Xerox Foundation: Grants for Science Education

OVERVIEW: The Xerox Foundation funds science education, environmental affairs, and arts and cultural programming.

IP TAKE: The Xerox Foundation tends to support a handful of large and established organizations. It also appreciates working with universities and institutes. 

PROFILE: The Xerox Foundation is the philanthropic arm of its corporate namesake, and operates under the belief that “a successful corporation must be an active participant in society.” The foundation’s giving is fairly broad in scope, and offers three grantmaking programs: Community Involvement, Science Consultant, and the FIRST Robotics and LEGO League

While the Xerox Foundation's three programs do not reflect a focus on the environment, the foundation has nonetheless committed itself to environmental affairs. Indeed, Xerox gave 6.8% of its overall giving to support conservation in 2013 alone. Its environmental conservation giving supports nonprofits "that work toward the goal of a sustainable world." It conducts education-related grantmaking through its FIRST Robotics and LEGO League program, which invests in STEM education directly related to developing innovative robotics programs. It also invests in STEM education through its Xerox Science Consultant program, which seeks to improve student attitudes towards science. The foundation envisioned Xerox Science Consultants in order to deliver "hands-on science lessons to students in grades 4-6 that 'make science cool.'" XEROX's science education grants have undergone a deep evolution in order to streamline operations. 

The foundation largely awards higher education and K-12 programs. Past science education grantees include the American Indian Science and Engineering Society, the United Negro College Fund, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. However, the foundation also funds smaller organizations, such as the Boys and Girls Club of the San Fernando Valley. In the K-12 sector, the Xerox Foundation has also recently funded A Better Chance, Prep for Prep, FIRST, the National Action Council for Minorities in Engineering, and the Posse Foundation. Some of these organizations have a direct focus on science educational opportunities for underserved students while others present more generalized opportunities for high-quality K-12 education.

As evident from past grantees, the foundation appreciates working with universities and research institutions. It also prefers to create partnerships, including opportunities for its own employees to participate in the work of your nonprofit. The Xerox Foundation does not impose geographic restrictions on its grantmaking. However, it prefers to fund a handful of organizations a year that are large and established. The foundation’s open LOI process is a free-form letter; if grantseekers can integrate active employee engagement into their financial ask, so much the better. 

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