Foundation Grants

Foundation grants, and the foundations that award them, are highly valued means of support for many philanthropic activities that would not otherwise come into existence without the generous support of such organizations.

Foundations are operated on the basis of allowing others to perform actions that are of benefit to the community, region, or which may have even broader scope still. The main avenue of assistance is with the award of foundation grants.

Different forms of government, for example, state, local, or federal, have different requirements by which a foundation can come into operation but they are all considered nonprofit organizations that must adhere to the guidelines and regulations of the government entities recognizing them. This is usually most important for income tax purposes.

In some cases, a collective of business competitors will join forces to advance a particular technology or social direction. The participating corporations will pool resources, financial as well as personnel, to establish a way to work in a cohesive and mutually beneficial fashion to accomplish a goal greater than any one corporation could do alone.

For example, in the early 1980s, Japan announced it was creating a new branch of government devoted solely to electronic technologies to further its already lucrative electronic entertainment industry and to devise ways to adapt these technologies for broader applications, such as defense and communications.

Business leaders in the United States petitioned the US government to develop a competitive program but to no avail. As a result, leaders of some of the US’s major corporations dealing with aeronautics and electronics pooled their resources to found Microelectronics and Computer Technologies Corporation (MCC), in Austin, Texas. Foundation grants from the participating corporations involved money for operations but it also included the use of some of the top scientists from each corporation.

In a situation such as this, often described as a think tank, foundation grants are pooled and used for a clearly defined project but other foundations operate differently. From a philanthropic base of operations, foundation grants may fund new museums, better distribution of medicine and food in underdeveloped countries, or to develop ways to protect the environment.

Regardless of the purpose of foundation grants, many highly beneficial things are accomplished which would not be considered if it weren’t for the foundations that distribute the funding.