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woman receives food
woman receives food

Nicor Gas is not accepting new grant applications at this time. Please see the grant application timeline below for more information.

Charitable Giving

At Nicor Gas, we believe that part of our corporate responsibility is to give back to our communities, and our philanthropic focus is designed to make a meaningful impact in the communities we serve. In 2021, we announced three new major strategic areas of giving.

Supporting Basic Needs

Our philosophy: Clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy is a basic need of our customers – and delivering that energy to our customers connects us to them a personal way. That connection drives our support of other basic needs of our customers – from providing bill payment assistance, to addressing food insecurity.

Nearly 11% of residents in the state of Illinois live in poverty. This number has grown significantly as a result of the economic impacts of the pandemic, and the need to support customers’ basic needs, like food, clothing, and shelter, is greater than ever.

Our goal: Provide basic needs for 250,000 families through the support of agencies addressing food, housing and clothing insecurity.

Our partners: Here are a few of our Supporting Basic Needs partners from 2021. 

Greater Chicago Food Depository  |  Housing Forward  |  Northern Illinois Food Bank  |  Operation Warm  |  South Suburban PADS

Protecting the Environment

Our philosophy: We don’t just believe in the clean energy economy – we are the clean energy economy. This understanding drives our commitment to sustainability and the environment – from delivering renewable energy, to conserving nature that enriches the lives of our customers. Parks, gardens and nature preserves in the communities we serve provide critical opportunities for nature and wildlife to thrive, and for community wellness, education and recreation.

Our goal: Create, maintain and sustain 10,000 acres of open space in our service area, and help achieve equitable access to these cultural, educational and recreational places.

Our partners: Here are a few of our Protect the Environment partners from 2021.

Brookfield Zoo  |  Chicago Botanic Gardens  |  Chicago Wilderness  |  Lake Katherine Nature Center & Botanic Gardens  |  Morton Arboretum

Enabling Economic Opportunity

Our philosophy: We work every day to fuel a vibrant economy in Illinois. Our role in delivering the energy that enables our customers to live, work and play drives our commitment to enable economic opportunity – from creating jobs to investing in economic development. Education, job training and economic development are the building blocks to strengthen communities, our region and our state. When our customers have equitable access to education, job training and capital investment, they can build wealth, improve quality of life in communities, and contribute to a thriving economy.

Our goal: Infuse $5 million into communities to enable equitable economic opportunity through education, job training, and investment in entrepreneurship and economic development.

Our partners: Here are a few of our Enable Economic Opportunity partners from 2021.

Chicago United  |  Junior Achievement of Chicago  |  National Latino Education Institute  |  Quad County Urban League  |  YWCA Metropolitan Chicago

Our Pillars of Giving

Outside of our three strategic objectives, Nicor Gas focuses its charitable giving on five pillars. Grants are most likely to be awarded to organizations that fall into one of the five focus areas noted below and whose programs benefit those within Nicor Gas’ service area.

Basic Human Needs and Energy Assistance

A healthy and stable community is a thriving community. We invest in United Way, energy assistance programs and nonprofit organizations with programs that provide individuals in our communities with the basic necessities as well as promote stability and wellness.

Community Enrichment

Strong communities depend on good citizens working together. We invest in nonprofit organizations with programs that contribute to the vitality, sustainability and livability of our neighborhoods.


The many facets of our diversity make our company better and our communities stronger. We invest in both organizational and supplier diversity programs that promote diversity and inclusion opportunities, education and access to resources for the under-served and under-represented individuals and businesses in our workforce and communities.


The path to social mobility and enhanced opportunities includes education and career readiness. Our primary focus is on institutions that offer areas of study important to our business and from which we are interested in recruiting members of our future workforce.

Environmental Stewardship

Natural gas is a clean fuel alternative. We are committed to protecting our environment. We invest in nonprofit organizations with programs that contribute to clean air, conservation and green space.

Who Can Apply?

Nicor Gas considers grant requests only from those organizations classified as 501(c)(3), tax-exempt by the IRS. Nicor Gas does not contribute to individuals, religious organizations or private K-12 schools. Contributions are not made to:

  • Organizations that are not tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Individuals
  • Sporting teams
  • Social or recreational groups
  • Primary or secondary schools
  • Religious-based organizations in support of their sacramental or theological functions
  • Political parties, groups or candidates
  • Endowment or debt reduction drives

How to Submit a Grant Request

We are not accepting grant applications at this time.

Grant Application Schedule

Grant applications should be submitted based on the schedule defined below.

  • Environmental Stewardship: March 1 - May 31
  • Diversity: April 1 - June 30
  • Community Enrichment: May 1 - July 31
  • Basic Human Needs and Energy Assistance: June 1 - August 31
  • Education: August 1 - October 31

Questions? Send an email to our Charitable Giving team.