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Investment Areas

Crucial funding for vital needs

At Cisco, we make social investments in areas where we believe our technology and our people can make the biggest impact—education, economic empowerment, and critical human needs. Together, these investment areas help people overcome barriers of poverty and inequality, and make a lasting difference by fostering strong global communities.

Education investments

Cisco supports the creation and deployment of technology-based solutions and education delivery models that improve student performance and engagement. We support K-8 programs that focus on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) studies, and secondary and higher education programs related to technology, engineering, and math.

What we look for:

  • Innovative solutions to increase the capacity of grantees to deliver, administer, and track education development more effectively and efficiently
  • Tools that increase the availability of, or improve access to, products or services for curriculum development, student-centricity, teacher development, and parental participation
  • Programs for underserved populations and students at greatest risk of dropping out

Note: Cisco does not provide direct funding to schools.

Learn more about our community partners and CSR programs in education.

Economic empowerment

Our strategy is to encourage employment success, entrepreneurship, and long-term self-sufficiency by providing access to skills, knowledge, and financial products and services via technology-based solutions.

What we look for:

  • Programs for transitioning underserved populations from education to workforce or re-entry to workforce
  • Solutions that facilitate widespread and equitable access to the resources needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency and participate in local socio-economic development
  • Tools that increase the reach, efficiency, sustainability, transparency, and ability of microfinance institutions to provide more access to financial products and services
  • Initiatives that support knowledge access and technical and leadership skill development to equip people for the workforce and to make informed decisions for their families

Learn more about our community partners and CSR programs in economic empowerment.

Critical human needs

We seek to help overcome the cycle of poverty and dependence through strategic investments. We back organizations that successfully address critical needs of underserved communities, because those who have their basic needs met are better equipped to learn and thrive.

What we look for:

  • Innovative solutions that increase the capacity of grantees to deliver their products and services more effectively and efficiently
  • Design and implementation of web-based tools that increase the availability of, or improve access to, products and services that are necessary for people to survive and thrive

Programs that increase access to clean water, food, shelter, or disaster relief.

Note: By policy, relief campaigns respond to significant natural disaster and humanitarian crises as opposed to those caused by human conflict. Also by policy, our investments in this area do not include healthcare solutions.

Learn more about our community partners and CSR programs in critical human needs.

Explore our grant programs

Product Grant Program

We donate networking technology to help nonprofits make innovative use of the Internet.

Global Impact Cash Grants

Funding to multiply the results of organizations with national or multinational operations.

Silicon Valley Impact Cash Grants

Support for eligible organizations in underserved communities near San Jose, California.