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Eligible Categories

Applicants must:

  1. Be a charitable, nonprofit entity – not a private foundation – with tax exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the IRS code, and, where appropriate, under Section 170 (c).
  2. The appropriate IRS documentation must be submitted along with your application.
  3. Apply for programs that can be categorized in one of the following four areas of giving: Education, Health and Human Services, Arts and Culture, Community Service.
  4. Show an emphasis on providing direct services to economically and socially disadvantaged individuals and families, at-risk youth, and individuals with special needs.
  5. Demonstrate that a majority, if not all, of Foundation funds will be used for direct services.
  6. Have low administrative costs. Indirect or overhead costs not directly related to implementation of a grant will not be funded.
  7. Show evidence of substantial financial support from the community, constituency groups, or other funding sources prior to applying.
  8. Be located within the State of Montana and select communities in states where The Washington Companies operate and are located.
    1. NOTE: Canadian applicants click here for more information.

The Foundation only accepts one application per nonprofit organization per year, unless prior authorization has been received from the Executive Director of the Foundation. Multiple grant requests from a single organization with overlapping grant periods, including fiscally sponsored projects, are rarely funded by the Foundation.

Grants Selection Criteria:

  • Request is consistent with the DPWF mission “Investing in People to Improve the Quality of Their Lives”
  • Central purpose of the request is to provide recipients with life skills that will allow them to reach their full potential or fulfill a basic need of society
  • Focus by the Grantee is on economically and socially disadvantaged populations, especially youth or those with special needs
  • Program recipients reside within the operating areas of the Washington Companies
  • Strong evidence of local maintenance of effort e.g., local fundraising efforts, direct or in-kind contributions from other individuals, organizations, local, state, or federal government of cash, office space, supplies, equipment, land, personnel, etc.
  • A majority, if not 100%, of Foundation funds will be spent on direct services to program recipients as opposed to administrative, operational, or capital campaign expenses
  • Strong evidence of coordination/collaboration with other organizations in the form of partnerships to prevent or eliminate duplication of services
  • Expenditure of funds will be directed toward programs in the United States and our general operating areas.
  • Expenditure of funds will result in the leverage of other private or public resources

Ineligible Activities

Applications will NOT be considered for the following organizations or purposes:

  • Organizations that, in policy or practice, unfairly discriminate against race, ethnic origin, sex, creed, or religion
  • Loans, debt retirement, or operational deficits
  • Individuals, unless under an approved educational scholarship program
  • Sectarian or religious organizations for religious purposes where the principal activity is for the benefit of their own members or adherents
  • Fraternal organizations or civic organizations
  • Travel expenses or trips (e.g. major metropolitan areas)
  • Private or public foundations, endowments
  • Most capital and equipment campaigns
  • Curriculum development or operational costs of public or private educational institutions or other tax-supported groups
  • Sponsorships including auctions, dinners, tickets, marketing or advertising, or annual fundraising events
  • Political action or legislative advocacy groups or influencing elections
  • Organizations acting on behalf of, but without the authority of, qualified tax-exempt organizations
  • Games, sports teams, sporting events or facilities, golf scrambles
  • Senior or Capstone events or projects, including Eagle Scout projects
  • Film, broadcast, or media programming, development, production or marketing
  • To fund graduation, senior, or end of year school activities.
  • To fund overhead or indirect costs not directly related to the implementation of a grant.
  • For social, economic, academic, medical, or scientific research.