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Partnership Criteria

The Gianforte Family Foundation partners with organizations that equip people to improve their lives in a sustainable way. Take our Partnership Self-Assessment below to help determine if your organization fits our criteria.

1. You are a non-profit with a 501 c3 tax filing status.

2. Your non-profit organization fits within one or more of our focus areas:

    • Jobs, Education, and Entrepreneurship
    • Families and the Vulnerable
    • Christian Outreach and Discipleship
    • Bozeman and Helena Arts and Culture

3. Your non-profit work is being done in Montana or your project directly impacts Montanans.

If your organization meets all of these criteria – please schedule a consultation. Our staff wants to speak with you, hear about your organization, and help you determine the next step.


Helpful Hints

Schedule a Consultation:

Before submitting an application contact us for a consultation. We want to learn more about your project and offer counsel on whether your project is a good match with our foundation. When you schedule your consultation provide: a brief description of your organization and the specific project you have in mind, and we will get back to you.


Plan on reaching out to us several weeks before the application deadline to schedule a consultation for consideration in the next grant cycle. We want to help you! However, we can’t accommodate every last-minute request. Consultation requests received less than 5-10 business days before an upcoming deadline may be deferred to the next grant cycle. 

Geographic Focus:

The majority of our gifts are for work being done in Montana. If your project does not have direct benefit to Montanans, our foundation may not be the best fit. If in doubt, contact us!

Annual Grants:

In general, we give organizations one grant per year. Multiple requests within a single year are discouraged.

Grant Writing Best Practices:

  • Limit your request to a specific project, especially if we have not funded your organization before.
  • If your request has multiple components, please list each component, with the corresponding amount requested for it, in order of priority.
  • Keep it simple. List the necessary information needed to understand your mission, project, and projected outcomes. Bullet points are great!
  • We do not generally fund more than 50% of a project (and in most cases, less). Additionally, we prefer to start with smaller grants for organizations that we have not worked with in the past.
  • The foundation trustees meet quarterly to consider grant requests. Completed applications must be received by the due date to be considered at the following meeting. We strongly encourage you to submit your application well before the due date, in the event that we need to obtain more information prior to the review.

Grant Application Process and Deadlines

1. Complete and submit an online application 

Before submitting an application please fill out a Contact Us form to schedule a consultation. If you have received a grant from us in the past, you can also email the director you worked with previously to ensure that your work and specific project are still a fit. Plan on reaching out to us several weeks before the application deadline to schedule the consultation. We want to help you!

While filling out an application, you can save it as a draft at anytime and return to it later. Once submitted, the application cannot be edited without contacting us.

2. Meet Our Deadline Dates

All applications must be submitted by our deadline dates. Deadlines for our quarterly grant cycles are:

January 20 (decision by mid-March)
April 20 (decision by mid-June)
July 20 (decision by mid-September)
October 20 (decision by mid-December)

3. Application Received

When you submit your application, we will review it to confirm all the required information has been completed. If any additional information is needed, we will contact you.

4. Application Reviewed

Applications are considered quarterly at board of trustees meetings. We may contact you prior to the meeting to obtain specific information deemed necessary to make an informed decision.

5. Decision

Most applications are decided upon during the board meeting where they are initially reviewed. In some cases, more information is needed to make a decision. Either way, you can expect a response to your application within eight weeks of the submittal due date. We respond to each application regardless of the decision.

6. If Your Request is Approved

  • Read your decision letter. You will receive a decision letter by email. The contents of the letter will provide specifics on what you were approved for (may differ from the request), how much you were approved for, and follow-up requirements.
  • Keep us updated on the project. If your project isn’t going to plan or if great things are happening, reach out to the Gianforte staff. We enjoy staying connected.
  • Send a gift receipt to the Foundation. Here is a great article on when to send a receipt, and what it should contain. Tax receipts for stock donations of $250 or more have unique requirements, read about them here.

7. Reapply

All approved requests must reapply each year for funding. We do not automatically renew grants.

Eligibility Criteria

Tax status:  We only fund work done by organizations ruled to have tax-exempt status under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

Geographic location:  In most cases, our funding is limited to organizations in Montana.  We will occasionally provide funding to organizations that operate nationally, when their work aligns with our focus areas and impacts the nation as a whole.  We rarely fund work overseas unless we have a personal connection with the group doing the work.

Funding amounts:  We do not generally fund projects where we are the sole providers of funding, nor do we like to account for more than 50% of the budget for a project (and in most cases, less).  In addition, we prefer to start with smaller amounts for organizations that we have not worked with in the past.

Focus areas: We limit our funding to work that falls within one of our focus areas:

If your project aligns with our criteria, press the button below:

[themify_button style=”large” link=”″ target=”_blank” color=”#9cadc4″ text=”#ffffff”]Begin New Application[/themify_button]