Grant Criteria

Backing Equal Futures

  1. Programs that provide skills and pathways to prepare youth (ages 13 - 30) for long-term success and the future of work. (Including the green economy, STEAM and digital futures)
    • Programs may include school-based, college, trade school, public service or workforce-related training or mentoring to support skill-building, education, the transition to meaningful employment and self-sufficiency for underrepresented populations.
  2. Advocacy to support education and workforce development in underrepresented communities
    • Eligible organizations for “in need”, “at risk” or “underrepresented communities”, include those supporting racial, ethnic and indigenous minorities, women, refugees, incarcerated/formerly incarcerated, unhoused and formerly unhoused people, veterans/VET families, people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Backing Small

  1. Support for diverse small business owners and entrepreneurs through our 'Backing Small' initiative including grants, mentoring support, and technical assistance issued through established community partnerships.
  2. Financial literacy education, training, and mentoring for underrepresented individuals and families to build financial awareness, fiscal acumen and success (including at school age grades 5-12, during higher education, or when individuals are entering/re-entering the workforce.

Backing Low-Carbon Communities

  1. Innovative programs, partnerships, and action focused on urban energy transition, emissions reduction and efficiency that have measurable environmental and social impacts.
  2. Community-led climate projects focused on nature-based or clean energy initiatives, including those led by diverse or underrepresented groups.
  3. Disaster relief and resilience building programs and initiatives in extreme weather prone areas and other locations where our colleagues and customers live and work to provide both immediate and/or long-term relief and community preparedness to natural and man-made disasters.

How to Apply for a Grant:

All prospective grantees must be invited to submit a grant and will receive specific details to complete their application should they be invited.

American Express does not actively solicit applications for grants and new partnerships. Please refer to the below section "Share Your Organization's Details.

  1. Review our funding priorities (above)
  2. Verify your organization and/or project are eligible for funding. To be eligible for funding, your organization must:
    • Certify tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) and 509(a)(1), (2) or (3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. Organizations outside the U.S. must be able to document nonprofit status.
    • Not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, genetic information, citizenship, veteran or marital status, or any other basis prohibited by law.
  3. To be most effective, we need to keep our funding focused. Please do not submit funding requests for:
    • Individual needs, including scholarships, sponsorships and other forms of financial aid.
    • Fund-raising activities, such as galas, benefits, dinners and sporting events.
    • Goodwill advertising, souvenir journals or dinner programs.
    • Travel for individuals or groups.
    • Sectarian activities by religious organizations.
    • Political causes, candidates, organizations or campaigns.
    • Books, magazines or articles in professional journals.
    • Endowments or capital campaigns, except restoration projects.
    • Traveling exhibitions (we will only consider each venue on its own)
  4. Consider our list of priority locations, as your organization will have a better chance of receiving funding if it’s located in the following geographic areas:

United States

  • Arizona
  • New York
  • Utah
  • California
  • Florida
  • Washington D.C

Around the World

  • Australia
  • Canada
  • China
  • France
  • Germany
  • India
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Singapore
  • United Kingdom

Inclusive Backing

Share Your Organization’s Details

American Express is proud to work with its current strategic partners and grantees who are aligned with our focus areas and priorities.

American Express does not actively solicit applications for grants and new partnerships. However, we remain interested in learning about new organizations doing good work across our priority issues and in deepening our engagement with eligible existing partners.

Please feel free to share your business contact, organizational objective and website via the form below, and our team will contact you if we would like to engage further. Each year between November and January, we will review information submitted through this form by non-profit organizations and may approach or seek further information from organizations that align with our priorities.

Please note, only one form entered per organization will be considered and we will disregard organizations that submit multiple entries.

Company *
Contact Name + Title *
Email *
Location (City/Country) *
Organization Website *
Tell us a little about your organization and the issues you focus on [200 words max] *