AT&T: Grants for Science Education

OVERVIEW: AT&T supports college and career readiness with emphasis on STEM education, as well as community development.

IP TAKE: AT&T gives grants though both corporate and foundation funding streams, but the vast majority of its giving happens through hidden channels with no accessibility to organizations that don't already have a relationship with AT&T’s powers that be. The only exceptions are AT&T’s open competitions—which do not seem to be on any given schedule.

PROFILE: AT&T and the AT&T Foundation have a stated commitment to “nonprofit organizations and programs that foster inclusion and create opportunities for diverse populations.” Drilling down into AT&T’s general description of “inclusion” and “opportunity,” we see emphases on STEM education, particularly as it relates to college and career readiness: “In addition to its overall funding of innovative STEM programs, AT&T remains focused on improving opportunities for STEM learning in K-12 education while helping at-risk youth prepare for work in the 21st century.”

All this is well and good, except that in general neither the corporation nor the foundation share any access or information regarding how to reach out and receive this funding. In other words, getting this particular money is all about who you already know, and about methodically building relationships with the people you don’t already know.

Currently, the primary way to get around this wall is through AT&T Aspire. This giving $350 million initiative is singularly focused on “innovation in education,” and in 2016 is distributing $10 million through a competition called Connect to Success, funding "best-in-class programs that help underserved students earn their diplomas and prepare for the next step in life" for students in grades 9-12 across the U.S. 

Grantseekers can launch the inquiry process for the Aspire program via the foundation’s website. In general, the AT&T accepts unsolicited letters of inquiry, which should be addressed to the attention of foundation president Nicole Anderson at 208 S. Akard, Room 100, Dallas Texas, 75202.

PEOPLE:

  • James Cicconi, Chairman and Director
  • Nicole Anderson, President
  • Charlene Lake, Vice President

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