APS Foundation and APS Corporate Giving

OVERVIEW: APS sticks to STEM education, especially for K-12 teacher development. The corporate giving encompasses many other nonprofit issue areas in Arizona.

FUNDING AREAS: STEM K-12 education, civic and economic development, human services, environment, arts and culture, non-STEM education

IP TAKE:  If you’re not working in the field of STEM education, skip the APS Foundation and go right to APS corporate, which gives much more broadly.

PROFILE: The largest electric company in Arizona is called the Arizona Public Service Company, or APS. It provides both retail and wholesale electric services in the state and has interests in coal, gas, oil, solar, and nuclear energy. The company’s grantmaking arm is the APS Foundation, which has been around since 1981 and has invested over $41 million to projects in Arizona.

The foundation’s top area of interest is STEM education: it believes STEM skills will attract quality businesses and industries to Arizona. More specifically, the bulk of funding goes to teacher development in STEM subjects. Grants typically seek to increase teachers’ knowledge about STEM topics and to boost their effectiveness in transferring that knowledge to students.

APS Foundation has historically awarded grants in the fall, with an open application period between July and September. In addition, a spring cycle typically opens for applications in mid-January. APS looks for opportunities to support Arizona’s youth and teachers, with a focus on K-12 STEM education and partnerships with colleges and universities. Organizations can apply for funding once per calendar year.

However, the APS Foundation does not give grants to individual K-12 schools, religious or political groups, private or family foundations, animal shelters, or start-up organizations that have not been in operation for at least three years. It does not support health groups that focus on specific diseases, sports teams or programs, youth scouting, or advocacy organizations. Forms for projected programs and budget and total operating budget can be downloaded from the APS to submit with your application. The best way to ask questions is by emailing apsfoundation@aps.com.

In addition to STEM education, APS funds Arizona groups in civic and economic development, human services, environment, arts and culture, non-STEM education, and programs in which APS employees volunteer and serve as board members. This is part of APS corporate giving, and requests can be for grants and also in-kind services like printing, video production, and trash boxes. Grantseekers can apply for APS corporate grants at any time of the year and expect a decision back within 40 days. Most of the same funding restrictions apply as with the APS Foundation. All organizations must be located or providing services in the APS service territory. For all non-STEM grant requests, your best contact for questions is corporategiving@aps.com.

Another way to receive funds from APS is the STEM mini-grants program. These grants of up to $2,500 are awarded to K-12 public and charter school teachers for hands-on STEM classroom projects. Around $50,000 per year is available for these mini-grants, with the open application period starting in mid-August.

Other APS community involvement efforts include employee volunteer work with nonprofits in Arizona communities, business mentoring for small business owners in the community, and a solar partner program. Keep up with company and foundation news here.