Wells Fargo: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: Wells Fargo’s higher education giving focuses on being a leading corporate citizen. It emphasizes diversity promotion, support for military vets, scholarship programs, and college readiness initiatives.

IP TAKE: Well’s Fargo’s philanthropic interests are broad. Applicants should integrate their higher education work with Wells Fargo’s other giving priorities to increase funding prospects. Specific giving priorities and the application process are determined by state and region.

PROFILE: Financial giant Wells Fargo strives “to be a leading corporate citizen and...create more resilient, sustainable communities,” which it does through “donations to nonprofits and schools, team member philanthropy and volunteerism, community development loans and investments, environmental initiatives, and other corporate citizenship initiatives.” Much of its giving is channeled through areas where it has a corporate presence, as indicated by this helpful map. Fortunately for most grantseekers, Wells Fargo has a corporate presence in nearly every state in the United States. Wells Fargo funds education, affordable housing, disaster relief, military and veterans, financial education, and the environment.

Wells Fargo’s higher education funding primarily invests in scholarships and partnerships with scholarship-granting organizations. In 2017, it gave “$4.6 million in scholarships and programming that specifically benefit students from lower- and middle-income backgrounds and those who are first-generation college attendees.” Wells Fargo’s partners include theAsian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund (APIASF), the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Scholarship America, American Indian Graduate Center, the Point Foundation, and theUnited Negro College Fund.Wells Fargo’s grants range from the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. It does not have a searchable grants database, but it publishes annual reports.

Wells Fargo accepts grant applications all year round, however it is important to note that every state has different guidelines and a different application process. Grantseekers should select their state from the drop down menu on the philanthropy homepage in order to familiarize themselves with the unique requirements. Just as giving priorities are determined by state and region, so too is the application process.

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