- Assets: $5,576,190 (2014)
- Grants Received: $4,781,088 (2014)
- Grants Awarded: $5,248,201 (2014)
Established in 1983 to function as the AT&T Corporation’s grant-making arm, the AT&T Foundation (ATTF) invests primarily in projects “that serve the needs of people in communities where AT&T has a significant business presence, initiatives that use technology in innovative ways, and programs in which AT&T employees are actively involved as contributors or volunteers.”
Historically, ATTF has allocated a major proportion of its philanthropy to education. From 1995-2014, the Foundation and its parent company together donated nearly $87 million to support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) initiatives such as scholarship programs, science/math-focused summer camps for “at-risk youth,” and hands-on technology labs.
In 2008, ATTF launched “AT&T Aspire”—a $100 million philanthropic program aimed at curtailing high-school dropout rates by means of grants awarded to schools, nonprofit organizations, and research projects. In March 2012, AT&T announced that it would invest an additional $250 million in this program over the ensuing five years.
ATTF education grants are frequently earmarked to finance “superior technology solutions” in projects that promote “collaboration among educational institutions to share resources, increase efficiencies, and reduce costs.”
Reasoning from the premise that the United States is a nation rife with discrimination against nonwhite minorities, ATTF takes special pains to support “nonprofit organizations and programs that foster inclusion and create opportunities for diverse populations.” Indeed it directs a disproportionately large percentage of its philanthropy to predominatly nonwhite beneficiaries such as the American Indian College Fund, the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities, the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund, and the United Negro College Fund. “We have devoted special efforts,” adds the Foundation, “to advance the participation of women and underrepresented minorities in the fields of science and engineering.” In 2010, ATTF awarded $1.5 million to Communities In Schools, a project aimed at increasing the number of school-based site coordinators who “help at-risk students get the resources they need to stay in school and succeed.” That same year, the Foundation donated $98,524 to the West Virginia-based Education Alliance’s “Walk the Talk” program, to “provid[e] at-risk students with mentoring and academic intervention focused on improving students’ work/life skills.”
Identifying “diversity” as one of its “core value[s],” ATTF also has an active Arts and Culture grantmaking program that actively supports “the presentation of works by women and artists of diverse cultures so that these works may reach a wider audience.” In 2010, for example, the Foundation awarded $260,000 to the San Antonio Symphony’s Music Scholars program designed to help “disadvantaged” high-school students “improv[e] their self-esteem through training and accomplishment in music.”
Among ATTF’s more noteworthy grantees are: the Aspen Institute, the Brookings Institution, the Center for Community Change, the Children’s Defense Fund, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, the Council on Foundations, the Earth Day Network, the Greenlining Institute, the Human Rights Campaign, the Izaak Walton League of America, the League of United Latin American Citizens, the Mexican American Legal Defense & Education Fund, the Ms. Foundation for Women, the NAACP, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, the National Council of La Raza, National Public Radio, the National Urban League, the National Women’s Law Center, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Progressive Policy Institute, the Public Broadcasting Service, the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund, the Tides Foundation and the Tides Center, and the World Resources Institute.
To view a list of additional ATTF grantees, click here.