Duke Energy Foundation: Southeast Grants

OVERVIEW: This funder supports programs for education, the environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact in select counties in the Southeastern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, the environment, economic and workforce development, community impact

IP TAKE: Schools have been receiving lots of support from this funder lately. Early literacy and K-12 STEM education efforts in the Southeast have really been catching Duke Energy’s attention.

PROFILE: The Duke Energy Foundation is a separate grantmaking entity from the Duke Endowment, which we have also profiled and spoken with. This is the philanthropic arm of the largest electric power holding company in the U.S. that provides energy to about 7.4 million Americans. The energy company provides electric services to the Carolinas, the Midwest and Florida, and it distributes natural gas in Ohio and Kentucky.

The Duke Energy Foundation provides about $25 million in grants each year and focuses its grantmaking on education, the environment, economic and workforce development, and community impact. The foundation’s education program is all about reading proficiency, high school graduation, early literacy and closing the achievement gap. There’s also been a big push for STEM education--the education application period is January 1 to February 29.

Workforce development grants go towards preparing the next generation of workers for careers in the states that Duke Energy serves. The foundation accepts applications for these grants between August 1 and September 30. Duke Energy’s environmental program supports local programs that protect and restore natural resources and wildlife. Programs for air, water, environmental education and research for energy technologies typically receive this foundation’s support; you can apply for these grants between July 1 and August 31.

Duke Energy’s community and cultural grants go to arts and culture groups, with applications accepted April 1 to May 31. The funder offers local community development grants up to $10,000 on an ongoing basis for local community development needs that align with the foundation’s four priority areas. In addition to this funding, the Duke Energy Foundation also has a Water Resources Fund to protect and restore waterways in the Carolinas, and provides disaster relief support.

Nonprofits must serve counties served by Duke Energy to be eligible for grants. Select counties in the Southeastern states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky and Florida are considered for grants. Some counties in the Midwestern states of Ohio and Indiana are also eligible.

Keep in mind this is a program and project funder, not a foundation that provides general operating support, capital investments or endowments. The grant application process is conducted online, starting with an eligibility quiz. The best way to keep up with what this funder is doing is to follow @DukeEnergy on Twitter or Facebook.

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