Intel: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Intel Corporation's corporate responsibility program includes major funding for technology in higher education. Intel (through the foundation and the corporation) funds technology grants as well as entrepreneurial programs for students. Grants also go to research, scholarships and technology gifts that frequently interweave the corporation’s products with classroom pedagogy and curricula.

IP TAKE: Intel has a major grantmaking footprint in education. Its foundation is fairly limited geographically, and tends to stick to areas in which the corporation has major operations. The Intel corporation, however, offers more broadly accessible support for students, schools and K-12 nonprofits.

PROFILE: Underlying all of Intel's grantmaking is the idea of moving education into the 21st century and preparing students for careers—particularly in fields that relate to Intel’s products and services. The foundation tends to support programs that support students and teachers in areas that incorporate technology into the classroom.

It is not always entirely clear which education programs receive support from the foundation, and which result from direct relationships with the corporation itself. In either case, education is a major focus of Intel’s philanthropic operations, and K-12 education fits into that in several key ways:

  • The Intel Education Accelerator supports startups with creative approaches to intersecting technology literacy with other educational disciplines. Several organizations servicing K-12 students are among the small number of pilot startups supported by the accelerator
  • Intel’s K-12 Educator Resources do not offer funding, but do provide a wealth of teacher resources for those looking to improve their skills in planning, pedagogy, and assessments
  • Intel Education Visionaries are an “elite group of approximately 40 education leaders from around the world who are at the forefront of classroom transformation,” working to develop “and share best practices with educators, administrators and parents worldwide and help Intel design the future of education technology.” In early 2016 the program will be opened to new applicants.

Intel also funds science and technology curriculum development, and plays sponsor to science and engineering fairs such as the Intel Science Talent Search and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, both of which offer substantial awards to the winners in the form of both cash and scholarships.

Closing the gender gap in STEM generally and computer science specifically is also a major focus at Intel. Intel’s site has posted several documents related to attracting more girls and women into the field, and Intel particularly highlights the work of the organization Girls Who Code, which “teaches girls coding skills through...STEM projects to inspire and prepare them for college and to close the gender gap in technology-related companies.” Intel was, in fact, a corporate partner in sponsoring a recent Girls Who Code summer program.

For both K-12 and postsecondary institutions, the foundation also offers support through a gifts program (matching employees’ financial donations) and grant program (matching “volunteer hours performed by Intel employees and US Intel retirees”). Eligible K-12 organizations include “K-12 schools, PTO’s, PTA’s and other [nonprofit] support organizations for K-12 schools.” In these cases, the foundation “will match donations made by employees and retirees of up to $10,000, at a rate of 50% of the donation.” Donations are also offered as a match for volunteer service performed by its employees who contribute 20 hours or more at a school or other nonprofit. Once that level of volunteerism has been reached, “a donation or ‘match’ of $10 per hour volunteered will be triggered from the Intel Foundation with a maximum of $15,000 for schools.”

Intel does not accept unsolicited proposals, so it can be a challenge to navigate its grant giving. Try starting with a letter of introduction to program staff or to an employee who may be interested in contributing funds or volunteering.

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