Skip to main content.
Gray prism pattern

Pillars of Giving

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. Grant applications open and close based on the schedule defined below.

Grant Application Schedule

Community Enrichment - Open Now!
Opens May 1, Closes July 31

Basic Human Needs and Energy Assistance - Open Now!
Opens June 1, Closes August 31

Education - Open Now!
Opens July 1, Closes September 30

Environmental Stewardship
Opens March 1, Closes May 31

Diversity
Opens April 1, Closes June 30

Prior Grant Recipients

Our Five Pillars

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.

What We Fund

Our Basic Human Needs and Energy Assistance pillar is focused on services where there is a critical or acute need to solve problems immediately. Organizations funded under this pillar include those that provide food, shelter, clothing and disaster relief. We also provide general operating grants to organizations that help Nicor Gas customers access energy assistance programs.

We do not provide grants that support animal health or services, hospitals or medical clinics,or single-cause health organizations. We also do not provide direct energy grants to offset customer bills through our corporate giving. Instead, customers can find bill payment assistance through our Energy Assistance programs.

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.

What We Fund

The Community Enrichment pillar provides support to cultural and community service programs. We focus on communities where stabilization needs are the greatest. Organizations funded under this pillar include museums and theatres, social services and early childhood organizations, non-core health services such as mental health, substance abuse and domestic abuse, mentorship and job services programs and organizations that target civic development.

We do not provide grants that support youth sports leagues, professional sports leagues or religious organizations in support of their sacramental or theological functions through our corporate giving.

Diversity

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.

What We Fund

Our Diversity pillar supports organizations that address the lack of access to opportunities for those experiencing discrimination based on race, national origin, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, veteran status and physical disabilities. Specifically, this pillar seeks to encourage gains for diverse youth and adults in the areas of post-secondary education, STEM career exploration and supplier development advocacy. We also consider diverse cultural and arts organizations, organizations that address discrimination and lack of opportunities in hiring and career advancement and programs that address health disparities in underserved communities.

Education

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.

What We Fund

Our Education pillar primarily supports secondary and post-secondary educational opportunities as well as technical/vocational programs. We value partnerships that align with our workforce development initiatives, improving awareness of careers in energy and helping to develop a qualified workforce. We also support the education of related fields, like the fire service, and programs that foster diversity and inclusion.

We do not provide grants that support primary or secondary schools or their educational foundations.

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.

What We Fund

Nicor Gas supports the Environmental Stewardship pillar by supporting efforts that directly result in more customer and employee engagement in the natural environment through conservation and sustainable activities. We support governmental agencies, scientists, stakeholder groups, or any other group toward an environmental stewardship outcome. Special consideration is given to organizations or projects focused on cleaner fuel, protecting our environment, clean air, conservation, and establishment or preservation of green space.

We do not provide grants for beautification efforts that are not tied to specific environmental initiatives, development initiatives not tied to environmental stewardship, or grants that are exclusively meant to purchase or maintain equipment.

Who Can Apply?

Eligible organizations that support one of the five pillar focus areas and whose programs benefit those within Nicor Gas’ service area are encouraged to apply for a pillar grant.

Maximum Grant Amounts

We have grant limits for pillar grants of no more than $5,000, and organizations will be limited to one grant a year.

Eligibility Requirements

Nicor Gas considers grant requests only from those organizations classified as 501(c)(3), tax-exempt by the IRS. 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
  • Capital projects
  • Runs, walks or 5Ks

General FAQ

How do I submit a grant request?

We have moved our grant application process fully online. Please use the specific pillar application link to submit your grant application in our online application system.

When should I apply for a grant?

Each pillar of giving has a unique application that opens and closes according to the schedule 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: July 1 - September 30

Which pillar should I apply for?

Nicor Gas focuses its charitable giving on five pillars. Basic Human Needs and Energy Assistance, Community Enrichment, Diversity, Education and Environmental Stewardship. Each pillar is defined under Our Pillars of Giving, and we’ve also included examples of previously funded grants for guidance. If you are still unsure which pillar your organization or grant qualifies under, please send us an email at nicorgascontributions@aglresources.com and we will help you identify the best fit.

Does my organization qualify for a grant?

Nicor Gas focuses its charitable giving on five pillars. Basic Human Needs and Energy Assistance, Community Enrichment, Diversity, Education and Environmental Stewardship. Each pillar is defined under Our Five Pillars, and we’ve also included examples of previously funded grants for guidance. If you are still unsure which pillar your organization or grant qualifies under, please send us an email at nicorgascontributions@aglresources.com and we will help you identify the best fit.

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 or their foundations

-       Religious-based organizations in support of their sacramental or theological functions

-       Political parties, groups or candidates

-       Endowment or debt reduction drives

Additionally, each pillar may have other funding limitations. Please fully review the Guidelines and What We Fund for each pillar prior to starting an application.

What is required for the Application Process?

In general, the following information is required for each grant application.

-       Organization information, including name and address, Tax ID, mission and target audience.

-       Contact information for key contacts

-       A description of the project, requested dollar amount, overall project budget, estimated start and end dates, and areas served

-       A valid 501(c)(3) letter

-       A W9

If your application is approved, you will also need to submit:

-       An invoice for the total amount of the grant

-       Any project metrics identified as a condition of grant approval

Will there be a meeting to discuss my request?

We will contact you if a meeting is needed.

Online Application Questions

Getting Started

Creating an Account

You must create an account in order to apply. This means you're able to save and return to an existing application, check the status of an application, upload any requirements, and more.

From the application link, you will be directed to a main log in page. Under the E-mail field, you’ll see a Create Account button. Clicking this button will allow you to set up your initial account in our system.

An application is always tied to the specific email address provided. To review, update and submit applications, you will need to use the same email address to access the account every time. The email address will also receive any confirmation emails once an application or requirement is submitted. Please keep this process in mind when deciding whose email address to use for log in.

Forgot Password

On the main log in page, under the Password field, you’ll see a Forgot Password?  button. Enter the associated e-mail address. If an account exists under that email address, you will be sent a temporary password. Use your temporary password to log in. You will then be prompted to change your password.  NOTE: Passwords must contain at least 5 characters, including both letters and numbers.

Why do you require a Tax ID to begin the application?

We ask that all organizations enter a Tax ID before beginning the application to confirm that the organization is a registered 501(c)(3) with the IRS. The application system verifies your Tax ID number with the IRS database of federally recognized non-profits.

Can we still apply if our Tax ID is not recognized?

If your organization is a registered 501 (c)3, you may still be able to submit an application. Contact us via email at nicorgascontributions@southerncompany.com and we will work with you to determine whether your organization qualifies for a grant.

What is the Eligibility Questionnaire?

The eligibility questionnaire is designed to help you better determine whether your request meets the guidelines and focus of our grant program.

Completing your application

How do I navigate the grant application?

Once you have logged in with your email address and password, entered your organization’s Tax ID and completed the Eligibility Questionnaire, you will be directed to the grant application. You will start on the Before You Begin tab that includes some helpful tips for getting around. In general, you can save your application at any point by clicking the “Save & Finish Later” buttons. You can navigate through the different application sections by either clicking the Next button at the bottom of each page, or by selecting the associated tab at the top of the screen.

Can I upload an attachment?

Yes. On the Attachments section of the application, each item has a separate attachment field. (The file must be saved on your computer in order to successfully upload to the application.) Locate the appropriate field and click the "Browse" button. Use the pop-up to locate the specific file attachment, select the file and click "Open". Once it is listed in the application's attachment field, click 'Upload" to attach it to the application. To remove or modify the file, click "Remove". NOTE: You are still required to complete the online application fields; please do not upload your request as an attachment.

Can I copy and paste information from a Word document?

Yes, you may copy information from an existing Word document and paste it into the appropriate text box in the application.

Reviewing your Application

Is there an opportunity to review my application before I submit?

Yes, there is. The last step in the application process is the Review My Application page, where you can review all of the responses you entered before you actually submit. You can also share a copy of your draft application with others through the E-mail Draft link on the top-right portion of the page.

Will there be a record of my application?

Yes. A link is provided at the top of the application. We recommend that you print and keep a copy of the application for your own records. You can access any in-progress or submitted applications using the email address and password you originally use to set up your account.

Will I receive an acknowledgement of receipt of submission?

Yes. At the end of the application process, you will receive an e-mail confirmation for your new grant application.

Funding decisions and limitations FAQ

How many times may I apply?

We typically award only one grant or sponsorship per organization each calendar year.

Is there a minimum or maximum amount of donation?

Yes. Grants may not exceed $5,000.

When will funding decisions be made?

Funding decisions will be announced 60 days after the pillar application period closes. All applicants will receive a communication indicating whether their request was approved.

Why was my application declined?

We sincerely regret that we are unable to fund each request that helps to support a worthy program. Our decision does not reflect the value of a program but rather reflects the limitations of our contribution budget and program guidelines. Applications may be declined for a variety of reasons, including:

-       The requests we receive for funding exceed our annual giving resources

-       The organization is not a 501(c)(3) or does not meet our other requirements for funding

-       The request does not fit under the pillar selected

Need More Help?

If you have any questions that are not answered here, please email us at nicorgascontributions@aglresources.com and we will get back to you within 3 business days.