Grant guidelines and eligibility
To make the most meaningful impact, we focus our grant giving to economic development issues tied to work, home and play. Organizations must also be based in and serve designated U.S. Bank communities. When considering funding, we prioritize organizations that focus on more than one of these segments as well as organizations led by a person of color.
Factors considered by the U.S. Bank Foundation:
Because the Foundation receives funding requests in excess to the annual grant program budget, we must decline support to worthy organizations and programs. We may decline support to organizations we have previously supported to expand community engagements. Support should not be expected to continue in perpetuity and declination does not reflect a negative appraisal of the organization or the value of its programs and service.
The following factors are among those the foundation will consider:
- Innovation and/or differentiation in our focus areas of Work, Home and Play
- Programming and services that advance positive community engagement efforts
- Demonstrated outcomes and impact
- Service delivery to low-and moderate-income, women and people of color
- Diversity in the management and governing board of the organization
- The financial health of the organization
Please read our Corporate Social Responsibility annual reports for more information on our annual giving.
Our grant program is designed to embrace the diversity in our communities. Organizations must have tax-exempt status under IRS section 501(c)(3) and certify that they maintain a non-discrimination policy that ensures the organization does not discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, marital status, genetic information, veteran status or other factors that are protected by law.
Within these general guidelines, we consider the following funding requests:
An operating grant is given to cover an organization’s day-to-day, ongoing expenses, such as salaries, utilities, office supplies and more. We consider operating support requests from organizations where the entire mission of the organization fits a Community Possible grant focus area.
Program or project grants
A program or project grant is given to support a specific, connected set of activities, with a beginning and an end, explicit objectives and a predetermined cost. We consider highly effective and innovative programs that meet our Community Possible grant focus areas.
A capital grant is given to finance fixed assets. The U.S. Bank Foundation considers a small number of requests for capital support from organizations that meet all other funding criteria, whose entire mission statement fits a Community Possible grant focus area, and with which the Foundation has a funding history. All organizations requesting capital funding must also have a U.S. Bank employee on the board of directors. U.S. Bank does not fund more than 1% of the non-endowment total capital campaign fundraising goal. All capital grant requests are reviewed and approved by the national U.S. Bank Foundation Board or by the U.S. Bank Foundation President.
The U.S. Bank Foundation Community Possible grant program will not provide funding for:
- Organizations that discriminate based on race, ethnicity, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, ancestry, citizenship, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, disability, marital status, genetic information, veteran status or other factors that are protected by law
- Political organizations or organizations designed primarily to lobby
- Programs operated by religious organizations for religious purposes
- Fraternal organizations, merchant associations, chamber memberships or programs, or 501(c)(4) or (6) organizations
- Section 509(a)(3) – Type III supporting organizations
- Private foundations
- Endowments or memorial campaigns
- Fundraising events or sponsorships
- Travel and related expenses including student trips and tours
- Individuals, including those seeking scholarships or fellowship assistance
- Deficit reduction
United Way and American Red Cross partnership
U.S. Bank supports United Way in their efforts to support a wide range of social and health services needs in our communities. Local United Way chapters may be invited to submit a grant application by a Community Affairs Manager. If invited to apply, we will accept general operating requests, as well as program grant requests that correspond with our Community Possible grant focus areas.
American Red Cross
U.S. Bank is a committed member of the Disaster Responder Program, contributing national funds annually to ensure the American Red Cross can immediately implement disaster relief efforts. Local American Red Cross Chapters may be invited to submit a grant application by a Community Affairs Manager. If invited to apply, we will accept program grant requests for the Disaster Services Funding Program, Home Fire Campaign and Service to Armed Forces Program.
The U.S. Bank Foundation utilizes an electronic Letter of Interest to identify organizations with unique and innovative programs that fit within our pillars of Work, Home and Play. For more details on U.S. Bank Foundation grants, please refer to our grant guidelines.