NSF Local Discretion Grant Program

Norfolk Southern Foundation

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Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $3,000

Deadline: Rolling

Applicant type: Government Entity Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: District of Columbia, Counties in Delaware: Kent County, New Castle County, Sussex County, Counties in Illinois: Cook County Show all

Location of residency: District of Columbia, Counties in Delaware: Kent County, New Castle County, Sussex County, Counties in Illinois: Cook County Show all

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About this funder:



Note: Qualifying organizations interested in obtaining Local Discretion Grant funding should make contact with local Norfolk Southern employees with whom they have professional affiliations or connections. The Foundation encourages local division representatives to give back to organizations with which they have working relationships and partnerships. As such, the Foundation does not provide contact numbers for local division representatives. 

Norfolk Southern Foundation

The Norfolk Southern Foundation was established in 1983 to direct and implement Norfolk Southern Corporation's charitable giving programs. Through strategic investment in educational, cultural, environmental, and human service organizations within Norfolk Southern’s service territory, the Foundation seeks to enhance the quality of life for Norfolk Southern employees and the "livability" of the communities it serves.

As a major employer in large and small communities throughout the eastern United States, Norfolk Southern takes seriously its role as a corporate citizen and its responsibility to commit resources, both human and financial, to help improve those communities for the benefit of our employees and our neighbors. This commitment is acknowledged in Norfolk Southern's Corporate Creed. 

Local Discretion Grant Program

The Local Discretion Grant Program is a dedicated small contributions program ($1,000 - $3,000) that promotes community goodwill, diversity, and safety awareness at the local level in each of Norfolk Southern’s 9 operating divisions. This program enables Norfolk Southern to enhance relationships with the communities in which our employees work and live and allows local railroad facilities and employees to share in corporate citizenship. Local Discretion giving supplements rather than replaces the traditional funding programs of the Foundation and enables division representatives to personalize corporate contributions.

Eligible Organizations

Eligible organizations typically would include:

  • Volunteer fire and EMS services, municipal fire, police, and EMS departments or other first-responder units or organizations that may assist the railroad
  • Educational organizations that provide literacy assistance and safety awareness
  • Certain community service organizations that promote community development, health and welfare, and other social services, Examples: food banks, free clinics, homeless programs, etc.
  • Environmental organizations that deal with land/air/water conservation issues that might relate to Norfolk Southern operations
  • Arts & culture organizations providing programming open to the public (including libraries)

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Local Discretion Grants are awarded only to eligible organizations located within Norfolk Southern Corporation territory. 
  • To be eligible, an organization must have IRS-designated 501(c)(3) status or be an IRS-designated 170(c) municipality entity (city, town, county etc.) or a department of such a municipal unit (i.e. fire department). Norfolk Southern Foundation greatly appreciates the work our first responders contribute to the community. Norfolk Southern values its relationship with first responders across our 22-state territory and established the Local Discretion giving program, in part, to recognize and support such groups. 


  • Applications will not be accepted from:
    • Organizations not in the NS territory (must be served by Norfolk Southern to be considered)
    • Organizations that do not have a 501(c)(3) or 170(c)(1) IRS letter
    • Individuals or organizations established to help individuals
    • Religious affiliated organizations
    • Fraternal, social, military or veterans organizations
    • Political or lobbying organizations
    • Public or private elementary and secondary schools, & PTAs
    • Fundraising events, telethons, races or benefits
    • Amateur, civic, or professional Sports or athletic organizations, clubs or activities
    • Community or private foundations, or other organizations that merely redistribute to other eligible organizations aggregated contributions
    • Disease-related or health-focused organizations
    • Mentoring programs
    • Boy and Girl Scouts programs or similar organizations
    • Animal organizations
    • Non-US based charities & initiatives
    • Organizations whose programs have an international and/or national scope
    • Civic leagues
    • Referral or consulting agencies and organizations