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KEEP COMMUNITIES FLOWING GRANT PROGRAM

In our mission to demonstrate American Water’s commitment to the communities it serves, we align our grant making to American Water’s values. Our charitable focus to Keep Communities Flowing empowers our employees to get involved and our communities to learn how every drop counts.

Since 2012, the American Water Charitable Foundation has invested more than $9 million in funding through grants and matching gifts that are important to our employees and our communities. Each year, we continue to expand and strengthen our community partnerships, furthering our charitable purpose in communities served by American Water.

The American Water Charitable Foundation supports three pillars of giving: Water, People and Communities.

Keep Communities Flowing Grant Program

The STEM Education grant application is currently open and accepting applications through December 31.

AWCF click here to apply

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The American Water Charitable Foundation is an independent, 501(c)(3) private foundation, supported by the shareholders of American Water. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees, composed of officers and leaders of American Water or its subsidiaries, review Foundation programs, guidelines, and distribution of funds.

American Water Charitable Foundation Board of Trustees
Valoria Armstrong - Chief Inclusion Officer, Vice President External Affairs
David Bowler - Senior Vice President, Planning, Regulatory and Financial Services
Stephen Curtis - President, Military Services Group
Maureen Duffy - Senior Vice President, Communications and External Affairs
Justin Ladner - President, Illinois American Water
Mark McDonough - President, New Jersey American Water
Kevin Tilden - President, California American Water

American Water Charitable Foundation Officers
President - Carrie Williams, Manager, Corporate and Foundation Relations
Treasurer - James Merante, Vice President, Treasurer
Assistant Treasurer - Jack Quinn, Senior Manager, Investor Relations
Secretary and Legal Advisor to the Board - Justin Ettelson, Director, SEC and Corporate Counsel

American Water Charitable Foundation Staff Support
Julie Scharle – Matching Gift and Grant Program Specialist
Investment Committee
Employee Grant Review Committee

The American Water Charitable Foundation supports three pillars of giving: Water, People and Communities.

Applicant must be classified as a 501(c)(3) public charity by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or K-12 public school, college or university. Organization must either operate within, or directly benefit, an American Water service territory.

  1. While American Water values its business relationships and takes tremendous pride in serving our communities, the IRS prohibits private foundations from advancing the business interests and/or business ventures of the company. Any grant that could be viewed as attempting to influence the outcome of a business proposal, for example, will be declined to avoid self-dealing practices. Thank you for understanding.
  2. The IRS prohibits private foundations from paying for the recruitment expenses and/or training that American Water would otherwise have to pay. Job skills or training programs to maintain or gain employment with American Water would be considered a self-dealing practice. Any grant that could be viewed as a recruitment tool or inducement for employment will be declined. Thank you for understanding.
  3. An organization’s eligibility for a grant is subject to the final discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The Foundation reserves the right to decline a grant request under any of its programs to any organization for any reason or no reason at all.

Apply online through the American Water Charitable Foundation’s online Benevity Grants system. Paper applications will not be accepted.

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Due to the volume of grant applications received, each application is evaluated on a competitive basis as we strive to fund programs with a strong impact and measurable outcomes within our funding priorities. Applications are reviewed by Foundation staff and/or an employee grant-review committee for recommendation to the Board of Trustees.

The selection criteria presented below is provided to inform the grant applicant of the values held by the Foundation and their relative importance. However, the Foundation reserves the right to judge the merits of each application and the amount of funding, if any, based not only the selection criteria, but available funding, current objectives, experience and history, and other tangible and intangible criteria. The following is taken into consideration when reviewing an application:

  1. Inclusion, Diversity and Equity (ID&E) – if and how purposefully ID&E is tied to organization’s mission
  2. Community Impact – how well target audience/population is defined, with demonstrated positive impact
  3. Project Scope – how well proposal explains scope, steps, methods and intended results
  4. Project Feasibility – resources and timeline are realistic and congruent with project description and outcomes
  5. Project Sustainability – evidence the project can be sustained locally beyond grant period
  6. Project Budget – detailed and achievable budget with sound use of funds, with proof of funding secured above grant
  7. Measurable Impact – defined metrics to measure impact, including how data will be obtained and success defined
  8. Community Presence – applicant has existing, or ability to build, relationships within community, including opportunity for American Water to be involved, volunteer and partner

To focus our giving, there are projects and organizations we don’t fund. Please review the following list in its entirety before you apply for a grant. This is not an exhaustive list and other restrictions may apply.

  • Organizations not registered as a 501(c)(3) public charity
  • Government entities including townships, municipalities, cities
  • Donations of water or water-related services
  • Donations to connect water service, pipeline or water main extension projects
  • Customer assistance grants to help pay water bill. Click here to learn about Customer Assistance Programs available in your state.
  • Individuals, including GoFundMe campaigns
  • Political causes, candidates, organizations, or campaigns
  • Scholarships and tuition
  • Sponsorships, fundraisers, festivals, banquets, galas, races, golf tournaments, or other events
  • Boy Scouts of America
  • Donor advised funds
  • Faith-based or religious organizations, including churches, synagogues, mosques or other houses of worship, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, The Salvation Army, and other organizations that are not required to file for exemption with the IRS as they automatically qualify for 501(c)(3) status as a church. This restriction extends to projects that are supported by a church, for non-church purposes, such as a meal program, where the check would be payable to the church.
  • K-12 schools that require religious instruction as part of their general education requirements. This restriction extends to colleges and universities that require any type of Theology, Faith or Religious courses to meet core curriculum graduation requirements. Colleges seeking assistance to identify their religious affiliation should visit the NCES website.
  • Organizations that discriminate against people based on age, race, color, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, protected veteran status, an individual’s disability status, or other status protected by federal, state, and local laws.

An organization’s eligibility for a grant is subject to the final discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees. The American Water Charitable Foundation reserves the right to decline a grant request under any of its grant programs to any organization for any reason or no reason at all.

The amount should be based on your budget. As our Foundation has limited resources to address many needs in the communities we serve, a request for an amount that is not feasible may eliminate your project from consideration.

Typically, an organization will only receive one grant per calendar year.

Our preference is to support a particular program or project.

As a longstanding partner who benefits from American Water’s annual workplace giving campaigns, United Way chapters are excluded from applying for additional funds.

As a longstanding partner who benefits from American Water’s annual workplace giving campaign, Water For People is excluded from applying for additional funds.

Organizations receiving grants are encouraged to share news of their grant award and to acknowledge the American Water Charitable Foundation as appropriate on their website, social media, and printed materials. Please contact awcf@amwater.com for guidance as needed, media quotes and logo approval.

This invitation-only grant program is an opportunity for American Water corporate and state-based executive leadership to identify and bring forth applicants for consideration. The American Water Charitable Foundation will provide each applicant with an invitation and link to apply. We do not accept solicitations.

The site is administered by our grant service provider, Benevity. Benevity is a software company that powers corporate giving, volunteering, and grant-making solutions for 750+ of the world’s most purpose-driven brands.


Thank you for your interest in the American Water Charitable Foundation. For additional information, please contact awcfgrants@amwater.com.