General Grants
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Each year, the Foundation receives thousands of competitive proposals for a variety of programs and event sponsorships. While we are pleased that there are so many worthy organizations working to make a difference in communities where we live and work, unfortunately, we cannot fund every request due to limited budgets. We focus our funding primarily on those initiatives that align within our Foundation's giving theme areas.

Before Applying
Review the Giving Themes that reflect our funding priorities: Access to Postsecondary Education, Preservation of Natural Resources and Good Neighbor Grants.

Eligible organizations must:
  • Certify tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(6) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code
  • Not discriminate in their membership or provisional services on the basis of race, religion, creed, national origin, disability, handicap, age, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by law
  • Satisfactorily complete our Nonprofit Compliance form as part of the grant application process
  • Submit a Grant Report for any prior grants received from the Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation in the amount of $5,000 or greater

While the Foundation is always committed to supporting organizations throughout the communities we serve, we are unable to respond favorably to every request. Generally, Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation does not support the following:

  • Event sponsorships (walks, runs, etc.)
  • National or local chapters of disease-specific organizations
  • Health-related funding requests
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Political candidates or lobbying organizations
  • National conferences, sports events and other one-time, short-term events
  • Capital campaigns
  • Travel expenses for groups or individuals
  • Individuals seeking scholarships and
  • Athletic team sponsorships or scholarships.
  • Fund-raising activities, such as galas, benefits, dinners and sporting events 
  • Goodwill advertising, souvenir journals or dinner programs 
  • Donations to fraternities or sororities 

To improve your chances of a positive response to any funding request, we would encourage you to review our Funding Guidelines and Giving Themes before you begin the process to apply for a grant. We also have an eligibility quiz to walk you through each of our eligibility requirements. If you still have questions after reviewing this information, please don't hesitate to contact us communityaffairs@darden.com.

Apply for a general grant now

After Applying
The Darden Restaurants, Inc. Foundation reviews and awards grants quarterly – September, November, February and May. Darden's fiscal year runs from the beginning of June to the end of May. Due to the large volume of proposals the Foundation receives, we are unable to respond to every inquiry. However, if you are eligible for Foundation funding, we will notify your organization within 30 days following the Foundation's quarterly board meeting.

Applying for Corporate Sponsorship
If your organization is inquiring about Darden’s interest in providing in-kind gift card or food donations, please contact the Darden restaurants in your local area. Restaurants can be identified using the Locator at www.darden.com.

If you are seeking sponsorship of an event or conference, please send an email with details to communityaffairs@darden.com. We will make every effort to respond within two weeks, but due to the large volume of requests, it is not always possible to respond to every request.