Who We Are
The Foundation strives to better the human condition by supporting programs and services that give people the tools to enhance the quality of their lives and to benefit society as a whole. Funding for the Foundation comes from personal contributions from the Washington family and annual contributions from The Washington Companies.
Each Washington Company is unique, though they all share the same ethic of giving back to their communities. Employees of the Washington Companies annually donate significant time and resources to impactful projects in the communities in which they live and work.
The Foundation’s values mirror those of our Western heritage. We hold fast to our sense of place and are actively involved in the communities where we live and work. We believe in the individual spirit, but at the same time we know how important a strong support network is to the enhancement of all our lives. The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation strives to better the human condition by supporting programs and services that give people the tools to enhance the quality of their lives and to benefit society as a whole.
A Prolific Approach to Giving
In Grants Awarded
Making an Impact Over Decades
The Washington family donates $1 million to the construction of the Washington-Grizzly Stadium. This begins a long line of charitable support to the University of Montana, based in the family’s hometown of Missoula.
The Foundation is founded by Dennis & Phyllis Washington.
The Foundation begins to partner with Montana Special Olympics annually. Today over 1,200 athletes participate in the State Summer Games.
The Washington family donates 64,000 acres of land in Oregon to Young Life, founding the Washington Family Ranch to give kids “the best week of their lives.
The Foundation partners with the Horatio Alger Association to open doors to higher education through scholarships for youth who have overcome adversity. In Montana, over 900 undergraduate scholarships have been awarded.
The Dennis R. Washington Leadership Graduate Scholarship is endowed, allowing Horatio Alger Scholars to pursue graduate work. Over 100 scholarships have been awarded since 2008.
The state-of-the-art expansion and renovation of the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education at the University of Montana opens, including an operating preschool for clinical teaching experience that has helped prepare more than 10,000 teachers.
Creekside, an expansive addition for middle school kids, opens at Young Life’s Washington Family Ranch. Today, the center hosts over 9,000 Youth & Leaders Annually.
In a one-of-a-kind strategic initiative, the Phyllis J. Washington College of Education partners with Missoula County Public Schools to create the 21st Century Teaching & Learning Initiative – improving teaching and learning across the preschool to doctorate spectrum.
The integration of the arts as a form of teaching in the K-12 education system is implemented in Missoula, through the creation of SPARK! Arts Ignite Learning. This program is a model location of The Kennedy Center’s national program on arts integration, Any Given Child.
The Foundation funds EdReady, a free online math and English remediation program available to Montana adults and youth through the Montana Digital Academy at the University of Montana.
Montanan’s Future At Work, a partnership with high schools and higher education in Montana to ensure students are aware of their career options from trade and technical schools to undergraduate and graduate schools.
Historic Stodden Park in Butte reopens to the public. This park includes an all-abilities playground for children and families.
The Foundation awards Missoula Family YMCA a $2 million grant in support of the new Childcare Center. The Missoula YMCA serves over 2,700 children a year through early child care, after school programs, and summer camps.
Areas of Focus
Providing higher education scholarships and funding two and four year as well as graduate scholarship programs helps build a strong educational foundation for future leaders.
Arts & Culture
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.
Health & 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.
Community Service touches the lives of everyone where they work, play and live. When everyone is involved in community improvement, the community progresses in a positive direction.
A Culture of Giving Back
The Washington Companies have grown to encompass 10 business entities in the industry sectors of rail and marine transportation, mining, heavy equipment sales and service, aviation technology and environmental remediation. From its Missoula, Montana, beginnings, the business footprint today is found across the globe. Each Washington Company is unique, though they all share the same ethic of giving back to their communities. Employees of the Washington Companies annually donate significant time and resources to impactful projects in the communities in which they live and work.
Pay it Forward
As a special gift to employees from the Washington family, each year 250 randomly selected U.S.-based employees receive $500 Giving Cards they can use to benefit charitable causes of their choice, whether it be a nonprofit organization, an individual or a family in need. This annual program allows employees to share in the Foundation’s effort to bring positive change to the communities where our employees live and work.
It is our long-standing belief that education is the single most powerful determinant in the future of our society. The Foundation funds scholarship programs to support higher education, and our offerings run the gamut from two-year programs to the undergraduate and graduate levels.
Dennis Washington Leadership Graduate Scholarship
Horatio Alger Montana Undergraduate Scholarship Program
Horatio Alger Career and Technical Scholarship Program
Dennis and Phyllis Washington Native American Graduate Fellowship
Helen B. Miller Horatio Alger Scholarship
Dennis and Phyllis Washington University of Montana Presidential Leadership
Feb 14, 2023
15th annual Pay It Forward employees selected
The U.S.-based Washington Companies awarded $125,000 to 250 randomly selected employees for donation to charities of their choice. An annual Washington…
Nov 14, 2022
Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation gives $350,000 to 100 basic needs organizations across Montana
The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation has selected 100 food banks, food pantries, rescue missions, homeless shelters, and Salvation Army organizations…
Sep 27, 2022
Meet Celina Gray, Native American Graduate Scholar
Oki Nitsiitapi Nidaniko Natoyiipoka, Nistoo Amskapipikuniaki and Métis. Celina is Blackfeet & Métis, although she grew up as part of the…