Target stores and the Target Foundation support education through a variety of grants to help schools across the nation. The Target store grants are dedicated to helping schools located within local communities, while Target Foundation grants are geared toward schools in the Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area, where Target is headquartered.
Target gives 5 percent of its proceeds back to the communities in which their stores are located. The corporation began this practice in 1962, and as of November 2010 that 5 percent means that more than $3 million goes back into communities surrounding Target stores each week. Target's goal is to give $500 million to educational programs and schools by 2015.
Target Store Grants
Target stores give award grants for field trips, early childhood reading projects and programs for the arts. Each store awards three field trip grants per year, up to $700. Early childhood reading grants are awarded in support of extracurricular reading programs for children of preschool age through third grade. Examples of programs that might be awarded a $2,00 grant are after-school reading events or book clubs. Art grants are also $2,000 and are awarded to arts and culture programs with a curriculum component. Applications for field trip grants are accepted through Target's website. Field trip grant applications are accepted from August 1 through September 30, while applications for early childhood reading and arts grants are accepted from April 1 through May 1 each year.
Target Foundation Grants
Target Foundation grants are provided to nonprofit programs and organizations in the Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota, metropolitan area. The Target Foundation grants for arts programs are awarded to organizations with a 501(c)(3) status that offer arts and cultural experiences to the community. Applications for Target Foundation arts grants are accepted from January 1 through February 1 each year. The foundation's social service grants are awarded to programs that provide food, clothing and shelter to at-risk families. Applications for social service grants are accepted between April 1 and May 1 each year. In 2009, grants ranged from $15,000 to $50,000 for arts grants, and from $20,000 to $50,000 for social service grants.
In addition to Target's grants, the company is dedicated to supporting childhood reading through its pledge program. Target encourages adults to read with children on a regular basis by taking a pledge, which they can complete online. In return, Target will donate books to children in need.
Take Charge of Education Program
Target's Take Charge of Education Program takes 5 percent of Target cardholders' purchases and gives this to the local school of the cardholder's choosing. Customers must sign up for the store's credit card, at which point she may choose the school she would like to support. The Take Charge of Education Program supports schools with students from kindergarten through 12th grade.