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Grant Funding Guidelines

Applying for grants

The Duke Energy Foundation receives grant applications through its various state initiatives and each state has unique processes for receiving grant applications.  Please follow your state's flow chart for more information on how your organization should apply for grant funding with the Duke Energy Foundation.

Funding Guidelines

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, including school districts.
    • Governmental entities will need to submit a W9 and IRS Governmental Information Letter.
  • Serve communities that are also served by Duke Energy.
  • Serve communities without discrimination against any individual on the basis of race, creed, gender, gender identity, age, sexual orientation or national origin.
  • Have a method by which to measure, 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.
  • Private foundations (including private operating foundations).
  • Foreign organizations.
  • For-profit organizations.
  • Individuals.
  • Organizations with a substantial purpose of influencing any political, legislative or regulatory cause, including 501(c)(4), 501(c)(6), or similar organizations.
  • Nonprofit organizations that are not tax exempt under Code section 501(a).
  • Fraternal, veteran or labor membership organizations serving only the members of that organization
  • Organizations offering or providing either Duke Energy Corporation, the Duke Energy Foundation, or their respective officers or employees any benefit from the grant.
  • Nonprofit organizations that are opposing or intervening parties (or that fund any such parties) in any proceeding in which Duke Energy is a party, or that fund or produce negative advertisements against Duke Energy, or actively oppose Duke Energy on social media.
The Foundation does not fund grants for programs and projects associated with, but not limited to, the following:
  • Individual K-12 schools or organizations that operate within an individual school. We will consider school grants at the district level.
  • Sports teams or events.
  • Religious programs, projects or activities.
  • Direct cost reduction for electric or gas service provided by Duke Energy.
  • External fundraising campaigns or events.
  • General operating expenses.
  • Capital investments and improvements.
  • Endowments or other foundations.
  • Multiple grants to the same institution in a calendar year.
  • The purchase or installation of any solar panel projects that connect to the electric grid.
  • General support for emergency preparedness equipment. Duke Energy Foundation will occasionally consider support of emergency preparedness equipment as part of prescriptive request for proposals (RFP) opportunities and not part of our open grants process.