American Express Foundation Grants

by DionJonai Elzy

American Express, a provider of personal and business financial services, awards foundation grants in the areas of cultural heritage, leadership and community through its Corporate Social Responsibility program. The grant award amounts vary from $500 to $500,000 per recipient. Applicants for grants send brief letters of inquiry explaining the mission of their organization, nature, timeline, budget and criteria for success of the proposed project. American Express reviews applications throughout the year.

Community Service

American Express looks for community service programs that create opportunities for volunteerism and civic engagement for employees and community members, including programs that supply relief in response to disasters and emergencies. Programs considered for this grant must meet four criteria: The community service program must develop, engage and retain volunteers; encourage community members to become and stay active in their neighborhoods; engage community members and American Express employees to volunteer, promote philanthropy or participate in other local organizations; and demonstrate measurable results that have a long-term influence on the community.

Cultural Heritage

Organizations with projects that support cultural awareness and preservation have the opportunity to gain a grant under the cultural heritage grant guidelines. Projects include historic landmarks, artifacts and public places that feature music, theater, art, film and dance programs. Criteria that qualify a cultural heritage project include engaging the public with the restoration of a site or artwork, reproducing an art form that is endangered or preserving cultural traditions.


Programs and organizations that provide the best methods to develop current and future nonprofit leaders have opportunities to receive a leadership grant. Programs that focus on diverse leadership possibilities in diverse communities receive extended consideration. Programs not in the nonprofit arena are accepted on a limited basis along with programs created outside the U.S. One of three criteria must be met in order to be considered for the leadership grant: The program must address the creation of new executive directors or support the training and development of new leadership in the nonprofit sector; change the course of leadership the nonprofit sector; or through management and leadership practices, dramatically change an organization or increase an organization's ability to attract and retain leadership. American Express Philanthropy Funding Priority 3 World Financial Center Mail code 01-48-04 New York, NY 10285-4804 212-640-5661

About the Author

DionJonai Elzy started her professional writing career in 2007. Her areas of expertise are human resources, entrepreneurship, pop culture, and event management. She has a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Monmouth University and a certificate in human resource management from the American Management Association.

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