Montana Grants for Nonprofits
Grants for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working in Montana
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Community Possible Grant Program: Play, Work, & Home Grants
Us Bank Foundation
Making community possible
At U.S. Bank, we are dedicated to supporting our communities through responsive and humbled actions focused on addressing racial and economic inequities and creating lasting change in our communities. Through our Community Possible Grant Program, we are partnering with organizations that focus on economic and workforce advancement, safe and affordable housing and communities connected through arts and culture.
The U.S. Bank Foundation is committed to making Community Possible through Work, Home and Play. We advance this work through collaborative grant making to bring equitable and lasting change through our focus on sustainable, high-impact funding with 501c3 nonprofit partners.
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 challenging for low- to moderate-income families. In response, our giving supports efforts that connect individuals and families with sustainable housing opportunities.
Access to safe, affordable energy-efficient 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 stepping stone to permanent housing
- Organizations that focus on veterans housing and homeownership
- Construction of green homes for low- and moderate-income communities
- Clean energy retrofit programs for low- and moderate-income housing developments
- Organizations that provide access to renewable energy
- Improving waste management systems to include recycling and composting programs
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
We know that a strong small business environment and an educated workforce ensure the prosperity of our communities and reduce 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
Supporting the green economy through workforce development
The green economy is fast becoming an area of opportunity for workforce development programs. Funding support includes:
- Reskilling or retraining for jobs in renewable or clean energy
- Building and maintaining infrastructure to support renewable energy, including EV charging stations and bike/transportation programs
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
Outdoor places to play
Environmental stewardship enhances and improves the livability of our communities. Supporting efforts to preserve, protect and enhance outdoor spaces is now part of our Play pillar of giving. Funding support includes:
- Cleanup efforts in community spaces, including (but not limited to) beaches, rivers, and streams
- Protecting green spaces within the community, including planting trees, mangroves and seagrass
- Programs that support community, native and/or pollinator gardens, including community composting
Dennis & Phyllis Washington Foundation Grants
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.
Strategic Projects: Capital Grants, Equipment & Technology Grants, Program & Staff Grants
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.
Sunderland Foundation Grant
Since its inception, the Foundation, which is still led by Lester T. Sunderland's descendants, has focused on supporting construction projects, awarding grants to nonprofits in the Kansas City region and other markets traditionally served by the Ash Grove Cement Company.
The Foundation prefers to make grants for construction and special interest projects rather than for annual operating expenses.
Grants for planning, design, construction, renovation, repairs and restoration of facilities are considered. Areas of interest include higher education, youth serving agencies, health facilities, community buildings, museums, civic projects and energy efficient affordable housing projects sponsored by qualified tax-exempt organizations.
In recent grant cycles, the Board of Trustees has awarded the majority of grants in four broadly defined areas:
Health Care and Hospitals
A growing area of need in many of the communities the Foundation serves. In 2017, more than $2.9 million was awarded to hospitals and health-care groups to build and improve their facilities.
The Foundation awarded over $7 million to human service nonprofits in 2017, and the majority of grants in this area were awarded to groups that provide essential services to youth and families. Grantees included a range of youth-focused groups, including the Kansas 4-H Foundation, Kids TLC, Ronald McDonald House & Boys & Girls Clubs.
In 2017, the Foundation awarded more than $10 million to over 45 educational organizations. Grantees included community colleges, private colleges, and public universities.
Arts and CultureArts and culture projects received $7 million in 2017, including grants to the Eisenhower Foundation in Abilene, Kansas; the Kansas City Symphony, the Nelson Gallery Foundation and many more.
Charlotte Martin Foundation: Youth Programs
Charlotte Y Martin Foundation
Our Current Priorities
For those requesting support for youth programs, the Foundation will continue to focus on rural BIPOC organizations and allowing organizations to use awarded funds for general operating support.
Recognizing the critical role of BIPOC organizations, the Charlotte Martin Foundation continues to make it a priority to partner with organizations doing progressive work specifically in the areas of youth education and climate change, with a special emphasis on serving communities of color. Three years ago, we created a fellowship designed around researching BIPOC led organizations within our 5-state region that align with our priorities. We recognize that private funding is inequitably given to white-led organizations and we want to show our commitment to redistributing resources to non-dominant, BIPOC organizations.
Increasing Opportunities for BIPOC:
Increasing racial equity and diversity for youth ages 6-18.
BIPOC led nonprofit organizations with diverse leadership and staff are the focus of our grant-making. Organizations based in rural communities are also a priority for our foundation.
Programs that create opportunities in areas of education, cultural expression and athletics. Including but not limited to:
- Increase access to and the creation of diverse cultural experiences.
- Improve school-based and out-of-school learning opportunities in areas such as science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) and other areas.
- Increase early college awareness and access to post-secondary education.
- Increase access to sports and diversify sports programs.
Guidelines for Youth Programs
Our program funding for youth ages 6-18 falls into three areas: Athletics, Culture and Education. Grants for youth programs must fall within one of these three program areas.
Athletics include a wide range of individual and team sports, with an emphasis on the value of sports for lifelong participation. School-sponsored intramural and after school sports programs have been greatly reduced, and middle-school aged youth have been most affected. After school athletics can be the incentive that gets kids involved in programs that also have educational and cultural components. Demand is increasing for athletics programs and facilities in rural areas and inner cities. More girls are getting involved in sports, requiring additional programs and space. Coaches are key to a positive experience for young people, and good coaching requires training.
Culture includes art, music, dance, literature, theater, ethnic and regional heritage. Positive experiences in culture are essential in educating the whole person and should be an integral part of the lives of youth. Young people can use cultural experiences as creative resources to build self-esteem, promote personal growth, and preserve traditions. Arts and culture programs in the schools are being reduced or eliminated, and many communities, both urban and rural, have limited access to cultural resources.
All young people should have the opportunity to fulfill their potential. Education, in and out of school, happens best when youth direct their learning and engage in compelling problem-solving and critical thinking. Educators need support to play a vital role in assisting youth to investigate their passions and explore new interests. Rural schools often have less access to resources and curricula than urban schools. Both public and private schools need support.
Otto Bremer Trust Grantmaking
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.
Foster Foundation Grant
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.
Rachael Ray Save Them All Grants
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
Weeden Foundation Grant
NOTE: The Foundation requires that new applicants (not current grantees) complete a Letter of Inquiry (LOI).
The Foundation embraces the protection of biodiversity as its overarching priority.
Frank Weeden, the Foundation’s founder and original benefactor, established the Weeden Foundation to address the impact of growing human populations and overuse of natural resources on the biological fabric of the planet. Since his death in 1984, the Foundation has helped preserve more than 6 million acres of biologically important habitat worldwide and provided financing for the first debt-for-nature swap in Bolivia in 1992, a strategy that is now widely used by international conservation organizations. Program efforts have supported projects in environmentally sensitive regions of the western United States, Alaska, Russia, Bolivia, Chile, Peru, Columbia, Ecuador, Belize, Namibia, Mexico, and various Caribbean nations.
What We Fund
The Foundation embraces the protection of biodiversity as its overarching priority.
The Foundation protects biodiversity directly in four geographical program areas.
- Alaska – In Southeastern Alaska, we focus on the Tongass National Forest by maintaining Clinton-era Roadless Rule protections and expanding other protections such as wilderness designations.
- California Floristic Province – The California Floristic Province grantmaking, primarily in Northern California, focuses on the protection of salmon, land, wildlife corridors as well as the restoration of rivers.
- Montana – Focused in the High Divide in SW Montana this program area mainly aims to identify and protect wildlife corridors, reduce livestock-carnivore conflict, and to expand critical habitat for endangered species.
- 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.
On a more general scale the Foundation supports the following focus areas.
- Bird Conservation
- Systemic Support program at the U.S. national policy level for wildlife corridors, the Endangered Species Act, and additional wilderness designation.
- Global Biodiversity – Our goal in Global Biodiversity is to support campaigns and/or groups in biodiversity hotspots. Specific objectives are to
- protect global temperate rainforests,
- support creation of wildlife corridors,
- land acquisition and protection for endangered species and,
- support projects that involve indigenous peoples in the process and stewardship of conservation projects.
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’s Sustainable 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 packaging 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 area is focused on reducing population growth rates in countries recognized for their rich biodiverse landscapes and that have a total fertility rate exceeding replacement levels.
- To achieve this goal, the Foundation funds groups that facilitate initiatives related to family planning, women’s education and women’s empowerment in countries with such rich and recognized biodiversity.
- The Foundation also supports advocacy efforts addressing global population growth in the context of environmental sustainability.