BNSF Railway Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The BNSF Railway Foundation awards grants to a fairly diverse set of disease-related organizations.

IP TAKE: The BNSF grant process may take up to one year. Grantseekers should plan their applications accordingly.

PROFILE: In the mid-1990s, the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe (BNSF) railroads merged. In 1996, the company established its charitable arm, the BNSF Railway Foundation. The foundation focuses its grantmaking on civic services, cultural organizations, academic institutions, health and human services, youth organizations, federated organizations, and federally recognized tribal government.

The BNSF Foundation’s Health and Human Service program supports programs that "address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women's and children's aid and transitional shelters." This category also includes hospitals and medical programs. Past grantees include organizations such as the March of Dimes, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and local chapters of the American Cancer Society.

Grant amounts range from $2,500 to $500,000; however, the average grant ranges from $1,000 to $10,000. The BNSF Foundation geographically restricts its grantmaking to the 28 states in which the company has main lines and to communities located near those BNSF rail lines. While the foundation prioritizes organization with which it is already familiar, it still supports several new organizations. 

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications throughout the year. Grantseekers can access applications through the BNSF website.


  • Zak Anderson, President and Director
  • Michael Annis, Vice President