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Grant FAQ

Questions about our work and how to apply? See below.

Who is eligible to apply for a grant from Headwaters Foundation?

Does your organization work to make a positive difference in the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities in Western Montana? You may be eligible for a grant from Headwaters Foundation.


To be eligible for Headwaters Foundation grants, applicants must:

  • Provide majority of their organization’s services in our funding region (see below),
  • Be a tax-exempt public charity, as qualified by the IRS,
  • Align with the mission, vision and values of Headwaters Foundation,
  • Serve those living in poverty, children and families, rural communities, and/or Native American constituents, and
  • Headwaters will consider the applicant’s past history in successful project completion and tracking outcomes.

Note: Fiscally sponsored organizations are eligible for funding from Headwaters Foundation.

Where does Headwaters fund?

Headwaters Foundation serves the Flathead Nation and Montana’s 15 western-most counties: Beaverhead, Deer Lodge, Flathead, Granite, Jefferson, Lake, Lewis and Clark, Lincoln, Madison, Mineral, Missoula, Ravalli, Sanders, Silver Bow, and Powell.

What doesn’t Headwaters fund?

At Headwaters Foundation, our vision is a Western Montana where all people, especially those facing the most barriers, are able to live healthy lives. This vision encompasses a diverse, broad range of solutions. However, there are some initiatives and activities that fall outside of our purview.

 ​Currently, Headwaters Foundation does not fund the following:

  • Individuals;
  • Endowments;
  • Capital campaigns;
  • Event sponsorships (but GO! Grants may be used for fundraising/event expenses);
  • Direct lobbying;
  • Debt retirement, operating deficits or after-the-fact support;
  • Basic biomedical research, drug therapies or devices;
  • Public, private or parochial education institutions, including their foundations, except when support is essential to programs or projects that align with our priorities and are not considered standard educational services;
  • Organizations or projects that unlawfully discriminate with regard to employees, volunteers, delivery of programs or services, or clients served based on age, sex, religion/creed, race, color, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, marital status, military or veterans status, pregnancy or genetic information;
  • Any organization or project that is inconsistent with the mission, vision and values and programmatic priorities of Headwaters.

How does my organization apply for a GO! Grant from Headwaters Foundation?

Headwaters Foundation makes applying for grants as easy as possible so that organizations can spend more time on their mission critical work, and less time applying for funding.  

To apply for a GO! Grant from Headwaters Foundation: 

If your organization is a first-time applicant: Click here to take the eligibility quiz to see if your organization qualifies for a GO! Grant. (You can also check out this blog, which answers some frequently asked questions about GO! Grants eligibility.) If your organization meets the requirements of the eligibility quiz, you will be directed to register in the Headwaters grants portal to create an organization profile and complete the application. Once Headwaters receives your application, a funding decision is typically made within two weeks. Reach out to [email protected] with any questions. 

If your organization has received GO! Grant funding in the past: Your organization can apply for a GO! Grant once every 12 months. If your organization currently has an open GO! Grant, the final report must be finalized and closed before you can begin a new application. We encourage organizations to take the eligibility quiz annually, as updated criteria may impact eligibility. When you are ready to reapply, you can log in to your portal here or by clicking the Login button at the top of the screen. If you need access to a portal, reach out to [email protected]. Once you are in your grants portal, follow the instructions there. Once Headwaters receives your application, a funding decision is typically made within two weeks. 

How does my organization apply for an Early Childhood, Policy & Engagement or Native American Health grant?

Headwaters Foundation is currently transitioning to a new strategic framework. We’ll spend this year refining our grantmaking and engaging in conversations with current partners. Later this year, we’ll announce new funding areas, with the new framework set to be fully operational in 2025.

In the meantime, prospective grantees are encouraged to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media (FacebookInstagramLinkedIn) to stay in the loop.

How does my organization report on a grant it received from Headwaters Foundation?

At Headwaters, we are dedicated to building partnerships with our grantees that uphold transparency and open lines of communication. Throughout the grant cycle, we have conversations with grantees to understand their goals and priorities and how those might change to adapt to the environment they are operating in, learn about the challenges grantees face in their work, and understand whether and how Headwaters can provide additional support, such as connections to other partners, technical experts, or capacity-building services.

At the end of the grant term, Headwaters will connect with grantees to reflect on what they have learned over the grant period. These learnings may be shared in story format or through a final conversation.

Learn more about grant reporting expectations here.

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