The Norfolk Southern Foundation has announced 2011 grants totaling nearly $6.2 million, an increase over its 2010 grantmaking total of 11 percent. Responding to a sharp rise in grant requests and public funding cuts, the foundation also announced plans to increase its 2012 giving by 13 percent, to $7 million.
Grants were awarded to nonprofit organizations working to advance the foundation's four priorities: providing food and shelter to those in need, expanding educational opportunities for children, helping conserve the environment, and promoting the arts and culture. More than $2 million was awarded to eighty United Way campaigns and other health and human services groups, including $400,000 to organizations such as the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia, which helped distribute food and clothing to more than 110,000 people in 2011; ForKids, Inc., which helps homeless families with children become self-supporting; and the Children's Hospital of the King's Daughters.
The foundation also awarded nearly $1.1 million to cultural and performing arts groups, approximately $1 million to educational organizations, and $382,850 to civic, community, and environmental nonprofits. In addition, the foundation distributed $1.7 million in employee matching gifts to 547 organizations, a year-over-year increase of 21 percent.
"At Norfolk Southern we believe that service includes serving the communities where we operate our trains and where our employees live and work, in addition to providing safe transportation for our customers' freight," said the company's CEO, Wick Moorman. "Through the Norfolk Southern Foundation, we are focused on helping to build and nurture communities in our twenty-two-state rail network through our charitable giving programs."