What are IBM Community Grants?

The IBM Community Grants program provides cash to eligible community organizations and schools where IBM employees and retirees are actively volunteering, and in support of eligible projects. Community Grants will continue to be available to regular employees and retirees, featuring individual and team opportunities ranging from $500 to $2,000 in cash where available.

Don't wait to get started! Your volunteerism counts so start tracking your hours (US) now! Remember, the grant amount increases if you or your team uses an On Demand Community Activity Kit (US), and the volunteer activity is posted on the On Demand Community site.

Each year, the Community Grant application period opens on March 1st, and closes when the program funding is exhausted.


A request must meet the following criteria:

  • The requester must be an IBM regular employee or retiree who has demonstrated sustained volunteer activity and is registered with On Demand Community.
  • The proposed recipient must be a valid not-for-profit organization or school.
    • The recipient charitable organization must provide a Canada Revenue Agency Charity Number (CRA #) and a signed IBM's Affirmation of Compliance (PDF, 42.7 KB) form prior to receiving the grant. (This form is also available by launching the IBM Community Grant Application Tool)
  • The grant must be for an eligible project or activity.

A regular employee or retiree is eligible for two grants per calendar year:

  • One individual grant as a requester and one team grant as a participant
  • One team grant as a requester and one team grant as a participant
  • Two team grants as a participant

The grant recipient is only eligible for one community grant per calendar year.

Important: Ineligible Projects

The following types of expenses are not eligible community grant cash expenditures:

  • Athletic or recreational activities (camping, sports, etc.)
  • Capital improvements (land purchase, building construction, major building modifications, etc.)
  • Operating expenses (salaries, office supplies, utility bills, etc.)
  • Projects, such as trips or scholarships, that benefit individuals
  • Third-party donations
  • Recurring events or services
  • Auctions, raffles, or fundraising initiatives (e.g. walk-a-thons)

Eligible and Ineligible Organizations

To qualify, an organization must be a not-for-profit organization or accredited public or private primary or secondary school, college or university. The organization must not advocate, support, or practice activities inconsistent with IBM's non-discrimination policies, whether based on race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran. Documentation demonstrating that the not-for-profit organization complies with the above statement is required. The not-for-profit organization must sign the IBM Affirmation of Compliance form prior to receiving the grant.

Ineligible organizations include those engaged in political activity and lobbying, profit-making agencies, religious programs, employee service organizations (e.g., IBM Clubs), agencies supported by tax revenues, and ones whose purpose is athletics or recreation. IBM reserves the right to determine which organizations are eligible for grants.

An organization may receive only one IBM Community Grant per calendar year, regardless of the number of IBM volunteers who apply for a grant on behalf of that organization. The first volunteer to apply and be approved will receive the grant. If more IBM volunteers are volunteering with the same organization, they should consider applying for one of the team grant options.

Organizations that have been assisted by IBM Community Grants include:

  • K-12 schools
  • Preschools/childcare centers
  • Adult and youth literacy programs
  • Job training programs
  • Community and family service agencies
  • Museums and other cultural organizations
  • Libraries
  • Children's Hospitals
  • Substance abuse programs
  • Organizations aiding the elderly
  • Organizations providing services for people with disabilities

Community Grants will be offered at three levels:

Eligibility requirements: Level 1 Level 2 Level 3
NOTE: For every grant, the requester and their IBM team members, if a team grant, must have logged their volunteer hours on the On Demand Community site. No approved Activity Kit used Approved Activity Kit used (Learning guides are not eligible to be used as an Activity Kit.)
OR Professional skills used
Activity must be posted in On Demand Community.
Approved Activity Kit used (Learning guides are not eligible to be used as an Activity Kit.)
OR Professional skills used
Activity must be posted in On Demand Community.
Award: $500 $1000 $2000
Volunteer Involvement with the recipient organization:
Grant Hierarchy:   Level 1 plus Levels 1 and 2 plus:

*Explanation of eligibility requirements:

How to apply

Download and complete the Grant Application and Certificate of Affirmation forms below. Then email your completed forms to the Grants Program Manager at citizen@ca.ibm.com. Please allow 60-90 days for your grant application to be processed.

Administrative Condition:
IBM may suspend, change or terminate this program at anytime. Donors and/or donees may be requested to supply any supporting records and documentation IBM considers necessary. The interpretation, application and administration of these IBM Community Grants Program provisions shall be determined solely by IBM, whose decision shall be final.