Boeing Company: Grants for STEM Higher Education

OVERVIEW: Boeing is the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world, and it gives grants with a scope and breadth commensurate with that. Education giving supports universities working on postsecondary projects as well as those developing K-12 professional development and curricula.

IP TAKE: Boeing gives in 20 states and the District of Columbia. Some areas of focus vary by state, but its higher ed giving is more centralized. If you integrate ways to engage Boeing employees in your project, you’ll have a leg up on the competition.

PROFILE: As the second-largest aerospace and defense contractor in the world, it comes as no surprise that Boeing is committed to STEM education, including in the echelons of college and universities. Primary areas of focus are education, workforce development, the environment, financial stability and health. STEM makes up a big chunk of its education focus.

In the most general terms, Boeing states that it supports “organizations that are leaders in what they do, demonstrate innovation, and align and collaborate with others to achieve workable solutions to community issues.” This is a guidepost for its STEM higher education support.

Unlike its other education funding, which happens state-by-state, Boeing keeps its higher education support—including for STEM—corporately centralized through a focus area it calls "University Relations." Boeing describes its through line in this way:

"Partnering with universities and higher education institutions around the world, our priority is to fuel Boeing’s second century of talent and innovation by fostering world-class university relationships and delivering benchmark entry-level career programs....

"Our collaboration is designed to inspire and cultivate a global workforce for aerospace innovation by increasing access to education, accelerating skills development and enriching the educational experience for students."

A recent example is a $105,000 grant to Washington State University "to expand mentoring opportunities for students studying in STEM disciplines."

Boeing also supports higher ed STEM through more direct student support in the form of such as internships, externships, co-ops, enrichment programs and scholarships. While its scholarships are not necessarily exclusively STEM-oriented, students working in related fields are certainly eligible. Boeing states that it supports scholarships to “1,200 students in their chosen fields…[which] are awarded directly to students by the academic institutions with which we have relationships.” More information is available by emailing UniversityRelations@boeing.com

There's another "in" for STEM higher education funding, too: higher ed STEM work focused on professional and curriculum development for K-12 STEM programs. For instance, Seattle Pacific University recently received a $75,000 grant from the Washington-based coffers to "improve K-12 physical science instruction through teacher collaboration and research-based curriculum development."

In addition to grants, funds are also available through Boeing’s Employees Community Fund (ECF). Unlike some other corporations that match donations to individual organizations dollar-for-dollar, Boeing’s employee contributions are allocated based on a determination by “employee advisory boards [that] work to locally distribute combined employee donations,” with Boeing covering all of the administrative overhead so that all dollars donated go directly to the beneficiary organizations.

For information related to the University program, which is more centralized than Boeing-s K-12 giving, ore information is available by emailing UniversityRelations@boeing.com. If you’re looking for support for your K-12 project, head over to the Community Engagement page and scroll all the way down to the section titled “Seeking Support.” The Directors for Global Corporate Citizenship at Boeing are also local/regional, so you might need to do a little digging to find the director for your location.

Regardless of your program's entry point, Boeing likes being involved in its granting—particularly when it comes to STEM education. Remember, your pitch will be stronger if you can find ways to engage with the company and its employees.

PEOPLE:

  • Lianne Stein, Vice President for Global Corporate Citizenship

LINKS: