What we fund

The Energy Foundation awards grants according to initiatives in the electric power, buildings, transportation, and climate sectors. Please visit our program pages for specific information about the type of work we support in each area. If you are a first-time grantseeker or are unsure whether your proposal fits into the Energy Foundation’s guidelines, we strongly encourage you to send a letter of inquiry to grants@ef.org.

Limitations on foundation grants

Generally, the foundation makes grants to nonprofit charitable organizations classified by the Internal Revenue Service as 501(c)(3) public charities. The foundation does not make grants directly to individuals.

  • The foundation is unable to support local projects, unless they have been consciously designed for further replication or have broad regional or national implications. The foundation’s geographic focus is the United States and China, with special emphasis on regional initiatives.
  • The foundation is unable to make grants intended to support candidates for political office, to influence legislation, or to support sectarian or religious purposes.
  • The foundation is unable to fund the research and development of technology (e.g., funds to develop hybrid automobiles or commercialization of an invention).
  • The foundation is unable to fund demonstration projects (e.g., model solar homes).
  • The foundation is unable to fund community energy projects.
  • The foundation is unable to fund endowments or debt reduction. The foundation is not able to support annual fund-raising campaigns or capital construction. The foundation is unable to support the planning, renovation, maintenance, retrofit, or purchase of buildings; the purchase of equipment; or the acquisition of land, even if the intent is to save energy.
  • The foundation does not accept unsolicited general operating support grants.

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