- Assets: $45,180,315 (2014)
- Grants Received: $0 (2014)
- Grants Awarded: $30,628,914 (2014)
The Verizon Foundation (VF) was established in 2000 as the philanthropic arm of Verizon Communications. It seeks to “solve critical social issues” in the United States via three major grant-making programs:1) The Education program focuses on “leveraging technology to improve access to a variety of educational experiences and extend learning beyond the classroom walls”; “developing tools that lead to improved student performance in the classroom”; and “supporting the smart collection and analysis of data to improve the teaching/learning process.”
2) The Healthcare program is dedicated to “providing greater access to treatment information and critical patient data for healthcare professionals”; “supporting the development of life-empowering assistive technologies”; “improving access to healthcare services for those in need”; and “enhancing communication between doctors, patients, and emergency response services.”
3) The Sustainability program devotes its efforts to “supporting innovations that enable more efficient, productive farming”; “promoting environmental solutions for a greener, more sustainable future”; “restoring habitats by removing pollution and providing clearer water”; and “reducing energy consumption by data monitoring leading to better energy choices.”Both Verizon Communications and the Verizon Foundation profess an unwavering commitment to cultivating racial and ethnic “diversity.” Viewing the United States as a nation where racial and economic injustices are rampant, VF focuses its philanthropy on groups that “serve the needs of diverse communities” as well as “people who are economically and socially disadvantaged.”Among the many groups which the Verizon Foundation has supported in recent years are the American Civil Liberties Union; ACORN; the Brookings Institution; the Congressional Black Caucus; Defenders of Wildlife; the EarthJustice Legal Defense Fund; Lambda Legal Defense & Education Fund; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; the National Council of La Raza; National Public Radio; the National Urban League; Population Connection (formerly known as Zero Population Growth); Public Broadcasting System; the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund; the Rainforest Action Network; the Sierra Club; the Tides Foundationand the Tides Center; and the Wilderness Society.
To view a list of additional noteworthy grantees of the Verizon Foundation, click here.
VF augments its grant-making programs with a number of matching-gifts initiatives that duplicate the charitable donations of Verizon employees.
VF president Rose Stuckey Kirk depicts her foundation as “an incubator for new social solutions” that are geared toward creating “positive social change.” In a 2014 interview, Kirk lauded the Obama administration for its interest in VF’s education-related initiatives. “I spent time walking White House officials through our Verizon Innovative Learning Schoolsprogram,” said Kirk. “VILS, as we call it, is a comprehensive, ongoing professional development program that provides onsite and online training to teachers on how to use technology in their classrooms to engage students in their STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering and Math] studies. Our investment of up to $100 million in cash and in-kind contributions—which was announced by President Obama—will build on the success of our existing education programs.”
For additional information on the Verizon Foundation, click here.
 VF, for its part, boasts that it is “an inclusive organization that reflects the marketplace and leverages the diversity of employees, customers, suppliers and community partners.”