How to Get Donations From Coca-Cola

The success of a nonprofit hinges on being able to find enough financial support to sustain the programs and grow the organization over the long haul. Corporate grants can be an integral part of the funding plan for any nonprofit and can help you reach your goals for finding major donors. The Coca-Cola Foundation is the corporate social responsibility leg of Coca-Cola, and it provides grants to eligible nonprofits doing work that aligns with its values.

Coca-Cola Donations: Areas of Priority

Like most corporations, Coca-Cola prioritizes grants to organizations doing work that aligns with its values. Coca-Cola donations often go to nonprofits doing work that impacts the following areas:

  • Women's economic empowerment
  • Women's entrepreneurship
  • Clean water and water conservation initiatives
  • Recycling efforts and initiatives
  • The arts and culture
  • U.S. community and economic development
  • HIV/AIDS efforts abroad
  • Natural disaster response

In order to be considered for a grant in one of these areas, an organization must be an official 501(c)(3) nonprofit according to the IRS or have papers from another country certifying it as a nonprofit charitable organization in that country. It must also have a nondiscrimination policy in place to protect people based on age, race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, gender identification, nationality, citizenship status, disability and race.

Coca-Cola Donations: Areas of Exclusion

While Coca-Cola seeks to make a difference in the community, it also excludes certain organizations and efforts from its grant giving through the Coca-Cola Foundation. Some of these exclusions include the following:

  • Individuals who are served through Coca-Cola Scholars
  • Religious activities
  • Discriminatory organizations
  • Lobbying, political or legislation efforts
  • Weight-loss, exercise and nutrition-based initiatives
  • Television, movies and film
  • Website development
  • Building initiatives
  • Entertainment events
  • Beauty, fashion and hair shows
  • Fraternities and sororities
  • Local sports teams
  • Family reunions
  • Travel
  • Marketing projects
  • U.S.-based educational institutions
  • Organizations that do not have 501(c)(3) status in the U.S. or the equivalent status abroad

Coca-Cola Scholars

If you are looking for Coca-Cola to give school or educational support to an individual in one of your nonprofit programs rather than for the program as a whole, Coca-Cola Scholars might be able to help. The scholars attend institutions like Harvard, Yale, Duke, Princeton and Stanford and go into careers like business, education, health care and the arts. Applications are only available at certain times of the year, and those showing leadership potential are most suited to apply. They must also meet the following eligibility requirements:

  • Current high school student in the upcoming school year
  • Planning to pursue education at an accredited postsecondary school in the U.S.
  • Meet certain citizenship or residency requirements set by the U.S. Department of Education

Scholar applicants cannot be temporary residents, high school graduates, international students or children or grandchildren of employees of Coca-Cola or its subsidiaries.

Coca-Cola Product Donations and Sponsorships

Organizations that do not fall under the umbrella of Coca-Cola Foundation grants can sometimes still gain support from Coca-Cola through product donations and sponsorships. The Ask Coca-Cola webpage provides help for answering questions about the process for both of those requests. Coca-Cola avoids sponsoring anything falling under the following categories:

  • Something benefiting a particular individual, family or unincorporated group
  • Religious efforts
  • Political efforts
  • Properties for kids under 13
  • Discriminatory groups
  • Hunting or anything that hurts animals
  • Conventions and expos 

Coca-Cola representatives can help you find the right form for sponsorships in the following areas:

  • Sports teams and venues 
  • Leisure venues
  • Live events
  • Celebrities and athletes
  • Entertainment property
  • Colleges and universities
  • Advertising
  • Philanthropy
  • Fundraising
  • Event product donations
  • Merchandise licensing 

Coca-Cola Application Process

The application process for Coke donations is similar for each type of funding request. Whether you are looking for a grant, scholarship or sponsorship, be prepared to navigate to the appropriate form online. You will need identifying information for yourself and your organization. Be prepared with your employer identification number, mission, vision statement, funding plan, budget and more in order to help the application go as seamlessly as possible.

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About the Author

Anne Kinsey is an entrepreneur and business pioneer, who has ranked in the top 1% of the direct sales industry, growing a large team and earning the title of Senior Team Manager during her time with Jamberry. She is the nonprofit founder and executive director of Love Powered Life, as well as a Certified Trauma Recovery Coach, certified HRV biofeedback practitioner and freelance writer who has written for publications like Working Mother, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Houston Chronicle and Our Everyday Life. Anne works from her home office in rural North Carolina, where she resides with her husband and three children.