Areas Of Giving

The Foundation is dedicated to supporting the communities we serve and in which our employees live, work, and volunteer. Your organization, or program, should exist in or serve a community near one of BNSF's rail lines to be eligible to apply for grants. Please refer to the BNSF system map included in the Policies & Guidelines section to determine whether you are located on a BNSF route.

While BNSF is proud to support many causes, it is not possible for us to fund every request that comes to us.


Generally, we will consider requests for funding that clearly fall within one or more of the following categories, although a clear fit does not guarantee that your organization will be funded:

  • Civic services including organizations which are concerned with the environment, as well as local community issues such as crime prevention, parks and recreation, diversity and community development.

  • Cultural organizations that include performing, visual, and fine arts, museums and other related activities that offer opportunities for underserved children to experience cultural learning events.

  • Educational institutions, both public and private, primarily at the college level. Grants of an exceptional nature may be made to vocational and non-college schools. Preferably, contributions will be directed toward the improvement of the quality of education. Ordinarily, grants will not be made to finance the expansion of a student body or the payment of scholarships. (BNSF's scholarship programs, as well as the Employee Matching Gift Program, are governed by separate policies.)

  • Health and Human Service organizations such as YMCA/YWCA, programs that address chemical dependency treatment and prevention, spouse and child abuse, women's and children's aid and transitional shelters. This category also includes hospitals and medical programs.

  • Youth organizations such as Boys & Girls Clubs, Camp Fire, Scouts, Junior Achievement and similar groups.

  • Federated organizations such as United Way and American Red Cross.


  • The BNSF Railway Foundation is proud of BNSF's more than 50-year tradition of commitment to higher education through its scholarship opportunities.

    One of the most successful and significant scholarship programs BNSF funds is the BNSF College Scholarship Program for high school seniors who are dependents of full-time BNSF Railway employees, retirees or furloughed employees. The BNSF Railway Foundation awards up to 40 scholarships annually through an online application process administered by International Scholarship and Tuition Services (ISTS). These scholarships carry awards of either $5,000 per year renewable for up to three additional years if a student is selected as a National Merit Scholar or $2,500 per year renewable for up to three additional years if the student is selected as a BNSF Scholarship winner. To be eligible for consideration, the student must be the dependent of a full-time BNSF Railway active or furloughed employee or retiree, a senior in high school and be able to provide an official SAT or ACT score prior to the application deadline.

    The BNSF College Scholarship Program application process has closed for the 2012-2013 academic year. Information regarding the 2013-2014 application will be made available later this year.

The BNSF Railway Foundation currently funds the following additional scholarship programs. Interested students must contact their high school guidance counselor for details on each individual program and how to apply:

  • The Horatio Alger Association with 15 Fort Worth scholarships and 25 North Dakota scholarships.

  • The United Negro College Fund offers scholarship(s) to students from Tarrant County, Texas who attend any of the 39 UNCF member colleges and universities.

  • Native American Scholarships are administered by AISES (American Indian Science and Engineering Society) and are five 4-year annual scholarships based on financial need.

    • Preference is given to the sciences, medicine, engineering, natural and physical science, business, education and health administration. Winners are selected by AISES.

  • Hispanic American Scholarship Program is administered by the Hispanic College Fund. Awards are available exclusively in the BNSF served states of AZ, CA, CO, IL, KS, MO, NM and TX

  • Future Farmers of America Scholarships are administered by the National FFA office. Ten 4-year scholarships are awarded to FFA members in CA, IL, IA, KS, MN, MT, NE, ND, SD and TX and who are enrolled in the following areas of agriculture: business management, economics, finance and sales and marketing.

Employee Matching Gifts Program

  • BNSF Railway Foundation has established an Employee Matching Gifts Program designed to encourage employees to give financial aid to qualified educational and nonprofit service organizations. The Foundation matches 1:1 every dollar contributed, as long as the contribution falls within the guidelines of the program. Employees should refer to the employee intranet to download the contribution form. The Matching Gift Program must be initiated by a BNSF employee and not by an organization that wishes to be included in the program. Matching Gift payments generally take place within three to four months of the Foundation having received the Matching Gift form.