American Honda Foundation: Grants for STEM Higher Education

 

OVERVIEW: The American Honda Foundation’s grantmaking funds STEM, environmental education, job training, and literacy in local and regional community programs that benefit youth.

IP TAKE:  This foundation prioritizes STEM education with many opportunities for newcomers and diverse programs. It seeks innovative programs that happen outside the classroom.

PROFILE: Founded in 1984, the American Honda Foundation is the philanthropic branch of the American Honda Motor Co., Inc. The foundation seeks to “help meet the needs of American society in the areas of youth and scientific education by awarding grants to nonprofits, while strategically assisting communities in deriving long-term benefits.” The foundation’s only grantmaking program is for youth and scientific education.

For higher education grantseekers, the foundation prioritizes "the scientific education of youth." “Scientific education” in this context is defined as including "the physical and life sciences, mathematics and the environmental sciences," while a “youth” may be anyone “pre-natal through 21 years of age.” Fundraisers should therefore keep in mind that the applicant pool may include programs supporting everyone from pregnant mothers to college seniors.

It also has specific funding goals. In addition to an emphasis on “innovation,” the foundation looks for programs that avoid duplicating other organizations' work, that draw on "untried methods," that seek a broad impact, and that are “dedicated to improving the human condition of all mankind” within the context of “providing solutions to the complex educational concerns currently facing the American society.”

Honda has some self-imposed caps that open up a lot of opportunities for new grantees. First, grants have a strict range of $20,000 to $75,000 and only last for one year. According to the foundation, the average grant size is around $45,000. Organizations can only apply once a year, and Honda appears to only give repeat grants for a few years at the most.

The list of past grantees is relatively diverse, and there are a handful of awards for teacher development or boosting curriculum in the classroom. Funding for colleges and universities often supports outreach programs for primary and secondary students. Examples of these types of awards include university-organized initiatives for K-12 students such as science enrichment activities, academic workshops, career exploration, college success, a math camp, summer sessions on environmental science, anatomy and physiology, biology, genetics, computer science, and efforts to attract more girls into STEM-related studies.

Applications for an American Honda Foundation grant are submitted via an online process and reviewed quarterly with deadlines falling on the first of February, May, and August.  Interested organizations can start the process by verifying their eligibility for funding via an online quiz.

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