Energy companies across America have emerged as significant local funders that small and mid-size nonprofits depend on for support. As this sector has boomed in recent years—but also attracted growing criticism, especially around fracking—it’s dedicated more resouces to philanthropy and community engagement.
But such companies aren’t immune to the buyouts and mergers typical of the corporate world, which can create challenges for nonprofits looking for corporate funding to sustain operations. Here are three things to know about the AGL Resources Private Foundation and where grantseekers can now turn for funding in the Southeast.
1. AGL Resources merged with Southern Company Gas
In the past, the AGL Resources maintained its own foundation with set guidelines and deadlines each year. This funder typically awarded grants in the first three quarters of the year according to its topical priorities. However, AGL Resources merged with Southern Company in the summer of 2016 and became a wholly owned subsidiary of Southern Company. But as an operating subsidiary, AGL Resources has continued to maintain its own management, corporate headquarters, and board of directors. The future of corporate funding from this now-combined entity is a bit uncertain, so grantseekers in the Southeast are advised to Southern Company about future funding opportunities.
2. Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee Are Priorities
The Southeastern states of Georgia, Florida, and Tennessee have been long-standing priorities for AGL, and they continue to be priorities for the energy giant after the merger. Combined with Southern Company, the combined utilities serve customers in nine states. So, in addition to these three states, nonprofits in Alabama, Mississippi, Virginia, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey may also be able to get involved and receive corporate support. AGL Resources is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, so this metropolitan area often receives the energy company’s support.
3. Giving Focuses on Education, Community, and the Environment
Since the merger, AGL has been involved recently in local educational efforts, such as career days for elementary school children. Meanwhile, other Southern Company subsidiaries, such as Nicor Gas and Virginia Natural Gas, have been involved in environmental efforts and received community service awards. These were the top three causes for the original AGL Resources Private Foundation, and they continue to be the top causes still today. Areas of interest to pitch to this corporate funding entity include STEM education, early literacy, clean air, environmental conservation, green space, women leadership programs, senior citizen programs, and basic needs services for low-income people. Occasionally, the corporation may consider arts and culture programs for funding too.
Learn more about this funder in IP’s full profile of the AGL Resources Private Foundation in our Southeast funding guide.