FirstEnergy Foundation: Grants for STEM Higher Education


OVERVIEW: FirstEnergy is a U.S.-based “diversified energy company” committed to philanthropy through its corporate enterprise as well as through its charitable arm, the FirstEnergy Foundation. FirstEnergy supports education, community development, and arts and culture. In order to be eligible, grantseekers must be in a community that receives FirstEnergy services.   

IP TAKE: FirstEnergy awards modest grants to pre-K and K-12 STEM classroom projects and larger grants to college and university programs. It also provides larger amounts to community-organization STEM education initiatives. Unsolicited applications are not accepted, but new grantseekers should still consider contacting local management or the company's Community Involvement Department.

PROFILE: FirstEnergy, a “diversified energy company” headquartered in Akron, OH, funds STEM education through both the Corporate Affairs & Community Involvement department and through the company’s charitable arm, the FirstEnergy Foundation. Corporate funding prioritizes smaller pre-K and K-12 projects while the foundation provides larger grants to colleges and universities.

Both corporate and foundation grants place geographic restrictions on their funding and only fund organizations operating in areas where FirstEnergy provides services and does business. This includes portions of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, and Michigan.

The FirstEnergy Foundation funds general studies colleges and universities for STEM education programs, as well as STEM-centric schools and professional societies that support postsecondary STEM education. Grant amounts can range from $50 to $1 million, with most landing between $1,000 and $5,000.

The foundation’s education funding works to foster “an educated workforce by supporting professional development and literacy, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education initiatives.” Grantseekers should also keep in mind that the foundation seeks to “improve the vitality of our communities and support key safety initiatives,” as well as “promote local and regional economic development and revitalization efforts,” because community-based STEM education programming can be related to these efforts as well.

The FirstEnergy Foundation does not accept unsolicited applications. However, the foundation encourages new grantseekers to make contact with local FirstEnergy management, to reach out to its Community Involvement Department, and to look over the grant application.