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Funding Guidelines

Funding Guidelines Applying for Grants

The Duke Energy Foundation receives grant requests for funding during specific request for proposal (RFP) cycles for each investment priority, which are published online and in the grant application. While an organization's programming may align with more than one investment priority, the Foundation prefers to provide funding to an organization once in a 12-month period. Therefore, we encourage you to first do a comprehensive evaluation of your organization's funding needs and programmatic goals/outcomes to determine which investment priority and funding cycle to pursue. This does not preclude you from applying to more than one investment priority during a 12-month period, but receiving funding in multiple investment priorities during this time period will be rare.

All grant requests must be entered through the online grant application available at, except for requests to the Duke Energy Water Resources Fund  (which has separate guidelines). The Foundation is unable to accept grant proposals in other formats. Once received through the online system, each grant application is reviewed, researched and assessed within the published funding cycle. Final approval will typically occur three to five months from the close of the RFP time frame, and will vary by investment priority. Local community development grants are reviewed and approved year-round, and final approval will vary between one to three months.

To qualify for grant funding consideration, your organization must meet the following criteria:

  • Have current tax-exempt status as a public charity under Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Code or be a governmental entity
  • Serve communities that are also served by Duke Energy
  • Serve communities without discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, creed, gender, age, sexual orientation or national origin
  • Have method by which to measure and track and report one or more program outcomes and specific results that demonstrate measurable community impact

Foundation grant support is not available for:

  • Churches or evangelical organizations
  • Organizations with a substantial purpose of influencing any political, legislative or regulatory cause
  • Fraternal, veteran or labor membership organization serving only the members of that organization
  • Organizations offering or providing either Duke Energy Corp., The Duke Energy Foundation, or their respective officers or employees, any benefit from the grant

The Foundation does not fund grants for programs and projects associated with, but not limited to, the following:

  • Individual schools or organizations that operate within an individual school
  • Sports teams or events
  • Animal shelters
  • Religious programs, projects or activities
  • Cost reduction for electric or gas service provided by the company
  • Economic development activities specific to recruiting industry to Duke Energy’s electric or gas systems
  • Fundraising events
  • General operating expenses
  • Capital investments and improvements, except in rare cases
  • Endowments or other Foundations, except in rare cases