Chick-fil-A founder S. Truett Cathy was known to ask a simple question: “Why not your best?”
This question served as the heartbeat of his personal life, career and service to his community. With a firm belief in the unlimited potential everyone possesses, Cathy dedicated his life to inspiring and challenging young people to do and be their “very best” in all aspects of life.
Created in 2015 to honor the late founder’s legacy of love, inspiration and service, the Chick-fil-A True Inspiration Awards™ program provides annual grants to celebrate and support nonprofit organizations making deep, lasting impacts in their communities.
Since its inception, the program has awarded $17 million to 204 organizations in 36 states across the U.S., Washington, D.C. and Canada. In 2022 alone, True Inspiration Award Winners received a total of $5 million spanning 19 states, 33 cities and 34 game-changing nonprofits.
As 2023 applications prepare to open on March 14, honoring Cathy’s birthday, Chick-fil-A encourages nonprofit organizations to apply to receive a True Inspiration Awards grant in one of the four categories (below) – including a new addition, Caring for our Planet:
Caring for People: Programs or projects supporting educational initiatives, including fostering character and leadership development, academic excellence and community involvement in underserved youth.
Caring through Food: Programs or projects focused on addressing hunger and food insecurity facing children and their families.
Caring for Communities: Programs or projects focused on providing housing and other direct services to support young people and their families.
Caring for our Planet: Programs or projects that show care for the environment and the planet, or that demonstrate environmental stewardship through initiatives directly related to the other True Inspiration Awards categories of food, community and people (i.e., community beautification, education opportunities, community gardens, outdoor classrooms, etc.
How does my organization apply for the True Inspiration Awards?
Beginning March 14, 2022, eligible nonprofit organizations can apply by filling out this application form. Organizations may also be nominated by Chick-fil-A Operators who wish to support local organizations in their community. Operators can nominate organizations here.
When can I apply?
Applications for the 2023 True Inspiration Awards program will be accepted from March 14 to May 20, 2022.
What type of grants are awarded?
Grants will range between $30,000 and $350,000 within the following categories:
– Caring for People
– Caring through Food
– Caring for Communities
– Caring for our Planet
Twenty-nine organizations will be selected as 2023 Regional Winners for their work in one of the four categories. These organizations must be nominated by a Chick-fil-A Operator. Chick-fil-A One members will have the opportunity to vote for finalists in the Chick-fil-A App in the fall.
One exemplary, Operator-nominated organization will be selected as the S. Truett Cathy Honoree and the recipient of a $350,000 grant. The S. Truett Cathy Honoree embodies the generous, innovative spirit of Chick-fil-A’s late founder – pioneering new ways to solve problems and serve others. Read more about our 2022 S. Truett Cathy Honoree, Precious Lamb Preschool, here.
What type of organizations are eligible to apply?
Organizations must be either (i) a 501(c)(3) based in the U.S. or (ii) a Canadian T3010 charitable organization that can provide, prior to receiving the grant and upon our request, an opinion of counsel that confirms it is the equivalent of a U.S. 501(c)(3) public charity in its home jurisdiction. Organizations who received a True Inspiration Awards grant in 2020 or 2021 are not eligible to apply.
Organizations must also have needs that align with our Corporate Social Responsibility priorities: Caring for People, Caring for Others through Food, Caring for Communities and Caring for our Planet.
Will all applicants receive a grant?
Unfortunately, not every organization that applies will receive a grant. We will award 46 grants in 2023.
Will grants be awarded on a first come, first served basis?
No — our team will thoroughly review and evaluate applications to help determine which organizations are selected to win each category. Winners will be announced in December 2022 or early January 2023.
Does my organization need to be a certain size or serve a certain area?
There are no size limitations to eligible organizations, however, their work must fit within the four categories.
If I am selected as a recipient, how may my organization use the grant?
True Inspiration Award grant recipients may use their grants as they wish to further the strength and depth of their organization’s impact.
Ready to apply? Check here during the application period to get started. Best of luck, applicants!