Foundation Grants

The First Interstate Foundation grants in two main areas: Community Development and Leadership Grants.

Community Development Grants

Community Development Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations that provide services to low and moderate income (LMI) individuals and communities across our territory. First Interstate branches, the Foundation, and First Interstate's community development officer work together with those nonprofits toward the salient goal of community development. We provide expertise and resources to affordable housing projects, services targeted to LMI individuals, activities that revitalize or stabilize LMI geographies, and activities that promote economic development.

Leadership Grants

Leadership Grants give First Interstate employees the opportunity to be community stewards. The Foundation relies on branch leadership to recommend funding based on the needs of their respective communities. From there, the branch and the Foundation grant dollars to community projects and activities. Leadership Grants are evaluated based on the nonprofits' organizational background, community benefit and support, and the strength of the nonprofits' leadership and financial stability.

The Foundation only grants to organizations recommended by local First Interstate BancSystem branches. Unsolicited grant applications will be referred to branches. Requests are reviewed continually.


The Foundation only awards grants to organizations with a tax exempt status from federal income tax under Section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, qualifies as a publicly supported organization as described in Section 509 (a) of the Code, or can present evidence that the applicant is a legally established unit of government. The Foundation only considers projects that have significant impact within the communities First Interstate Bank serves.

Areas deemed to be less appropriate to receive funding are: individuals, projects that do not have a significant impact within communities the First Interstate Bank serves, projects designed to influence legislation or elect candidates to public office, projects of sectarian or religious organizations whose services are limited to members of any one religious group, projects which clearly represent a duplication of effort, any project that in any manner implies restriction of services based on sex, race, age, and religious affiliation and endowments.

Grant Awards

View the current list of Community Development Grants and the organizations to which they were awarded.

Grant Award List 2018

Application Process

Step 1

Send a Letter of Inquiry to your local First Interstate Bank branch location. Find a branch near you.

Step 2

If your local First Interstate Bank invites you to complete a grant application, you will be provided with a password. Please follow the below link and sign in creating your own credentials. The Foundation only grants to organizations recommended by local First Interstate branches. Unsolicited grant applications will be referred to the local branch. Requests are reviewed continuously. Please call or email the Foundation for more information at 1-406-255-5393 or

Step 3

The local First Interstate branch & First Interstate Foundation will review your application and send you an award or declination letter.

Donations of $30,000 and higher will require the prior approval of the Foundation Board.

The Big Picture

28 Years, $30 Million Invested



Arts & Culture

Museums, historic societies, heritage centers, theaters, art councils, symphonies.



Human Services

Emergency needs, food, shelter, hospitals, clinics, child and family services.



Civic & Community

Housing programs, economic development, United Way, YMCA, youth programs leadership programs, sustainability.




Schools, colleges, libraries, financial education programs.

First Interstate BancSystem Foundation

Mailing Address

First Interstate
BancSystem Foundation
PO Box 7113
Billings, MT 59103-7113