PPG Industries Foundation's Well-Rounded Support of K-12 Education (at least for STEM)

PPG Industries Foundation was established in 1951 as the philanthropic arm of PPG Industries, to “demonstrate the values” of the corporation “by enhancing the quality of life in communities where it has a presence.”

Its commitment to K-12 education also demonstrates and reflects the work done in its corporate sector; the majority of the PPG Industries Foundation K-12 education giving is for STEM programming (though it also does support reading literacy and academic achievement programs too).

The second half of the foundation's mission statement above speaks to geography: the communities in which the corporation has a presence. It amounts to more than 40 communities and cities in 17 states across the country, including a particularly fondness for Pittsburgh, where the corporation is headquartered. The foundation also supports national-level K-12 education initiatives.

No matter where your program takes place, you must either be a 501(c)3 or a school—public, charter, or private, the foundation supports them all.  It also supports many outside-of-school programs and web-based inititatives. PPG Industries Foundation is, in fact, notably diverse in its distribution of K-12 education funds across types of organizations throughout those 17 states.  

National K-12 programming the foundation has recently supported includes a $65,000 grant to SciGirls, a PBS television program geared towards 8-13 year-olds showcasing girls using STEM skills in their daily lives. The show is based in St. Paul, MN for national broadcast, but the grant also includes corollary community-based programming in Reno, NV; Huntsville, AL; and Pittsburgh, PA.

The foundation also offered $15,000 to the M.A. Rooney Foundation, which is based in Indianapolis, IN and does have direct relationships with Indiana schools, but more broadly has created on-line curriculums for literacy educators to follow, with a goal of achieving large-scale K-12 literacy. Using an online platform to go national, PPG Industries Foundation gave $5,000 to Science Buddies, a web-based resource center for K-12 students creating work for science fairs.

PPG Industries Foundation also gets right into its communities, by giving both to schools and to community organizations. School giving can target a specific age group for a specific project, such as the $1,000 it gave to Seneca Valley Middle School, a public school in Harmony, PA, for 7th and 8th graders to build and launch rockets. Giving can also go for overall support of a school itself, such as the foundation's $10,000 grant to the Palmdale Aerospace Academy, a STEM charter school in Palmdale, CA. The foundation doesn't neglect parochial or private schools either. For instance it recently gave $5,000 to the Holy Sepulcher School in Butler, PA.

The foundation also supports K-12 education experiences that happen away from a K-12 school campus. This includes support of summer STEM learning programs on college campuses, such as $5,000 to Clemson University-Youth Learning Institute in Pickens, SC, as well as to stand-alone educational institutions committed to K-12 student programming, such as $4,900 to the Challenger Learning Center in Sparks, NV; $5,000 to the SEMI Foundation in San Jose, CA; and a whopping $79,900 to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

PPG Industries Foundation also supports local chapters of organizations that are community stalwarts, including $6,000 to the YMCA of Cleveland County Y Achievers Program in Shelby, NC, a program that is designed to help "teens of color set and pursue high educational and career goals." The foundation has also recently given grants to seven different Junior Achievement chapters throughout the country, for a total amounting to more than $8,000.

The foundation also supports community and regional K-12 education programs that bring like-minded students together and provide mentorship, including $1,000 to the Future City Competition, Ohio Region program, where 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students "imagine, design, and build cities of the future" and $500 to the Pennsylvania Foundation for Free Enterprise Education in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, where students "learn about the wonders of our private enterprise system and what it means to our democratic form of government." The foundation also gave $500 to Winning Futures, a Detroit-area academic mentorship program.

PPG Industries Foundation lightest area of focus is teacher development; its an area that's largely neglected, though its grant of $3,850 to the National Museum of Education in Akron, OH is tangentially related.

Besides knowing what grants came before you, why does all this matter? Because PPG Industries Foundation wants your K-12 education program to have scope and impact, but also seeks to support programs that are uniquely designed and uniquely situated to fulfill a need. Knowing what else the foundation supports gives you a good blueprint, and also helps you differentiate your program in the right ways.

Related - PPG Industries Foundation: Grants for K-12 Education