OVERVIEW: Founded in 2009, Broadcom Foundation is the "new kid on the block" for STEM philanthropy. K-12 initiatives and grants are aimed at stimulating interest in STEM among middle school students at nonprofits and public school in communities where Broadcom and its employees have a “significant presence.”
IP TAKE: If you have a project to engage middle schoolers and foster excitement about STEM and possible STEM careers, modest funding is available through Broadcom’s Community program.
PROFILE: STEM education is the Broadcom Foundation's raison d'etre. The foundation's mission, as stated on its website, is to "advance science, technology, engineering, and math education by funding research, recognizing scholarship, and increasing opportunity."
The foundation is headquartered in Irvine, California, and was set up in 2009 by Dr. Henry Samueli, an electrical engineer and founder of the Broadcom Corporation. Its STEM education activities target middle school students as well as higher education.
The foundation offers some funding for secondary students, public schools, and NGOs through its Community projects, which include support for “501(c)(3) charities that engage in STEM-related programs or community projects where Broadcom employees live and work.” The foundation does not appear to host a database of past awardees, but according to recent foundation tax filings, it's given a small number of K-12 awards to organizations working in areas such as increasing the number of women working in STEM careers, improving STEM standards, and offering a weekend math initiative. Broadcom is also very interested in getting its employees involved in volunteer efforts, some of which are profiled under the “Community Heroes” heading at the bottom of the Community program page.
While Broadcom does additional work in STEM for middle schoolers, its other programs do not appear to offer grant funding. For example, Broadcom’s Design_CODE_Build initiative works to make “software coding and applied mathematics skill building accessible to middle-school students who are under-represented in computing fields” by informing them about potential career options via “presentations by Broadcom engineers and other computing ‘rock stars.’” Broadcom also sponsors a middle school science fair called MASTERS (Math, Applied Science, Technology and Engineering as Rising Stars) to increase students' interest in science and engineering careers and reward and recognize the most promising students in the field. Competitions take place both in the U.S. and internationally.
Broadcom also does work in higher education, with a focus on supporting innovation and leadership in university engineering programs. The foundation sponsors an annual University Research Competition to recognize and reward innovative research by engineering graduate students attending Broadcom Foundation-supported universities. Proposals for University programs are accepted by invitation only and should contain significant training and/or research components, demonstrate measurable outcomes, utilize sustainable or scalable approaches, and have the potential to be replicated by other funders.
For K-12 grantseekers, unsolicited project proposals in the Community program for $2,500 or less are accepted between April 30 to June 30 each year (be sure to confirm that your organization qualifies for funding before starting the application). Note that funding is not available for K-12 private schools and that funding is generally awarded for specific projects, not general operations.
- Paula Golden, Executive Director
- Maria Wronsky, Treasurer and Program Manager, Community Affairs