Big Business Means Big Bucks for Nearby Nonprofits

Since the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted the global economy, many businesses have re-evaluated their operations for where they base their factories, headquarters, and branches. From new chip factories in Arizona to big names like Caterpillar and Boeing moving their headquarters into new locations, big names and small have been shuffling around where they place their facilities.  

These new openings represent a big opportunity for the areas they’re moving to, from new jobs to new tax revenue for the local government. But these moves also represent a big opportunity for local nonprofits.  

Oftentimes, when companies move into a new area, they will either directly donate or create grant programs for local nonprofits. The corporations do so in order to curry a favorable opinion from the new neighbors, establish themselves with ties to the local community, and also to use the grants as an opportunity to drive their own business interest.  

For example, General Motors recently announced over $160,000 in grants for local nonprofits in Warren, Michigan to deepen ties with the community as well as focus on issues relevant to GM such as stem education and improving road safety.  

In 2021 alone, corporations handed out over $20 billion to nonprofits. Brands like Amazon, Walmart, and Google regularly give out big bucks to local nonprofits to improve their image and grow connections with local communities.  

If your nonprofit organization is interested in expanding your funding sources, it would be a good idea to keep track of what new companies are opening up shop in your area.  

Two key strategies for nonprofits would be to:  

  1. Keep on top of the corporations that regularly give a lot away, using lists like this to scan for companies that might match new businesses opening up near you 
  2. Follow industry trends and see where new technology and innovation will bring new business 

This last point is especially important. For example, electric cars have become more popular than ever, and big auto companies are rushing to build up the production to produce them. 

As a nonprofit, you may not think the electric vehicle industry has very much to do with you, but the newness of this industry basically requires that new factories in new locations be built. And with over $13.5 billion of new investments by auto and battery companies, you may find yourself neighbors to a new factory or business center sooner than later.  

As these new plants spring into production, these companies will most likely set up grant programs or make direct social investments in the surrounding communities. Nonprofits should be ready to engage with these new neighbors and take full advantage of everything they have to offer. 


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