Ecolab Foundation: Grants for Science Education

OVERVIEW: Ecolab Foundation, the philanthropic arm of its corporate namesake, gives to a broad swath of programs and interests, including education, community development, the environment, and arts and culture.

IP TAKE: Ecolab Foundation is a hearty supporter of environmental conservation programs, particularly those that have a community education component. In order to qualify for a grant, your program must serve in an Ecolab region.

PROFILE: Ecolab Foundation was established in 1986 by its corporate namesake, a company that describes itself as a “global leader in water, hygiene and energy technologies and services.”

Ecolab Foundation conducts grantmaking to science education through its Youth and Education giving area, which emphasizes supporting at-risk youth. Given its corporate focus, it’s no surprise that the foundation is particularly committed to K-12 STEM education. It also prioritizes college and career readiness as part of its education commitment. 

Ecolab Foundation’s STEM education giving flows through its Visions for Learning Educator grant program, which the foundation describes as its “signature teacher classroom grant program.” The directive of the program is straightforward: Grants provide K-12 teachers with “funds to obtain additional materials to help enrich the classroom experience.”  

But Visions for Learning also supports educators of other stripes, including paraprofessionals, administrators, and other licensed staff, so there’s room for creativity here. In fact, the foundation requests precisely that, along with innovation that will challenge and motivate students, raise their achievement levels, “increase their understanding of academic content," and benefit their abilities to make connections between the classroom and life.

Grants range from $100 - $3,000. If an applicant's science education program falls beyond of the traditional classroom or school environment, Ecolab may still fund the project. Additional Youth and Education support flows through its general community grants pot (which also includes its other three giving focus areas). Grantseekers should note that Ecolab only supports organizations based in and/or that affect either the St. Paul, Minnesota area (where Ecolab is headquartered) or in one of the corporation’s 17 regional communities located throughout the U.S. Recent grantees include the Nature ConservancyThe Conservation Foundation , Eco Education, the Truly Living Well Center for Natural Urban Agriculture and Keep Sugar Land Beautiful.

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