Giving FAQs


What are the focus areas for Foundation grant-making?

The General Mills Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that serve people in need and improve the quality of life in General Mills communities. The primary areas of focus are hunger and nutrition wellness, education, and arts and culture.

  • Hunger and Nutrition Wellness: Supporting innovative programs that promote healthy children and families by providing nutrition education and physical fitness activities
  • Education: Supporting programs that improve the academic outcomes of at-risk youth during primary school, including strong early learning (early literacy, school readiness), and those focused on ensuring grade level reading proficiency by grade 3
  • Arts and Culture: Supporting organizations that provide innovative performing arts and cultural programs as evidenced through innovation, program quality and contribution to their community.

What organizations or requests fall outside of the General Mills Foundation Funding Guidelines?

The General Mills Foundation receives many more requests for funding than it can support. A decision to decline a funding request does not imply that the applicant’s program is not needed or valued, but simply that it does not fall within our giving guidelines or priorities, or that funds are not available.

As a standard practice, the General Mills Foundation does not fund:

  • Organizations without 501(c)(3) status
  • Organizations with 509(a)(3) Type III status
  • Organizations that do not comply with the Foundation’s Non-Discrimination Policy
  • Annual appeals, federated campaigns, fund drives
  • Recreational, sporting events or athletic associations
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Individuals
  • Health Care
  • Research
  • Social, labor, veterans, alumni or fraternal organizations serving a limited constituency
  • Organizations seeking underwriting for advertising
  • Political causes, candidates or legislative lobbying efforts
  • Travel by groups
  • Emergency funding
  • Loans, debt reduction or operating deficits
  • Conferences, seminars or workshops
  • Publications, films or television programs
  • Campaigns to eliminate or control specific diseases
  • Underwriting for program sponsorship
  • Special events
  • Fundraisers

The General Mills Foundation does not support the above-mentioned areas because supporting these would significantly reduce the resources we have available to focus grant-making on operating and programmatic support, which are our priorities as a Foundation. 

Where does the General Mills Foundation focus its grant-making?

The Foundation’s grant-making is geographically focused in our headquarters and manufacturing facility communities in the United States. Our headquarters community encompasses the Twin Cities seven county metropolitan area in Minnesota.

General Mills operates plants and mills in communities nationwide. At these locations, our employees serve on Community Action Councils. The work of Council members encompasses three main objectives: to understand community needs; to encourage employees to volunteer their time and expertise; and to review requests from local nonprofit organizations for resources.

The Foundation focuses its grant-making in these communities and surrounding areas up to 50 miles from each General Mills facility. Review our Community Action Council locations for additional information. 

Internationally, we focus our grant-making in Malawi and Tanzania in Africa, and in communities where we have General Mills business operations and employees.

When does the Foundation accept grant applications?

Champions for Healthy Kids Program
Online applications are being accepted through Jan 23, 2015.  The program is available nationwide to nonprofits operating programs that focus on both youth nutrition and physical fitness.

Community Action Council Grants  
Applications are by invitation only.

Twin Cities Grants
Applications are accepted at all times from applicants serving the Twin Cities metropolitan area in Minnesota.

Why does the Foundation direct so much support to the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minn.?

The General Mills Foundation is based in Minneapolis at the General Mills world headquarters.

About 5,000 General Mills employees live and work in that large metro area of Minnesota, and we are able to leverage our financial contributions with the personal involvement of our employees, 83 percent of whom volunteer in hundreds of local organizations.

The Foundation also provides support to nonprofits in our manufacturing communities through recommendations from local Community Action Councils, comprised of employees in U.S. communities where General Mills operates plants and mills. 

Will the Foundation donate food/snacks to my local school/church/nonprofit for their event?

No. The Foundation does not maintain product inventory for donation requests.

Nonprofit organizations looking to request donations can use the Feeding America Food Bank locator.

In the U.S., General Mills directs product donations to our donor partner, Feeding America, the nation's largest hunger relief organization.

The Feeding America network is made up of more than 200 food banks that support more than 63,000 agencies across the United States. General Mills has had a strong partnership with this organization for more than 30 years.

Outside of the U.S., General Mills directs product donations to our donor partner, The Global Food Banking Network.

The 501(c)(3) status is pending for my organization; am I eligible for a foundation grant?

No. The General Mills Foundation does not fund organizations with a pending 501(c)(3) status. Only organizations that are verified with a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status are eligible to receive foundation grants.