BNSF Railway Foundation: Grants for Diseases

OVERVIEW: The BNSF Railway Foundation funds diverse 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 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 Services 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. Grantees include organizations such as the March of Dimes, the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and local chapters of the American Cancer Society.

Grants range from $2,500 to $500,000, but most are $1,000 to $10,000. The BNSF Foundation geographically restricts its grantmaking to the 28 states in which the company has main rail lines and to communities located near those lines. While the foundation prioritizes organizations with which it is familiar, it still supports organizations it hasn't previously funded. 

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

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