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Feb 15, 2023

5 FAQs About GO! Grants Eligibility

Headwaters Foundation’s GO! Grants Program provides quick turnaround general operating support (of up to $7,500 per year) with a simple application process to organizations working to improve the health of children and families in rural Western Montana. We launched this program in 2018 to help Headwaters Foundation reach, support and build relationships with organizations serving low-income families and Native American communities outside of the hubs of Missoula, Helena, Kalispell and Butte. Since that time, Headwaters Foundation has given over 400 GO! Grants to more than 200 organizations, totaling almost $2.4 million dollars. 

We love how much interest we get in this program, and we encourage anyone who thinks they are a fit to review criteria and take the eligibility quiz. To help you determine whether you are eligible for a GO! Grant, we wanted to share some of the questions we most often receive about eligibility for the program, with answers from our team.  

  1. Our organization’s mission isn’t related to the health of children and families, but we have one project that is (or we are thinking of starting a project that is) – are we eligible? 

No. The mission and work of your organization (and not just one project within your organization) must be aligned with the goal of the GO! Grants Program to improve the health of (low-income or Native American) children and families in rural Western Montana. Your overall organizational programming must be focused on this goal, whether that’s through early childhood education, food or housing assistance, social inclusion or mental health services. Read more about the focus areas here. 

  1. We are based in a city but provide services in rural areas – are we eligible? 

Yes, you might be! While it’s not essential to operate from a rural area, you must provide a majority of your services to folks in rural communities in Western Montana. We define ‘Western Montana’ as our state’s 15 westernmost counties ((Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Granite, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Sanders, Silver Bow, and Powell). We define ‘rural’ Western Montana as outside of the cities of Missoula, Kalispell, Whitefish, Helena and Butte.

  1. We are looking for funding for an event, conference, or training connected to health in rural communities – are we eligible?  

If your organization is a fit for a GO! grant because your mission is aligned with the program, you could use the funding to support an event, conference, or training. However, the program is not intended to support one-off events alone and Headwaters does not make grants explicitly for those purposes.  

  1. We are a new or start-up nonprofit organization – are we eligible?  

To be eligible, organizations must demonstrate that they have been operating for at least two years. This helps ensure that we are supporting programs that are established in their communities. If you have been operating for at least two years but have not had 501c3 status throughout, or you are fiscally sponsored, you may still be eligible. In these instances, we encourage you to reach out to [email protected] before applying. 

  1. We operate statewide – are we eligible?  

The program is intended to support work happening on the ground in rural communities we serve. However, statewide organizations may be a fit if the majority of your services take place in rural areas within Headwaters Foundation’s service area.

Learn more about the program and how to apply here. If you have questions that were not covered above, feel free to reach out to us.