The Alliant Energy Foundation’s Community Grants are directed to programs and projects that benefit customers in Alliant Energy communities in Iowa and Wisconsin. We fund projects that fit into one of our three focus areas: Helping Families, Education and the Environment.
Grants from the Foundation typically range from $500 to $5,000, with an average grant of $2,500. In 2016, the Foundation awarded 266 grants totaling more than $656,000.
Want to know more about the grant program and recipients?
Before taking your time to apply, please carefully review the three sections below. We also encourage you to review our frequently asked questions page. If you require further information, please contact our office at 1-866-769-3779 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Projects we fund and don’t fund
- The application process
- Apply for a grant
Projects we fund
All projects must fit into one of our three focus areas. If you’re not sure if your program strongly aligns with one of these areas, please feel free to contact us before you apply. We’re happy to provide guidance and input.
Helping families – In this category, we specifically support programs in these areas:
- Food, nutrition – Pantry, delivery, school or backpack nutrition programs
- Housing, shelter – Emergency shelters, programs that help disadvantaged families
- Clothing, basic household needs – Clothing, cribs, car seats
- Adult education – Parenting skills, financial literacy, English classes
- Domestic or child abuse – Safe house, awareness or prevention programs
- Respite care for people with disabilities – Adult/family day programs, workforce development
- After-school and summer programs targeting minority populations
- Playground improvements (Please note, playgrounds must be open to the general public, and all grants are $1,000).
Education – In this category, we specifically support programs in these areas:
- STEM (science, technology, engineering and math)
- General education and literacy programs for children
- Agricultural education
- Youth development, mentoring
- College readiness
- Workforce development
Environment – In this category, we specifically support programs in these areas:
- Environmental education – programs teaching about environmental issues, endangered species, wildlife protection
- Conservation – tree planting, actively protecting and preserving wildlife space and waterways
- Trail projects – benches, signage, trail improvements
- Park improvements and updates – benches, signage, picnic tables
Additionally, organizations need to meet all of the following criteria.
- The program must take place and serve customers within the Alliant Energy service territory.
- The organization is a registered 501(c)3 nonprofit organization with a valid IRS tax ID (EIN); or a governmental unit, town, village, or city; or an accredited school, college or university. Churches are not included.
- Organizations should not have received another grant from the Alliant Energy Foundation within the current calendar year.
Qualities of strong grant proposals
- Exhibit community partnerships and funding support from various sources
- Meet identified community needs and have measureable impact
- Demonstrate strong financial management and board commitment
- Are sustainable and demonstrate innovative solutions
Projects we don't fund
Please review the list in its entirety before you apply for a Community Grant.
- 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
- 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, gender identity, ethnicity or national origin
- Fiscal agents
- Contributions to intermediary (“third-party”) funding groups that raise money to distribute to other charities
- Fraternal or social clubs
- 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, emergency generators, holiday light displays and other projects that may provide a benefit to Alliant Energy or its utility subsidiaries
- Programs or projects that are primarily arts and culture or health and wellness initiatives, including education programs in these categories
- Capital campaigns, including emergency vehicles, new construction, structural renovations, repairs or similar projects
- Multi-year pledge requests
- 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, and swimming pools
- 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
- Computers, laptops or iPads
- Field trips
- K-9 service dogs or related equipment
- Salaries, facilities costs, training or other operating expenses, which are not a priority of our grant making
Generally, we prefer to provide grants to support specific programs, projects or initiatives in lieu of general operating support. Please note: Support of political activity either directly or indirectly is prohibited by law.
The Foundation is governed by a board of directors consisting of officers of Alliant Energy Corporation or its subsidiaries, which periodically reviews the Community Grants program guidelines.
The application process
Applications are only accepted through the Alliant Energy eGrant portal. Each organization should create one eGrant login and password to be shared among all individuals at the organization.
When the grant cycle opens, each applicant will complete a short eligibility quiz to ensure the organization and program fit within Alliant Energy Foundation grant guidelines.
Applications are accepted two times each year.
|Application opens||Submission deadline||Decision date|
|February 1||March 1, 11:59 p.m.||May 1|
|August 1||September 1, 11:59 p.m.||November 1|
- Applications will only be accepted during these two annual grant cycles.
- Grants for a project on a particular date should be requested so that a decision can be made prior to the actual start date of the program or event.
- The Foundation will accept proposals in any of its areas of focus during each cycle.
- Grant applicants will be notified via email of our decision on the date noted above.
- Grants are approved for a one-year period and the Foundation does not make multi-year commitments. Typically, only one grant will be committed to an organization in a calendar year. Some exceptions may be made when an organization hosts multiple divisions or departments, or when the projects target different areas of focus.
- Organizations that receive funding of $5,000 or more from the Foundation will be asked to submit a report through eGrant documenting program achievements, lessons learned and a detailed list of grant expenditures.
- In between grant cycles, you can preview a list of grant questions and our budget template [Microsoft Excel format].
Apply for a grant
Each organization should create one eGrant login and password to be shared among all individuals at the organization. If you already have an account, you can follow the link and login. If you think your organization already has an account but you are unable to access it, please contact us at 866-769-3779 or email@example.com.
- Visit our eGrant site and create your organization’s login and password. We recommend your login be a convenient and easy form of your organization name. Please note that most organizations will have only one login and password to be shared with everyone at your organization.
- Review the instructions tab.
- Click on Opportunities to view open grant applications.
- Complete the questions and upload the appropriate attachments. You are able to save your grant application and return to it at a later date. Please adhere to the guidelines for accepted document types for attachments. Details will be specified in the application.
- Upon completion, you must hit “Submit My Data” to complete the process. The eGrant system will send an electronic confirmation that your request has been received.
- Grant applicants will be notified via email about decisions on the date specified.