FCA Foundation: Grants for Science Education


OVERVIEW: The FCA Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the automobile manufacturer Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and gives grants to community, regional, and national initiatives in support of education, youth development, military families, and multicultural inclusion. Support for scholarship programs also abounds.

IP TAKE: The foundation’s K-12 and higher ed STEM giving both tend to go to areas where the company has a presence, but it also supports regional and national programs and is particularly mindful of underserved student populations and automotive-related programs. The process of applying for funding is not entirely clear, but, being mindful of FCA’s non-STEM giving can benefit your cause.

PROFILE: Established by the Chrysler Corporation in 1953, what's now called the FCA Foundation (previously the Chrysler Foundation) has distributed more than $500 million in the years that have followed. Positioning itself in today’s world of philanthropy, the foundation states that it exists to "help empower people, and build strong, viable communities."

The FCA Foundation’s K-12 education giving is well-articulated. Think STEM, but having a sense of its other funding priorities can help you strengthen your pitch to the foundation even further. Its mission to affect change for youth development and diversity inclusion in particular can inform how you develop your K-12 education program when you reach out to this foundation.

Through its education giving, the FCA Foundation is looking to "inspire young minds," so be sure your project is engaging, and ideally provides a larger world context. The FCA Foundation defines "young minds" as students at both the K-12 level and the college/university level.

Be mindful that this foundation primarily focuses on communities where it has corporate operations. Some of these communities are major U.S. cities, but others are less known on the map: Yucca, AZ; Irvine, CA; Englewood, CO; Washington, DC; Orlando, FL; Belvidere IL; Lisle, IL; Indianapolis, IN; Kokomo, IN; Elkridge, MD; Detroit, MI; Syracuse, NY; Tappan, NY; Perrysburg, OH; Toledo, OH; Twinsburg, OH; Addison, TX; and Kenosha, WI.

At the K-12 level, these localized grants typically go to schools or community education programs, though not exclusively so.

In its support of higher education, the FCA Foundation does widen its giving scope, including to colleges and universities not directly in its corporate geographic orbit, as well as to regional and national programs, particularly those that support STEM higher education for underserved student populations — no surprise, given the foundation's corporate parent. The foundation also likes to give its higher education dollars directly to scholarship programs in support of the students who will be attending these colleges and universities. Multicultural and diversity initiatives, as well as those that support underserved communities, also represent major throughlines of the FCA Foundation's higher education support.

Unfortunately for grantseekers, information about how to apply for funding from FCA is not clearly available on the foundation’s web site.


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