BNSF Railway Foundation: Grants for Public Health

OVERVIEW: The BNSF Railway Foundation focuses its public health grantmaking on chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spousal and child abuse, and women and children’s transitional shelters.

IP TAKE: BNSF gives pretty widely to local and regional organizations, so smaller groups are in luck with this funder. However, the grant process is rather long and can take anywhere from three months to a year, so this may not be the best bet for those needing emergency or immediate funding.

PROFILE: The BNSF Railway Foundation has been the charitable arm of BNSF Railway since 1996, when the Burlington Northern and Santa Fe railroads merged. Of the foundation’s handful of grantmaking priorities, those seeking public health grants will want to explore its Health and Human Service program.

BNSF's health and human services grants go to programs and projects related to chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spousal and child abuse, and women and children’s transitional shelters. While the foundation gives widely to local charities, it also includes hospitals and medical programs.

The foundation geographically focuses its grantmaking on the 28 states in which the railways have main lines with a strong operational and employee presence. Although BNSF tends to give preferential treatment to nonprofits with which it is already familiar, plenty of new organizations make its roster each year. It’s worth noting that this funder also gives widely to local chapters of the United Way, but this grant making appears to be handled separately from its other programmatic giving.

Grant amounts can range anywhere from $2,500 to $500,000. However, most fall between $1,000 to $10,000. Outside its grantmaking to the United Way, BNSF Foundation gives fairly widely to local and regional organizations.

The foundation accepts unsolicited grant applications throughout the year. Applications can be accessed through its website.

PEOPLE:

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

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