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  • Costco

    Donation and Grant Eligibility Guidelines

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    We believe these FAQ's about the Costco Wholesale's Grant Application Process will answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to understand our charitable giving focus as well as our application process, from start to finish.

    Eligibility:

    Do we have to be a tax-exempt organization to apply?

    Yes. We only consider IRS 501(c) (3) non profit organizations.

    Are your grants limited to any one geographical area?

    We focus on charitable programs and community activities in the markets where we do business.
    For locations, click here.

    How do I know if my organization or project is eligible to receive a grant from Costco Wholesale?

    Costco's giving is focused on Children, Education and Health and Human Services. Our grants are generally program based. Our corporate sponsored campaigns are United Way, the Red Cross and Children Miracle Network Hospitals. These campaigns allow us to reach a large number of agencies which address the needs of many within our Costco Wholesale communities. See non- eligible organizations and projects below.

    What type of organizations or projects would Costco Wholesale not fund?

    Examples of support which Costco Wholesale does not provide funding:

    • Individuals
    • Capital campaigns, building projects, or equipment
    • Transportation and travel expenses
    • Political organizations
    • Religious organizations for religious purposes
    • Salaries
    • Government agencies
    • Loans or investments
    • Research studies
    • Athletic teams, events, or sponsorships
    • Animal related programs, including shelters
    • Merchandise for fundraisers and auctions
    • Symposiums, conferences, conventions, professional association meetings
    • Individual primary and secondary schools
    • Merchandise promotions, partnerships or advertising
    • General awareness campaigns
    • Development or production of books, films, videos, television programs, or websites
    • Parties, celebrations, parades, festivals and raffles
    • Deficit funding

    Applying for a Grant:

    How do I apply for a grant?

    Your first step is to determine that your organization fits within Costco Wholesale's Charitable Contribution guidelines (see eligibility). Once you have read all of our stated guidelines as well as our frequently asked questions and believe your organization falls within these parameters you are welcome to view the Grant Application at the bottom of our Frequently Asked Questions, below.

    The Grant Package includes: Grant Application and Cover Letter.

    A lead time of at least 3 months, prior to your program or event, will allow us to give timely consideration to your request.

    When does Costco Wholesale accept grant requests?

    Costco Wholesale accepts and reviews requests throughout the year.

    Where do I send my grant request?

    E-mail completed grant application and supporting documentation to: communityrelations@costco.com

    Is all the requested information required for the initial request?

    All requested information is required to evaluate an application. Incomplete applications cannot be considered or returned.

    What is Costco Wholesale's Grant review process?

    Once a Grant Application has been received, it is initially determined whether the organization falls within the Costco Wholesale Charitable Guidelines. If the request is accepted for submission to the Charitable Contribution Committee you may be contacted by staff for any additional information needed. The Committee meets approximately 6 times a year and makes decisions based on several factors, including: type of program; identified community need not otherwise available; indication that evidenced based data will establish measureable results of intended outcomes; community collaboration; broad base of financial support; project budget and operating expenses. While we would like to respond favorably to all requests, the needs are far greater than our available resources.

    How do I check on my grant request?

    We commit to responding either in writing or by telephone to every request within 4 weeks. Please make certain we have the correct contact information on your request. Based on staffing, we are not able to respond to calls for status checks.

    How will I be contacted regarding the status of my grant request?

    A postcard, letter, telephone call or e-mail will be sent within 4 weeks of receipt of your request.

    General Questions:

    Is there a dollar limit for approved grants?

    Generally, Costco does not grant funds of more than 10% of the total program budget.

    May my organization apply for more than one grant per year?

    We typically do not consider more than one grant request per fiscal year (September - August) for each organization.

    Define the request for 'measurable results' on the Grant Request application.

    Every program seeking Costco Wholesale funding is required to clearly define the purpose of the project or program. Provide details of what community needs this project or program plans to address and the expected outcome. It is essential that you describe how you will know if your program effected the intended change and realized the intended results.

    What does Costco consider "overhead"?

    Please see Overhead Calculation Document for how to calculate the organization's overhead percentage.

    Can we acknowledge our Costco Wholesale sponsored grant?

    Because Costco Wholesale does not seek recognition for our contributions to our communities, we ask for your cooperation in partnering with us prior to any public statements, whether in print or otherwise, which would recognize our contribution. We ask that any organization contact us with any questions regarding proposed Costco recognition.

    For Costco Wholesale's Grant Application, please click here.