The AT&T Foundation is committed to the improvement of communities through education and job training. Currently, there are two programs and each has specific rules for how you can apply.
Types of AT&T Grants
AT&T has two programs through which it presently provides funding. Aspire grants are used to fund education programs for disadvantaged students. Military/veteran grants fund programs that help military members, veterans and their families. Make the AT&T donation request, also called a funding request, that is appropriate for your proposed project.
Aspire's Funding Priorities
Aspire grants are made to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charities, government instrumentalities or international public charities. Funding supports the following types of programs, designed to help minority, low-income, nontraditional and underserved students:
- Programs that help students successfully complete high school, prepare for college and gain access to college
- Programs that help students successfully complete college
- Programs that provide job training or facilitate access to job training
Military/Veteran Funding Priorities
AT&T funds broad-based efforts and those who partner with other public and private resources. In order to be eligible for funds, the grantee must be a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt public charity or government instrumentality. Funding supports the following types of programs for military members, veterans and their families:
- Job training programs
- Programs to facilitate transition to civilian life
- Leadership development programs
- Programs to help students of military families successfully complete high school and gain access to college
- Programs that help service members, veterans and their family members successfully complete college
Determine Your Eligibility
Because of the high number of grant applicants, AT&T requires organizations to complete a survey to determine their eligibility for an aspire or a military/veterans grant.
After reviewing a survey, a process that can take several weeks, an organization and its proposal may be invited to submit a grant application. Only those invited may submit a full proposal. An invitation to submit does not guarantee funding.
Completing the Survey
On the aspire and military/veterans pages on AT&T's Foundation website, you'll find links to the surveys you must complete to determine eligibility for funding. Be prepared to complete the survey in one sitting since you cannot close the survey window and return to it at another time. AT&T sometimes makes sample survey questions available, so check current links.
Elements of Grant Applications
Grant makers typically specify the format they want applicants to use. Typically, the information requested includes the following:
- Project title
- Project summary
- Mission statement
- Organization's budget
- Proposed project budget (including funding sources in addition to the funding request)
- Amount requested from grant maker
- Name, position, address, phone number and email address of the organization's key personnel
- Brief biographical information of key personnel as it relates to the proposed project
- Timeline for project
- Population served by the grant
- Measures of program success
- Program sustainability
AT&T Donation Request
AT&T donation requests are handled through the company's two grant making arms: the Aspire Program and the Military/Veterans Program. In addition to monies, AT&T fulfills donation requests through employee volunteer hours.
Your Chance for Success
Large foundations typically make grants only to organizations that have a proven record of success. If you're filing for 501(c)(3) charity status for the purpose of applying to AT&T for nonprofits, you have a very limited chance for success.
Newly formed organizations should apply for grants from local and small foundations until they can demonstrate that they have several years of experience running successful programs that align with AT&T's philanthropic mission.
Alternatives to AT&T Grants
If your organization does not qualify for a grant or if you're invited to apply but do not receive funding, you may be able to get monies from other grant makers. Consult the Foundation Directory Online, a subscription-based database that you can access free at many public libraries. The Foundation Directory Online provides information on more than 150,000 grant makers that fund a wide variety of projects.
Denise Dayton, M.S., M.Ed. is a freelance writer specializing in careers, education and technology. In addition to writing for corporate clients, she has published articles in Library Journal and The Searcher.