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Giving Guidelines Duke Energy Foundation Annual Grants

Recipients must be organizations with 501(c)(3) verification from the IRS, or be a part of a governmental entity.

All organizations applying for a grant must:

  • Complete the online grant application related to our areas of focus
  • Provide regular reports on the measurable results of the project
  • Ensure that neither Duke Energy Corporation, nor Duke Energy Foundation, receives benefits from the grant.

Duke Energy Foundation funding is provided for:

  • Organizations and strategic programs
    • Foundation funds are used to support programs, projects and agencies considered to be strategic and in alignment with the areas of focus and the company’s core values.
    • Foundation funds are primarily given to programs and organizations that reside or operate within the company’s regulated service territory. It is rare for the Foundation to contribute outside of the regulated service territory – the major exception being those communities adjacent to company-operated generating stations outside of the regulated service territory.
    • Proposals must clearly describe the project’s intent, need and quantifiable results. The staff and trustees will review submitted proposals, seeking projects and programs with strong potential to demonstrate long-lasting positive influence and impact on the people of the communities we serve.

Foundation funds are NOT provided for:

  • Organizations that discriminate by race, creed, gender, age or national origin
  • Organizations with the primary purpose of influencing legislation
    • Foundation grants cannot be used for legislative purposes, including funding to influence legislation.
    • As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Duke Energy Foundation risks losing its tax-exempt status if it contacts, or urges the public to contact, a member or employee of a legislative body to propose, support, or oppose legislation.
  • Political causes, candidates, organizations or campaigns
    • As a 501(c)(3) organization, the Duke Energy Foundation is prohibited from engaging in any “political campaign activity.” This includes directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office.
  • Individuals or Foundations
    • Duke Energy Foundation funds are not to be directed to individuals, or for the use of other foundations, except on occasions when foundations act as fiscal agents for initiatives or qualified 501(c)(3) and nonprofit organizations.
  • Athletics, including individual events, fundraisers, uniforms, sports and all-star teams
  • Individual elementary, secondary or private schools (including school events and parent-teacher associations)
    • Thousands of public, private and charter elementary and secondary schools exist within the Duke Energy service territory
    • We do not provide funding to individual schools (as opposed to school districts), unless an initiative being funded on behalf of a school district or nonprofit is being piloted at an individual school.
  • Religious activities or programs
    • Foundation funds are not to be used for religious programs or activities, including churches, faith-based programs, or evangelical programs.
  • General operating expenses and/or funds to pay down operating deficits
    • Foundation grants are used for sustainable programs and initiatives. Grants are not to be used to pay operating expenses such as administrative salaries, overhead or maintenance of the agency, except where the expenses are integral to the program.
    • Foundation grants cannot be used to pay taxes, utilities, insurance or other expenses related to sustaining the agency’s operations.
  • Underwriting of films, video or television productions
  • Reducing the cost of utility service (prohibited by law)
    • Foundation funds cannot be used to reduce the cost of utility service. We must also exercise great care to ensure that energy efficiency and economic development programs do not generate financial benefit to Duke Energy or the Foundation.
  • Fraternal, veteran or labor groups serving only their members
    • Foundation funds are not used for exclusive members or membership purposes.
  • Membership fees or association fees (personal or corporate)
    • Foundation funds are not provided to agencies or professional organizations for association or membership fees.
    • Neither Duke Energy nor the Duke Energy Foundation should receive membership as a result of a Foundation grant. Such membership is a benefit, which could jeopardize our tax-exempt status.
  • Capital campaigns, investments and improvements, except in rare cases
    • Building materials and equipment purchases, including but not limited to playgrounds, buildings and parks, are capital investments that are not strategically aligned with our areas of focus.
  • Endowments, except in very rare cases
  • Conferences, trips, or tours
    • Foundation funds are not to be used to attend conferences, trips and/or tours.
    • Neither should Foundation funds be used to sponsor conferences, except when a conference or workshop is a primary part of the recipient organization’s core programs.
  • Advertising
    • Foundation funds are not to be used for advertising purposes, because there is a direct benefit received.
  • Dinners, tables, walks, runs or event fundraisers
    • Foundation funds should not be used for table sponsorships or event fundraisers.
    • Neither should Foundation funds be used for breakfast, luncheon or dinner sponsorships, as these involve a direct benefit back to Duke Energy.