About the trust


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More information for grantseekers is provided below.

If you haven't already reviewed the Trust’s Funding Priorities, please do so before proceeding.

You may also wish to review Common Grantseeker Questions.

The Trust only funds organizations that meet all of the following eligibility requirements:

  • Organizations must be tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code and not classified as a private foundation under Section 509(a) of the Code; or non-U.S. organizations that can demonstrate that they would meet the requirements for such status.
  • Organizations must serve individuals living in the Western United States: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming.
  • Organizations or programs must be directly aligned with one or more of the strategies outlined for one of the Trust's Program Areas.

Funding is not provided for the following:

  • Work that is not aligned with the goals identified for one or more of the Trust’s Funding Priorities
  • Organizations that are not, or would not qualify as, a 501(c)(3) public charity
  • Individuals
  • Programs that do not serve individuals living within the Trust’s geographic focus area
  • General fundraising appeals
  • Start-up or emerging organizations
  • New programs, unless from an organization that is able to demonstrate the expertise to support a new program and past success in implementing similar programs
  • Scientific or medical research
  • Building funds, capital projects, or capital equipment, unless specifically invited by staff
  • Endowment funds
  • Organizations or programs operated by government agencies – with the exception of K-12 schools and post-secondary education institutions
  • Promotion of religion
  • Debt reduction
  • Conferences, benefit events, or other one-time events
  • Post-disaster or emergency relief, unless specifically invited by staff
  • Projects that: carry on propaganda or otherwise attempt to influence legislation; participate or intervene in any political campaign on behalf of or in opposition to any candidate for public office; or conduct, directly or indirectly, voter registration
  • Organizations that pass through funding to an organization or project that would not be eligible for direct funding as describe above

Organizations strongly aligned with the Trust’s grantmaking priorities exhibit these characteristics:

  • Meet a demonstrated need or address a gap in services/programs
  • Directly address one or more of the strategies identified in one of the Trust's Program Areas.
  • Provide services that have long-term, sustainable impact
  • Have a proven track record of success, with at least two years of measurable outcomes
  • Have clearly-articulated and measurable goals and proposed outcomes and reasonable, practical plans to achieve these
  • Have demonstrated the ability to manage an annual expense budget of more than $250,000
  • Receive significant support from the community and grants from a variety of other foundation and corporate funders
  • Receive less than 70% of their revenues from government sources
  • Offer programs and services that reflect best practices or evidenced-based solutions, and/or that represent creative, effective approaches to addressing persistent needs or challenges
  • Have experienced and engaged staff and an active and committed board of directors who bring knowledge and experience in relevant fields of service
  • Are highly respected in their field of service
  • Consistently gather feedback from stakeholders and program beneficiaries and incorporate findings in program design, service delivery, and overall administration and governance
  • Collaborate with other entities in order to meet client needs and avoid duplication of effort
  • Have a stable financial position and demonstrate strong financial management capacity
  • Use volunteers effectively and manage them well
  • Can answer the question: “How do you know your work is effective?” – have a sound system for tracking, analyzing, documenting, and communicating improvements in beneficiaries’ lives, or other significant impact
  • Engage in learning and reflection and use data to improve services and/or organizational performance

Once you have determined that your organization and/or program is consistent with the Trust’s guidelines by reviewing the Funding Priorities, and the Eligibility and Alignment criteria above, the next step is to complete the Eligibility Quiz, below. You will be asked a series of questions to confirm that your organization and project meet the Trust’s guidelines, and if so, will be provided instructions for submitting an inquiry.


Eligibility Quiz