Lowe's Charitable and Educational Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW:  Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation prioritizes K-12 education and community improvement. It runs two signature education funding programs that reach K-12 public schools and community colleges in the U.S. and Canada.

IP TAKE: Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation runs two signature education funding programs. Toolbox for Education grants support specific projects at public schools across the U.S.  Through a partnership with the Skills USA/Skills Compétences Canada organizations, Lowe’s funds community improvement projects that offer hands-on work experience to high school and college students.

PROFILE:  Based in Mooresville, North Carolina, Lowe’s Charitable and Educational Foundation is the philanthropic offshoot of Lowe’s home improvement stores, which operate in the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1957, the foundation’s two initiatives are K-12 education and community improvement. In both of these funding areas, Lowe’s aims to support “projects that have the greatest impact on our communities and align with our core business—home improvement.”

Lowe’s K-12 education initiative runs two separate signature programs. Lowe’s Toolbox for Education, begun in 2006, awards small grants to public and public charter schools for specific projects. Surfside Elementary in Satellite Beach, Florida, for example, used a Lowe’s grant to build and plant a flower and vegetable garden. Lowe’s also maintains an ongoing partnership with the Skills USA/Skills Compétences Canada organizations. Through this program, Lowe’s supports workforce training and education. Grants are directed toward projects that combine community improvements with hands-on experiences for students. The foundation also supports larger organizations such as the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and the Nature Conservancy.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education grants range from $2,000 to $5,000 with as many as one thousand grants awarded each year. The foundation posts profiles of grant winners and sample projects on its website. Skills USA/Skills Compétences Canada grants range from $5,000 to $25,000. In the U.S., approximately thirty of these grants are awarded to high schools and community colleges each year.

Both of Lowe’s signature grant programs maintain an open application process. Toolbox for Education grants begin with a pre-application checklist. Application for Skills USA/Canada grants should be made through local or regional chapters of the organization.

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