Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation

OVERVIEW: The Montana-based Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation supports education, health and human services, community service and arts and culture. Unsolicited applications are accepted from Montana nonprofits via online submission.

FUNDING AREAS: Education, health and human services, community service, arts and culture

IP TAKE: Funding areas are broad, but education and youth are top interests for this foundation. Craft your proposal around young Montanans for the best results.

PROFILE: The Dennis and Phyllis Washington Foundation is the primary philanthropic organization for the Montana-based Washington Companies and the Washington family. Its funding comes from contributions from the companies and personal donations from the family. The foundation was established in 1988 and is based in Missoula, Montana.

The family fortune was built in the construction business. Today, the Washington Companies have a hand in marine transportation, mining, rail transportation, heavy equipment distribution, environmental remediation, and aviation technology and service. The couple’s main philanthropic interests are education and youth.

The foundation’s education program supports early childhood education, after-school learning, post-secondary education, and scholarships for college students. Health and human services grants go to basic healthcare services, exercise and nutrition programs, and programs that help disabled and disadvantaged people.

Arts and culture grants revolve around theater, art and music that establishes cultural traditions. The foundation gives community service grants to community improvement organizations, including the Montana Special Olympics State Summer Games and Washington Family Ranch: Young Life (a Christian youth ministry for middle school children and teens.) There are several scholarship opportunities available as well.

The foundation values Western heritage and works with grantees that share those values. Geographically, it supports groups within Montana and a few other communities where the Washington Companies are located.

To apply for a grant, take the eligibility quiz. The foundation looks to support organizations and programs that provide direct services to economically and socially disadvantaged individuals and families, at-risk or troubled youth, and individuals with special needs. Links to past grantees in each of these four categories can be found on the Areas of Focus page of the funder’s website.

The best way to connect is via online form. There is an executive director, Mike Halligan, but apparently, no other staffers to connect with. Keep up with the funder at its news section.


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