Xerox Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education

OVERVIEW: The Xerox Foundation, the philanthropic arm of its namesake corporation, spreads its giving across many sectors that better the communities in which its employees and customers live. It has a particular focuses on college-level science education, environmental affairs, and arts and cultural programming. The foundation also gives directly to college and university science departments, both domestically and abroad.

IP TAKE: The Xerox Foundation’s focus on science education is at the forefront of its giving. Unsolicited inquiries are accepted, and you’ll improve your odds if your project stands to increase the diversity and size of tomorrow’s STEM workforce.

PROFILE: The Xerox Foundation is the philanthropic arm of its corporate namesake, and operates under the belief that “a successful corporation must be an active participant in society.” As of this writing, total annual giving from the foundation has come in at an even $13.5 million each year over the past several years.

Against that backdrop, the foundation’s giving is fairly broad in scope, but a commitment to science education is at the forefront of its focus. Considering that foundation also has a “strategic interest” in ultimately being able to “recruit from a highly motivated and talented pool of technically educated people,” it is no surprise that much of Xerox’s higher ed STEM giving falls under its Education and Workforce Preparedness umbrella.

The foundation’s mission in its Education and Workforce Development realm is to “provide educational access to underserved minorities.” This primarily manifests in the form of support of STEM-related scholarship programs, individual college scholarships to students pursuing STEM study, STEM mentorship programs for underserved college-age students, and support of college/university science departments.

Much of this support goes to higher ed, but there is also some support at the K-12 level. A prime example is its partnership with the FIRST Robotics and the LEGO League to team up high school “students and Xerox scientists to build a programmed, fully functional robot — from a box of parts or bag of Legos.” Sponsored teams have hailed from states including California, Oregon, and New York. Xerox has also funded work at individual schools, such as a pilot program to foster interdisciplinary science and art learning at a Kentucky middle school.

The Xerox Foundation has virtually no geographic boundaries. It gives “to the communities from which we draw our employees, our customers, and our freedom to conduct business.” This enormous scope stretches not only coast-to-coast in the United States, but also internationally, particularly for major university centers with a science education focus.

Recent information on Xerox’s giving is accessible, but takes a little bit of digging. Start by clicking here for a list of Xerox’s most recent Global Citizenship reports. Within the most recent report, click on “Caring for Communities,” which will take you to a page that links to breakdowns of the foundation’s annual giving.

The foundation’s open LOI process is a free-form letter. So there is some flexibility in how you present your project, but make sure to show how you will increase the pool of talented STEM workers of the future. The foundation requests that all proposals and requests be directed to:

Mark Conlin, President

Xerox Foundation

45 Glover Avenue/P.O. Box 4505

Norwalk, CT, 06856