Dow Promise FAQs

What is the Dow Promise Program?

The Dow Promise Program is an employee-led initiative of The Dow Chemical Company to positively impact educational and economic challenges faced by African American youth and adults in communities near Dow sites. A part of the Dow Promise program is an annual competitive grant program designed to support social, economic, or environmental projects that contribute to long-term success in the communities in which Dow operates and in which Dow employees reside. Applicants must be charitable or non-profit organizations (have a 501(c)(3) non-profit tax designation) or be municipal or government agencies. Faith-based organizations that have a 501(c) (3) can also apply, provided their projects benefit the community as a whole and not just their organization membership. A committee of Dow employees will select the projects. The maximum grant request is $15,000

Why is Dow providing this program?

Dow values the opportunity to provide financial support to communities in which the Company has a presence. With great demand for contributions, Dow wants to target its funding in the areas that will have the greatest long-term, positive impact for community members.

Who may apply for the grants?

Certified 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations, municipalities, county, governmental or state agencies or faith-based organizations that have a 501(c)(3). All applications must be endorsed by the Executive Director (or equivalent) of the organization.

What kinds of projects are most likely to be funded?

Preference will be given to projects that:

Meet an identified community need, particularly in the areas of environmental sustainability, economic development, neighborhood safety and security, work skills development and/or health care

Have one-time costs for tangible, long-term items such as facilities or project starter materials

Are well-researched and provide visible long-term benefits

Are from organizations that are financially well administered and organized

Have measurable results

Generate community support and involvement

Outlines a specific plan for the participation and involvement of Dow employees and retirees

It is EXTREMELY important to provide a complete budget that specifies the costs for which the community grant would be used. Without this information, the application will be considered ineligible.

What type of projects may be submitted?

This funding is directed at specific project costs that relate to long-term sustainable initiatives. It is not intended to provide ongoing operational funding. Projects must provide positive community impact in at least one of the following areas: Science in Society, Contributing to Community Success, and/or Sustainability, Contributing to student Academic Success.

Student Academic Success means:

provides mentoring, tutoring or remedial support for primary and secondary level students

provide enrichment programs that provide the opportunity for students to discover the wonders of science

Science in Society means:

enhancing understanding of the roles of chemicals and plastics and the chemical industry having

the potential to increase interest in careers and opportunities linked to chemistry, engineering, technology and other sciences

Contributing to Community Success means:

promotes job creation

meets community-defined needs

provides permanent improvement to the social infrastructure within a disadvantaged or underprivileged sector of the community

provides funding for materials or tools which will be widely available within a community or will offer long-term benefit to the community as a whole

Sustainability means:

enhances or protects the natural environment

raises awareness among a broad public audience of environmental issues and relationship to social and economic consideration

What type of organizations are ineligible to apply and compete for community grants program funding?

Ineligible organizations include: Organizations that do not have tax-exempt non-profit or charitable status. For-profit businesses, religious organizations for the sole benefit of that organization, individual sports teams, political organizations or candidates, labor unions, homeowners associations or individuals

I received a Dow Promise Grant last year. Can I apply again this year?

Yes, as long as your project meets the eligibility requirements and you have completed your previous Dow Promise grant project and submitted the reports.

What other aspects of the project would make it ineligible for a Dow Community Grant?

Funds cannot be used for operating expenses (e.g. rent/lease/mortgage, utilities, salaries or stipends), personal computers, advertising, fund raising events, gifts and giveaways, dues and memberships or lobbying expenses. If the Dow Promise grant is to be used to fund a part of the project, funding for other parts must be received and confirmed prior to applying for a Dow Promise Grant. Otherwise the project will be considered ineligible.

Why doesn't Dow fund operating expenses?

The Dow Community Grants Program is subject to the guidelines of The Dow Foundation, which requires that funding be provided to one-time, sustainable community projects and not those that require on-going operational funding. This allows Dow to spread out the benefits to a variety of organizations annually and avoids the possibility that an organization has to suspend an important program if it does not secure Dow funding through this competitive program.

My organization needs a new van. Would we be able to apply for funding?

No. The Dow Promise Foundation guidelines do not allow for the funding of projects related to transportation.

What are the benefits of a Dow employee sponsor?

Part of the purpose of the Dow Promise grant program is to provide opportunities for relationship building through interaction between Dow employees and local communities. Although a Dow employee sponsor is not required to apply for the grant, having this linkage often helps build stronger ties for future sustainability.

Can organizations with religious affiliations apply?

Yes, provided that they have a 501(c)(3) designation and the benefits of their projects are available to all community members and not restricted to the organization's membership or congregation.

How are the recipients selected?

The recipients are chosen by a Selection Committee made up of Dow employee representatives. Each committee member reviews all the applications and scores them based on how well they meet the grant criteria. The committee meets to discuss the scores and determine the funding allocations.

If my organization is awarded a grant, how long would the organization have to complete the project?

All Dow Promise Grant projects must be completed within 12 months of the grant awarded. At the completion of the project, a report must be provided to Dow to understand the benefits and impact of the project. Any exceptions to the 12 month period will require a discussion with Dow representatives must be conducted to determine next steps, which may include a requirement for the organization to re-pay the grant funding. As well, organizations with unfinished grant projects are not eligible for further Dow funding until the project is complete.

Is there a limit on the number of grant awards?

Dow will accept only one application per organization each year. This allows Dow to maximize the distribution of funding to the areas in which it provides the highest value to communities. Each submitting organization, therefore, is asked to prioritize its projects and submit only one application per year for the program that provides the greatest impact and meets the greatest need.

How will organizations apply for the grants?

An electronic application is available and can be accessed from the the Dow Promise Application page.

The completed application must be endorsed by the organization's executive director or equivalent. Completed applications and supporting non-profit status documentation must be received by the posted application deadline.

What is the deadline for submission of an application?

There are two application periods each year. The first application period is between February 15 and April 1. The second application period is between August 15 and October 1.

How do I obtain additional information about Dow Promise?

Additional questions about the Dow Promise Program should be emailed to

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