Montana Grants for Nonprofits
Grants for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working in Montana
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U.S. Bank Foundation
NOTE: For nonprofit organizations new to U.S. Bank Foundation, a Letter of Interest is available. Community Affairs Managers will review Letter of Interest submissions periodically to learn about new and innovative programs and organizations in their regions and markets. After reviewing a Letter of Interest, a Community Affairs Manager may reach out with a request for a full application. You can access the Letter of Interest by clicking the “Submit a letter of interest” link at the bottom of this page. Letters of Interest may be submitted at any time during the year.
Community Possible Grant
Through U.S. Bank’s Community Possible® grant program, we invest in efforts to create stable jobs, safe homes and communities.
Within these general guidelines, we consider the following funding request types:
An operating grant is given to cover an organization’s day-to-day, ongoing expenses, such as salaries, utilities, office supplies and more. We consider operating support requests from organizations where the entire mission of the organization fits a Community Possible grant focus area.
Program or project grants
A program or project grant is given to support a specific, connected set of activities, with a beginning and an end, explicit objectives and a predetermined cost. We consider highly effective and innovative programs that meet our Community Possible grant focus areas.
A capital grant is given to finance fixed assets. The U.S. Bank Foundation considers a small number of requests for capital support from organizations that meet all other funding criteria, whose entire mission statement fits a Community Possible grant focus area, and with which the Foundation has a funding history. All organizations requesting capital funding must also have a U.S. Bank employee on the board of directors. U.S. Bank does not fund more than 1% of the non-endowment total capital campaign fundraising goal. All capital grant requests are reviewed and approved by the national U.S. Bank Foundation Board or by the U.S. Bank Foundation President.
Focus Area: PLAY
Creating vibrant communities through play.
Play brings joy, and it’s just as necessary for adults as it is for kids. But in low-income areas there are often limited spaces for play and fewer people attending arts and cultural events. That’s why we invest in community programming that supports ways for children and adults to play and create.
Access to artistic and cultural programming and arts education
Our investments ensure economic vitality and accessibility to the arts in local communities, as well as support for arts education. Examples of grant support include:
- Programs that provide access to cultural activities, visual and performing arts, zoos and aquariums and botanic gardens for individuals and families living in underserved communities
- Funding for local arts organizations that enhance the economic vitality of the community
- Programs that provide funding for arts-focused nonprofit organizations that bring visual and performing arts programming to low- and moderate-income K-12 schools and youth centers
Supporting learning through play.
Many young people across the country do not have the resources or access to enjoy the benefits of active play. Supporting active play-based programs and projects for K-12 students located in or serving low- and moderate-income communities fosters innovation, creativity, and collaboration and impacts the overall vitality of the communities we serve. Funding support includes:
- Support for organizations that build or expand access to active play spaces and places that help K-12 students learn through play and improves the health, safety and unification of neighborhoods in low- and moderate-income communities
- Programs that focus on using active play to help young people develop cognitive, social and emotional learning skills to become vibrant and productive citizens in low- and moderate-income communities
Focus Area: WORK
Supporting workforce education and prosperity.
We know that a strong small business environment and an educated workforce ensure the prosperity of our communities and reducing the expanding wealth gap for communities of color. We provide grant support to programs and organizations that help small businesses thrive, allow people to succeed in the workforce, provide pathways to higher education and gain greater financial literacy.
Investing in the workforce.
We fund organizations that provide training for small business development, as well as programs that support individuals across all skill and experience levels, to ensure they have the capability to gain employment that supports individuals and their families. Examples of grant support include:
Small business technical assistance programs
Job-skills, career readiness training programs with comprehensive placement services for low- and moderate-income individuals entering or reentering the labor force
Providing pathways for educational success.
To address the growing requirements for post-secondary education in securing competitive jobs in the workplace, we support:
- Organizations and programs that help low- and moderate-income and at-risk middle and high school students prepare for post-secondary education at a community college, university, trade or technical school and career readiness
- Programs and initiatives at post-secondary institutions that support access to career and educational opportunities for low- and moderate-income and diverse students
Teaching financial well-being for work and life.
Financial well-being is not only critical for financial stability, it’s crucial in helping individuals be successful in the workplace. Examples of grant support include programs that positively impact:
- K-12 and college student financial literacy
- Adult and workforce financial literacy
- Senior financial fraud prevention
- Military service member and veteran financial literacy
Focus Area: HOME
Working to revitalize communities one neighborhood at a time.
Children and families are better positioned to thrive and succeed in a home that is safe and permanent. Access to sustainable low-income housing is increasingly challenges for low-moderate income families. In response, our giving supports efforts that connect individuals and families with sustainable housing opportunities.
Access to safe, affordable housing
We provide financial support to assist people in developing stability in their lives through access to safe, sustainable and accessible homes. Examples of grant support include:
- Organizations that preserve, rehabilitate, renovate or construct affordable housing developments for low- and moderate-income families, individuals, seniors, veterans, and special-needs populations
- Organizations that provide transitional housing as a direct steppingstone to permanent housing
- Organizations that focus on Veterans housing and homeownership
- Construction of green homes for low- and moderate-income communities
- Energy retrofit programs for low- and moderate-income housing developments
Home ownership education
Owning and maintaining a home requires significant financial knowledge, tools, and resources. We support programs that assist low- and moderate-income homebuyers and existing homeowners. Examples of grant support include:
- Homebuyer education
- Pre- and post-purchase counseling and coaching
- Homeownership-retention programs designed to provide foreclosure counseling
Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation funds direct service non-profit organizations that help improve the quality of people’s lives by providing them with the tools they need to succeed. Since its inception in 1988, it has funded programs for those with special needs, summer camps for cancer-stricken or troubled children and ensured access to theater, arts and music programs by economically disadvantaged youth and their families. It has granted wishes for terminally ill children, awards for science and math fair winners, and funded programs to purchase clothing, school supplies and toys for needy children. The Foundation also has supported rescue missions, food banks, shelters for victims of domestic violence, free mammogram exams for low-income women, and dental screenings and preventive care for underprivileged youth.
When deciding to award a grant, we examine each organization’s short and long term financial stability, operational readiness, staffing and facility infrastructure. Additionally, we assess the ability of an organization to sustain a program into the future and their ability to show a measurable impact on the population they serve.
Our Four Main Focus:
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation funds organizations that have accurately identified needs consistent with our mission and scope and who have successfully worked to provide programs and services that give youth and economically and socially disadvantaged individuals, families and those with special needs the tools they need to succeed in life.
Education taps the immeasurable potential of the mind. Reaching children through early childhood education, after-school learning programs, post-secondary and graduate scholarships help our young people get the start they deserve. Providing higher education scholarships and funding educational programs helps build a strong educational foundation for future leaders.
Health and Human Services
Health and Human Services ensures the vitality of the human body and spirit. We target programs that ensure access to basic health care services to the most vulnerable members of our communities, as well as programs that educate our youth about wellness, nutrition, exercise and healthy lifestyles. We also support experiential programs that offer disabled or disadvantaged people opportunities they may not have otherwise.
Arts and Culture
Arts and Culture represents the innovation and creativity of a society. Through cultural endeavors we help bring people together to share their creative talents, intellects, passions, customs and bold initiatives to explore new ways of doing things. In the areas of theatre, art, and music the Foundation grants have helped organizations reach a broader audience, infused new life into programs and created long-lasting cultural traditions within our communities.
Community Service touches the lives of everyone where they work, play and live. Despite our individual differences, we are linked by common interests to do more for the places we call home. The Foundation invests in organizations that fortify this connection. When everyone is involved one way or another in the improvement of their community, the community progresses in a positive direction.
The Michael J. Connell Foundation
NOTE: We initiate most funding opportunities by contacting the organizations and inviting them to submit proposals. Accordingly, unsolicited proposals are only rarely successful. If despite the odds against success, you wish to submit a proposal, you should carefully review what we fund and what we do not fund.
The Michael J. Connell Foundation is a private foundation. We usually discourage requests for grants because it is our policy to initiate and pursue our own programs in various cultural, environmental, educational and medical programs. We limit our grants to a relatively small number. As a consequence, at any one time we tend to focus on three or four narrow program areas.
In 2013 - 2017 our areas of program focus are:
- Classical Music -- its ability to enhance the area cultural experience
- The Environment -- the maintenance, accessibility and preservation of our public resources
- Education - technology implementation, programs with impact in under served areas and upon minority constituencies and the implementation of modern technologies
- Medicine - allocating limited resources and addressing the needs of underserved constituencies in the Los Angeles Area
In most years we will complete funding in one or more areas of interest and we will seek one or more new areas to focus on in subsequent years.
We frequently look for programs that need funding to test new ideas or concepts, before they can qualify for funding from more traditional or formal resources. We do not confine ourselves to these programs, although they usually represent a majority of the grants we fund. We will occasionally team with other organizations and individuals to fund start-up expenses, but the organization must have already established its tax-exempt status before we will make a grant.We fund specific programs as opposed to general expenses. We only fund building or endowment programs for applicants with which we have established relationships, either based on our contacts with the organization or with the persons representing the organization. We will fund capital expenditures, particularly if the purchase is in connection with the implementation of new technologies.
M J Murdock Charitable Trust
About the Trust
Since 1975 the Trust has invested nearly $800 million into nonprofit organizations in the form of grants and enrichment programs. Jack Murdock’s desire to “nurture and enrich the educational, spiritual, cultural, and social lives of individuals, families, and communities" continues to be reflected in grants, enrichment programs, and all of the Trust’s activities to this day.Mr. Murdock was an avid learner, innovator, and entrepreneur. His informal education was continuous and lifelong. The special importance he placed on education has been the beacon leading Trust support of many colleges and universities in the five states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. Organizations involved in advancing culture and the arts are welcomed each year, as are projects targeted to elevating human services, health, and health care in the region. These include community-based and faith-based organizations, particularly those that serve youth. From a founder who was thoroughly unpretentious, the Trust has taken his lead to welcome the best ideas from all across the region’s urban and rural areas. The Trust’s founder believed in science and technology as one of the most important sources of knowledge and inventiveness, knowledge that he believed to be strategic to resolving many issues. As a result, the Trust has long been at the forefront of private support for scientific research and innovation. In recent years, this has realized more than 60 scientific research grants annually. Mr. Murdock was vitally interested in community issues and encouraged the convening and collaboration of diverse leaders to focus on questions of importance. The Trust continues to bring many voices together to examine and explore ideas and trends in various fields and sectors.
We believe in transformational ideas that help individuals, families and communities flourish — and since 1975, the Murdock Trust has invested nearly $850 million into nonprofit organizations that embody our mission.
Every day, we work to further our founder Jack Murdock’s desire to “nurture and enrich the educational, spiritual, cultural and social lives of individuals, families and communities.” We make grants that help improve the quality of life in the Pacific Northwest, and we welcome nonprofits that share our commitment to thinking bigger, challenging problems and making a true difference.
The Trust makes grants for building the capacity of nonprofit groups in these primary ways for the following three types of projects:
Capital: Is capital growth or expansion important to your nonprofit’s vision for long-term growth and success? The Murdock Trust regularly makes grants that support construction, renovation, land purchase and other capital projects. In most cases, we prefer to receive requests for these types of projects once your organization has raised a portion of the needed funds.
Program & Staff: Expanding programs and adding staff are important markers of nonprofit success. Murdock Trust grants help fund both new programs and the expansion of existing programs, and may be used to cover start-up costs and/or related staff member additions. Typically, we fund program and staff grants on a declining basis over three years (100/67/33%).
Equipment & Technology: Best practices suggest that a healthy equipment and supporting technology infrastructure is essential. Please note that with these grants, recipient organizations are responsible for 50% or greater of the purchase cost.
Otto Bremer Trust
Mission & History
Investing in people, places, and opportunities in our region.
Our mission reflects the intent of our founder, Otto Bremer. His vision and longstanding commitment to communities during and after the Great Depression endure today through the Otto Bremer Trust.
OBT is structured to reflect the challenges and opportunities found throughout Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. We are mindful of Otto’s extraordinary legacy and our obligation to be faithful stewards of his vision for the Trust’s perpetual structure.
Otto Bremer’s commitment to helping people and communities provides the cornerstone of the Trust’s investment philosophy. He recognized then, as we do today, that Good Lives Here.
What Does OBT Fund?
OBT is a responsive grantmaker. In alignment with the vision of our founder, Otto Bremer, we provide general operating, program, and capital support to improve lives in our region. To explore OBT’s previous grantmaking, visit Grant & PRI Search.
NOTE: The Foundation requires that new applicants (not current grantees) complete a Letter of Inquiry (LOI).
What We Fund
The Foundation‘s overarching mission is to protect biodiversity. The Foundation protects biodiversity directly in four geographical focus areas:
- Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion in Northern California;
- High Divide in SW Montana;
- Tongass National Forest in Southeastern Alaska;
- Chilean Patagonia
The Foundation supplements its specific geographical protections with advocacy support at the U.S. national policy level for wildlife corridors, the Endangered Species Act, and additional wilderness designation. The Foundation also has a new program area, Leadership Training for Environmental Activism.
To address the adverse impact of economic and human population growth on biodiversity, the Foundation’s grantmaking includes both Consumption and Population programs.
The Foundation recognizes the dire threat of anthropogenic climate change to ecosystems and biodiversity and addresses this threat through its place-based program efforts, which counter deforestation and expand protection of large intact forests that help to stabilize the climate. Our Environmental Paper program works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by forest industries. Recognizing the importance of the growing youth climate movement, the Foundation recently established a new program area, Climate Crisis Activism.
Within the Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion (in primarily Northern California), grantmaking focuses on establishing new wilderness protections, improving the ecological integrity of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument, and restoring the Klamath River watershed. The Montana High Divide program area mainly aims to identify and protect wildlife corridors, reduce livestock-carnivore conflict, and to expand critical habitat for endangered species. The Tongass Forest program area is currently focused on maintaining Clinton-era Roadless Rule protections and expanding other protections such as wilderness designations. In Chilean Patagonia, the Foundation promotes the expansion and institutionalization of private land conservation initiatives, with a focus on protecting endangered watersheds, and counters threats such as dams, industrial forestry, salmon aquaculture, and mining projects.
The Foundation recently established a new program, Leadership Training for Environmental Activism, which supports internships, hands-on training, and University-based programs designed to prepare recent graduates for a career in environmental activism. This program emphasizes conservation activism.
The Foundation’s Consumption Program currently focuses on promoting greater use of environmental paper. Grantmaking in this area aims to broaden the market for environmental papers and packaging through markets campaigns, shareholder activism, consumer-targeted education, and dialogue with the corporate sector. This year we have expanded our consumption program to include efforts to reduce plastics in the waste stream, through strategies such as eliminating single use plastic disposables by promoting reusable packaging for grocery stores, take-out, and delivery.
The Foundation’s International Population Program includes advocacy for increased funding for family planning and other interventions necessary to lower birthrates. In Latin America it funds efforts to liberalize the region’s abortion laws, and in Africa it funds family planning communication strategies such as radio soap operas. This program also promotes increased dialogue on the population issue through online advocacy, books, studies, and other media.
In brief, the Foundation engages in the following eight program areas:
- Klamath-Siskiyou Bioregion
- High Divide (Northern Rockies)
- Chilean Patagonia
- National Biodiversity initiatives (Policy and Litigation)
- Leadership Training for Environmental Activism
- Climate Crisis Activism
- Sustainable Consumption
- International Population
Please note that the Foundation has recently closed four longstanding program areas: Altai Republic (Russia), Bolivia; K-12 Environmental Education; and Domestic Population.
N7 Community Giving
Nike is focused on getting youth in Native American and Indigenous communities in North America moving through the N7 Fund — so they can lead healthier, happier and more successful lives.
Since its creation in 2009, the Nike N7 Fund has awarded more than $8 million in grants, administered by the Charities Aid Foundation of America, to more than 270 communities and organizations.
The N7 Fund is part of our ongoing commitment to reflect and support Native American and Indigenous Communities.
N7 began more than 20 years ago, as a business plan to support the Native American community created by Sam McCracken, who grew up on the Fort Peck Assiniboine/Sioux Reservation in Montana and is now General Manager of Nike N7. McCracken’s recognition for the impact of N7 programs includes President Barack Obama’s 2010 appointment to the U.S. Department of Education’s National Advisory Council on Indian Education and a 2020 induction into the Montana Indian Athletic Hall of Fame. His leadership also supports the Nike Native American Network’s ongoing commitment to education, visibility and representation for Nike’s Indigenous community, including a recruitment and retention strategy.
Note: Our grant making process has changed. Beginning with our 2017 funding cycle (January 1―August 31), our grant application process will be by invitation only. All grant seekers should review and follow these process steps to be eligible for consideration. This includes prior grantees; organizations who have submitted proposals in the past who have not been funded; as well as organizations who are approaching the Foundation for the first time for funding consideration and support.
- Check EIN in Our Database
- Complete or Update Organization Information Form
- Wait for Status Update and Invitation to Submit Proposal
We encourage organizations who are approaching us for the first time to follow the For Grant Seekers steps outlined above. By submitting the Organization Information Form, you allow us to review your goals and missions to determine if you qualify for partner status and an invitation to submit a proposal. We will accept and review Organization Form data from January 1 to the deadline above.
Foster Family Foundation Grant
The Foster Foundation is a family philanthropic organization that works to advance the quality of life for present and future Pacific Northwest generations. Since 1984, we've invested over $100 million in nonprofit organizations whose efforts are aligned with our priority funding issues throughout Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
The Foster Foundation carefully curates the organizations and projects we support. We directly invite organizations we've identified as exemplary partners to submit proposals. We no longer accept unsolicited proposals or grant requests.
As the Foundation transitions to our new grant application by invitation only procedure, we will actively review the organizations currently in our database. Our goal is to identify partner organizations―those nonprofits we deem to be a good match with our priority issues, geographic reach and funding goals. It is this group of organizations that we seek to invest in over the long-term. Many of these organizations have a long history with the Foundation and have been regularly awarded grants.
Requests for capital needs will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The Foundation has a history of funding the tangible, hands-on needs of an organization that directly serves constituents, such as books for preschools or beds and food for shelters.
Building strong communities benefits all of us. Improving community life encompasses not only meeting critical needs such as food, housing, healthcare, education and employment, but also enriching community spirt and well-being through the support of artistic expression, cultural programs and sports/recreational opportunities.
We seek to identify and fund under-resourced opportunities to make a difference in these four areas:
Social Services/ Human Welfare
We fund emergency and critical human services that support people and families in need. This includes food, emergency/transitional housing, job/life's skills training, counseling and other resources and opportunities that build economic self-reliance.
We support innovative programs that improve literacy, learning and academic success for all ages. Training, tutoring, mentoring and enrichment programs are examples of our outreach in this area.
Medical Research, Treatment & Care
We provide funding for promising medical research to aid in the understanding, treatment and prevention of diseases. The Foundation also supports hospice care as well as HIV/AIDs research and education.
We nurture the spirt and well-being of Northwest communities by supporting cultural, artistic and recreational activities that engage all ages and populations. Foundation grants help sustain arts organizations and programs that express and grow the creative imagination. We also support community sports/recreational programs, centers and activities that promote health, well-being and teamwork.
With both family and business roots in the Pacific Northwest, The Foster Foundation takes a regional approach to giving. We target our funding to assist nonprofits engaged in our priority funding concerns within Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska.
In addressing the founders' original intent, the Foundation will expand our philanthropy into smaller, more diverse communities within this five state area over the coming years. We will continue to support existing grantees. But, we desire to learn about and fund other pioneering initiatives and nonprofit programs that address the underserved and disadvantaged segments of this population―especially children, women and seniors.
Best Friends Animal Society
About Rachael Ray Foundation™
The Rachael Ray Foundation™ is funded by a portion of proceeds from each sale of Rachael's pet food, Nutrish®. The Foundation was launched by Rachael in 2016 to better support the causes she cares for most such as helping animals in need.
The Rachael Ray Foundation and Best Friends Animal Society are committed to helping Best Friends Network Partners increase lifesaving in their communities through impactful, innovative, and inclusive programming. Every year, there are two types of Rachael Ray grants for which partners can apply.
Grants for Animal Rescue to Save More Lives: The Rachael Ray Save Them All Grants
The Rachael Ray Save Them All Grants fund projects to reduce the lifesaving gap of cats and dogs in U.S. shelters. We welcome project proposals from public and private shelters, rescue groups, and other animal welfare organizations that enable lifesaving in a community.
The Rachael Ray Save Them All Grants fund projects that increase lifesaving of cats and dogs in U.S. shelters. We welcome project proposals from public and private shelters, as well as rescue groups and other animal welfare organizations focused on impacting lifesaving at shelters.
Your organization can apply for a grant of up to $50,000, with the amount requested not exceeding 10% of your operating budget. The average grant awarded last year was just under $13,000, therefor granting may only cover partial funding needed for your project.
- Projects can be focused on just one event/program or can include multiple events/programs.
- Proposed projects should align with regional priorities. Projects that satisfy these priorities will have the largest impact on lifesaving in each region.
- We welcome project proposals from public and private shelters, rescue groups, and other animal welfare organizations that enable lifesaving.
- If the applicant that is applying is an organization that is already no-kill, their project needs to be impacting a shelter that has a lifesaving gap and has not achieved a 90% save rate.
- If awarded, the applying organization will need to submit quarterly impact statistics of how many lives were impacted through the project.
- The impacted shelter’s intake and outcome data will need to be submitted as well, in order to calculate the reduction in gap to 90%, which will measure success of the project.
- Best Friends will make calculations for reduction in lifesaving gap after all data points are submitted. These two metrics (impacts and reduction number in lifesaving gap) will be used for grant accountability and measuring success.
Before you begin an application, please review the priorities for your region to ensure that your project aligns.
Southeast: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina
South Central: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas
Great Plains: Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
Mountain West: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming
Northeast: Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont
Pacific: Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington
Midwest: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, West Virginia, Wisconsin
Mid-Atlantic: District of Columbia, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia
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