation also 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 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.

Grants may range from $50 to $1 million, most being between $1,000 and $5,000. The foundation provides funding to entities operating in areas where it provides services. More information on these locations may be found here.

The FirstEnergy Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications, but encourages applicants to make contact with local management in order to get in touch with grantmakers. The foundation accepts applications by traditional mail only.

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