BNSF Railway Foundation Grants

BNSF Railway Foundation

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Deadline: Rolling

Grant amount: US $1,000 - US $10,000

Fields of work: Recreation Environment Art & Culture Health & Medicine Human & Social Services Youth Services Education - Higher Education Vocational & Trade Education Civic Affairs Show all

Applicant type: Indigenous Group, Government Entity, Nonprofit

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Alabama: Calhoun County, Cleburne County, Jefferson County, Marion County, Shelby County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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BNSF Railway Foundation

The BNSF Railway Foundation supports communities by funding a wide variety of arts and social service organizations and college scholarship programs. We also make a difference through our employees’ incredible volunteer spirit and their active contributions to many worthy community programs, from serving on city councils to building homes for Habitat for Humanity.

Since 2000, the BNSF Railway Foundation has contributed more than $150 million, to educational, cultural and other worthy programs in communities we serve. This includes donations made to match employee gifts. The foundation routinely donates to youth programs and community projects with significant local involvement.

Our Mission

The mission of the BNSF Railway Foundation is to support and help improve quality of life for thousands of communities across the 28 states where BNSF operates, primarily across the Midwest, Southwest and Northwest regions of the U.S. As one of the largest freight railroads in North America, BNSF Railway is focused on making a difference in the communities where our employees live, work and volunteer. The BNSF Railway Foundation is our company’s main vehicle for charitable giving.


Please note the following updates in order to be considered for a BNSF Railway Foundation grant:

In order to more effectively accomplish our mission and continue to respond to the hardships and difficulties currently experienced by nonprofits stretched to their limit to provide services, the BNSF Railway Foundation has further refined our criteria for consideration. 

While we understand that nonprofits' needs are great, we have a responsibility to make the most impactful investments possible in our communities. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that your request will be considered if you do not meet the following criteria: 

You will be considered for a BNSF Railway Foundation grant only if you can show that you meet at least two of the following criteria: 

  • Your organization or project has significant BNSF employee participation
  • Your organization or the services provided are in close proximity to a BNSF main line; or if BNSF is the only railroad or major corporation in your area of the state
  • Your request is related to the railroad industry
  • Your request is for direct programming or project support

If your organization is volunteer-driven, there must be significant BNSF employee involvement in order for the BNSF Railway Foundation to consider funding your project.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • We are able to consider your request only if your organization meets the requirements outlined under the Policies section, and meets at least one of the following criteria:
    • the organization is a public charity and has obtained IRS status under Section 501(c)3 
    • the organization is a division of local government
    • the organization is a federally recognized tribal government
    • the organization is a school or university
  • Note: Contributions to tribal governments are limited to those listed in the current Federal Register publication of the list of Indian Entities Recognized and Eligible to Receive Services from the United States Bureau of Indian Affairs.


  • In addition, strong preference will be given to requests that fall under one of the following areas of interest:
    • Environmental, sustainability or conservation projects
    • Health & human services
    • Cultural and historic preservation
  • Finally, priority will be given to organizations having an established relationship with the BNSF Railway Foundation.


  • The BNSF Railway Foundation does not fund any of the following:
    • Direct support, including travel funds, for individuals or families;
    • Religious or faith-based organizations, unless the program does not promote a specific religion or faith and is not restricted to populations of specific religions or faiths;
    • Organizations that have a written policy of discrimination against individuals because of their race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status;
    • Athletic teams and fraternal, veteran, social, alumni, or labor organizations, such as university alumni groups, sororities/fraternities, labor unions, exclusive membership clubs, etc. (the Foundation does support organizations that serve veterans, provided the organization is a 501(c)(3) charity under IRS rules);
    • Health programs and organizations, at a national level;
    • Corporate memberships or contributions to Chambers of Commerce, taxpayer associations and other bodies whose activities are expected to directly benefit the corporation;
    • Political campaigns or lobbying organizations, or organizations supporting the candidacy of a particular individual;
    • Sponsorship of fundraising events (including benefit dinners, auctions, sports competitions, etc.) or goodwill advertising;
    • Tables and/or tickets to gala fundraisers that would violate IRS law governing self-dealing;
    • Activities of organizations serving primarily their own membership;
    • Private foundations;
    • General endowments;
    • Programs beyond BNSF’s state areas of interest, or beyond its geographical areas of service (Please refer to the BNSF Network Map to determine if your organization is within our geographic areas of service.)


This page was last reviewed August 09, 2021 and last updated August 09, 2021