OVERVIEW: The Comcast Foundation is the philanthropic arm of American mass media company Comcast. The Comcast Foundation does not support K-12 education as one of its specific areas of focus. Rather, the foundation funds K-12 education, particularly schools and school districts, through its commitment to both community service and youth development, with an overarching goal of diversity inclusion.
IP TAKE: Your best bet with Comcast is to present a diversity-oriented program that supports youth development, digital literacy, or community service. Try reaching out to staff through its Comcast Cares Day program.
PROFILE: The Comcast Foundation was established in 1999 by the Comcast Corporation, and has since distributed more than $153 million to nonprofit organizations throughout the company. In 2013, the foundation provided more than $16.8 million in grants to 1,000 organizations.
On the corporate side, Comcast has more recently merged with NBC Universal, but the corporate consolidation does not affect the philanthropy. The Comcast Foundation and the NBCUniversal Foundation remain separate entities (though they share an umbrella website for information).
The Comcast Foundation focuses on digital literacy, youth development (which it terms “building tomorrow’s leaders”), and community service. You’ll note that K-12 education is not explicitly spoken of here, but a commitment to that realm expresses itself in all three aspects of the foundation’s giving.
The Comcast Foundation does not accept unsolicited requests, but this is nowhere near as big a barrier as it may be when other foundations declare this stipulation. That is because the Comcast Foundation encourages nonprofit organizations (you must have 501(c)(3) status) to reach out through it Comcast Cares Day program. Comcast describes this program as “the nation’s largest single-day corporate volunteer effort.” In 2014, 95,000 volunteers joined in at community sites all around the world—including schools.
Connecting with Comcast Cares Day creates a direct relationship that can lead to the foundation’s support of K-12 education, particularly by supporting schools and school districts themselves. Two recent examples:
- In April 2014, volunteers joined with Big Shanty Intermediate School in Kennesaw, GA for Comcast Cares Day in an effort “to beautify the campus.” In November 2014, the Comcast Foundation granted $12,880 to the school.
- For the past several years, Comcast Cares Day volunteers have joined forces with Aurora Public Schools in Denver, CO. In October 2014, the Comcast Foundation granted the school district $20,000.
The foundation's website shares a complete list of organizations that received funding in a recent year if you want to see a fuller scope of possibilties. But be advised: this list also includes organizations granted funds by the NBCUniversal Foundation.
The catch with the Comcast Foundation is that you must be in an area that receives Comcast media services in order to be eligible for its volunteer services and its funds. You can check Comcast’s consumer website to see if you’re in one of their coverage areas. The foundation requires that you reach out to its local service address and phone number to initiate Comcast Cares Day requests and to introduce your nonprofit.
- Charisse R. Lillie, President
- Bill Black, Vice President and Executive Director
- Fred Maahs, Vice President
- Christine R. Miller, Manager of Foundation Giving