The Foundation contributes to a wide array of programs aimed at improving the quality of community life within one or more of its focus areas.
Grants are awarded in five major categories. Programs, projects or initiatives that qualify in multiple categories are of particular interest and will receive special consideration for funding.
- Civic: We support community-based organizations that conduct programs and activities aimed at community improvement, economic development, affordable housing, job training, retention and placement, or initiatives that seek to improve the overall quality of community life.
- Culture and art: We support organizations that conduct programs and activities which foster an enlightenment and appreciation of the fine arts and humanities, with an emphasis on broadening access to cultural and art activities.
- Education: We believe an educated and skilled workforce is crucial to the vitality of our communities, and so priority is given to educational programs that foster innovation and develop future leaders.
- Environment: We help protect the environment by supporting organizations that seek to educate, inform and advance environmental issues that have the potential to impact our communities.
- Human needs: We help meet local community human services needs through annual grants to United Way campaigns and to agencies that satisfy those needs in communities.
Restrictions and limitations
The Foundation will not provide funding for:
- Organizations that are not either: (1) registered, non-profit organizations as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the United States Internal Revenue Service Code; (2) fully accredited public or private schools or universities; or (3) instruments of federal, state or local governments as provided by Section 170(c)(1) of the Code.
- Contributions to individuals;
- Ads in programs, door prizes, raffle tickets, dinner tables, golf outings or sponsorships of organized sports teams or activities;
- Athletes, teams, sporting events or tournaments;
- Contributions to intermediary (“third party”) funding groups that raise money to distribute to other charities;
- Fraternal or social clubs;
- Religious institutions such as churches, synagogues, temples or other houses of worship, or any organization whose main purpose is to promote a specific faith, creed or religion and/or direct resources to advocate for a specific ideology;
- Organizations that discriminate against people because of their age, race, creed, gender, handicap, sexual orientation, ethnicity or national origin;
- Registration or participation fees for individuals, teams or schools for fundraising events, e.g., walk-a-thons, runs, travel funds for tours or tournaments;
- Books, magazines or professional journal articles;
- or Programs that provide assistance with energy costs or energy-related projects that conflict with the Internal Revenue Service's rules that govern self-dealing by private foundations. Ineligible projects include energy-efficiency building upgrades, new or improved lighting fixtures and equipment, holiday light displays and other projects that might provide a benefit to Alliant Energy or its utility subsidiaries.
Please note: Support of political activity either directly or indirectly is prohibited by law.
Since 2002, the Foundation has denied funding for capital campaigns and projects (more commonly known as “bricks-and-mortar” projects) in order to direct more resources to projects and organizations that address community needs and benefit a large number of people.
Further, we don't provide grants for salaries, facilities costs or other operating expenses, which are not a priority of our grantmaking. Generally, we prefer to provide grants to support specific programs, projects or initiatives in lieu of general operation support.
Brochures and fact sheets