BNSF Railway Foundation: Grants for Higher Education

OVERVIEW: The BNSF Railway Foundation supports both colleges and universities. The foundation also considers supporting exceptional vocational and non-college schools on occasion.

IP TAKE: The grant process can take anywhere from three months to year. Grantseekers should plan their applications accordingly.

PROFILE: In 1996, the BNSF Railway company established its charitable, the BNSF Railway Foundation, through a merger between the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe Railroads merged. Both the corporation and foundation are located in Forth Worth, Texas. BNSF funds civic and cultural services, education, health and human services, youth organizations, and federally recognized Native tribal governments.

BNSF funds higher education through its educational giving program. The foundation funds both public and private colleges and universities; however, it prioritizes higher education programs that improve the quality of education. 

Grant amounts range from $2,500 to $500,000. However, most awards generally fall in the $1,000 to $10,000 range. The BNSF foundation geographically limits its grantmaking on the 28 states in which the railways have main lines and communities located near BNSF rail lines.

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications throughout the year. Grantseekers can access applications through the BNSF website. BNSF does not award grants for general operating support.


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