The world’s largest retailer offers an extensive corporate giving program to support communities around the globe where it operates its stores. How extensive? Last year alone, the Wal-Mart Foundation paid out well over $1 billion in cash support and in-kind contributions. The overall focus for this grant program is to support low-income families in communities where Wal-Mart does business. There are four areas of focus for this massive giving program. These are hunger relief, sustainability, economic empowerment for women and career opportunity. This corporate giving program is split into four smaller branches for different types of organizations to apply for help. If you are interested in applying for Wal-Mart grants, here is a rundown of the corporate giving program and how each branch issues its funding.
The largest of grants provided by the Wal-Mart Foundation are offered through the National Giving Program. Awards start at $250,000 and are often awarded to groups that handle re-granting of funding to smaller local programs. To apply for a national grant, your organization must operate either nationwide or at least over several states. Several examples of national grant partnerships include Feeding America, City Year and the American Heart Association. Applications for national grants are accepted year round on a rolling basis. To apply for a national grant, you must first submit a letter of inquiry. Proposals for funding that do not follow that format are discarded.
The second largest grants offered are through the State Giving Program. These grants range in size from $25,000 to $250,000. Within each state, the Wal-Mart Foundation maintains a State Advisory Council that makes decisions on statewide funding. Applications are handled twice a year through two grant cycles. These run from January to March and from June to August. To apply for funding, your organization must hold 501c3 status and serve the residents of the state you are applying for. Each state is allocated a budget for annual giving so it is suggested that you apply as early as possible when each grant cycle opens. Once funding for a specific state is allocated, further requests for that state can no longer be accepted or considered. For a long list of what these state grants can not be used for, click the link above.
The Local Giving Program offers small grants from $250 to $2,500 and are by far the easiest to apply for. Each local Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club store offers these grants. They are also offered by your area logistics facility. Local grants support a wide range of organizations and can be used for almost any purpose that benefits the local community. Non-profit organizations, faith-based organizations, government agencies and schools of any type are welcome to apply. If you are a teacher or a school looking for local education assistance, this is the one you apply for. Funding can also be used by local law enforcement or fire department programs. Applications are accepted online with one annual deadline of December 1. To read over local grant guidelines or to apply, click the link above.
Northwest Arkansas Grants
At the age of only 26, Sam Walton took over his first retail establishment in Newport, Arkansas. The Northwest Arkansas area has been the home to Wal-Mart ever since. And for that reason, special attention is paid to this local area in the form of grant assistance by the Wal-Mart Foundation. Northwest Arkansas grants usually start at around $10,000 and are issued for local causes not supported by the other three types of grants. There are three areas of focus for the Northwest Arkansas Giving Program. These deal with fighting hunger, access to health care and arts and recreation. Only organizations based within Benton or Washington Counties are invited to apply. The annual deadline for these local grants is November 30.