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Grant application guidelines

IBM's philanthropic resources are allocated to specific projects and programs that fit within our targeted areas of interest. The overwhelming majority of grants are initiated by IBM, do not stem from unsolicited proposals, and involve multi-year commitments. Subsequent grants will grow out of these efforts after the current grants have run their course.

While not encouraged, unsolicited proposals are reviewed on an ongoing basis. If your organization chooses to submit an unsolicited proposal, please note the following guidelines and address the requirements outlined below.


IBM only considers requests submitted by organizations which have a tax-exempt classification under Sections 170(c) or 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Priority is assigned to requests involving IBM technology or the volunteer efforts of our employees. In making a grant decision, we also consider what other types of IBM support (Matching Grants, Fund for Community Service, United Way) an organization may already be receiving.

IBM does not make equipment donations or grants from corporate philanthropic funds to:

Individuals, political, labor, religious, or fraternal organizations or sports groups;

Fundraising events such as raffles, telethons, walk-a-thons or auctions;

Capital campaigns, construction and renovation projects;

Chairs, endowments or scholarships sponsored by academic or nonprofit institutions;

Special events such as conferences, symposia or sports competitions; and

Organizations that advocate, support, or practice activities inconsistent with IBM‘s non-discrimination policies, whether based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran.

Application process

Nonprofit organizations or educational institutions wishing to submit unsolicited proposals to IBM should make an initial inquiry in the form of a two-page letter. In the event that the proposal is of interest to IBM, additional information will be requested. Videotapes and other supplemental materials are strongly discouraged at this initial stage. The letter should include the following information:

Brief statement fully describing the mission of the organization, the amount of money requested, and the purpose of the contribution;

Description of the problem you wish to address, the solution you propose, and how IBM technology, and IBM volunteers, if appropriate, will be incorporated;

Proposed project budget with all other anticipated sources of income;

Plans to measure and evaluate program results;

Name, address and telephone number of the project contact person.

Applications should be directed as follows:
Local projects:

IBM South Africa Corporate Community Relations

Private Bag X9907
Tel: +27 (0) 11 302 8366/ 6240
Fax: +27 (0) 11 302 6161
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