OVERVIEW: Founded in 1984, the Coca-Cola Foundation is a big spender on public health causes, although some of that money goes to organizations outside the United States. The foundation focuses on water stewardship and health and fitness programs.
IP TAKE: Foundation-wide, Coca-Cola’s main areas of grantmaking interest are “women, water, and well-being.” Grantseekers that can tie their work to one or more of these "pillars" of Coke's giving may be able to up their chances of getting a grant.
PROFILE: Ironically, the Coca-Cola Foundation spends most of its domestic public health money to combat the problems its products help create. Promoting healthy and active lifestyles is a primary goal of the foundation, if not of its parent company.
Around half of the Coca-Cola Foundation’s public health grants stay within the United States and nearly all of those grants are awarded in support of fitness and nutrition programs. The foundation also gives some money to domestic water stewardship initiatives and HIV/AIDS causes, but most of that is directed internationally.
Of the health and fitness grants, most are targeted at children and teenagers, in response to the American epidemic of childhood obesity. The foundation has given to youth dance classes, exercise-focused daycare centers, and diabetes outreach programs, but it also spends on less obvious health-related causes like parks and playgrounds.
The majority of the Coca-Cola Foundation’s public health grants fall somewhere between $25,000 and $50,000, though it isn’t unusual for the foundation to make a handful of public health grants for $250,000 or more.
The Coca-Cola Foundation’s website can be tricky to navigate. It focuses a lot on the foundation’s international giving, but you can fill out an application here after taking a short quiz to determine your organization’s eligibility.
- Lisa Borders, Chair