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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.

Ineligible Categories

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

  1. To discriminate against any person because of race, color, citizenship, religion, national origin, age, gender, disability, veteran or current or future military status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.
  2. To fund loans, debt retirement, or operational deficits.
  3. To individuals, unless under an approved educational scholarship program.
  4. To sectarian or religious organizations for religious purposes where the principal activity is for the benefit of its own members or adherents.
  5. To fraternal or civic organizations.
  6. For travel expenses or trips.
  7. For the production of films.
  8. To fund graduation, senior, or end of year school activities.
  9. To fund club, student capstone, or senior projects.
  10. To fund youth sports programs or sports complexes/facilities.
  11. To fund overhead or indirect costs not directly related to the implementation of a grant.
  12. To private and public foundations or for an endowment fund.
  13. To most capital and equipment campaigns.
  14. For curriculum development or operational costs of public educational institutions or other tax-supported groups.
  15. For social, economic, academic, medical, or scientific research.
  16. For sponsorships of one-time events such as an annual gala or fundraising event.
  17. For advertising or marketing costs.
  18. For political action or legislative advocacy groups or influencing elections.
  19. To organizations acting on behalf of, but without the authority of, qualified tax-exempt organizations.