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 BancSystem serves in Montana, Wyoming, and Western South Dakota.

Areas deemed to be less appropriate to receive funding are: individuals, projects that do not have a significant impact within communities the First Interstate BancSystem 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; normal, ongoing operating expenses for existing organizations, day-to-day operating expenses for any public or private educational institution (this does not preclude requests for special events or needs from such institutions), 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 2014

Application Process

Step 1

Send a Letter of Inquiry and a Grant Application to your local First Interstate Bank branch location.

Step 2

Additional information will be required for grants over $1,000 including: staff list, financials, and two most recent 990s (tax returns).

Step 3

The local First Interstate branch will review your application and send you an award or declination letter depending on if your program fits within the First Interstate BancSystem Foundation guidelines.

Step 4

The Foundation will review the proposal along with the branch's recommendations. After complete review, an award letter or declination letter will be sent by the Foundation.

2015 Total Company Giving as of December 31, 2015



Employee Gift Match

The Gift Matching program matches the gifts given by First Interstate Bank employees dollar for dollar.

Learn More


Employee Volunteer Match

The Foundation matches employee volunteer efforts at a rate of $10 for every hour donated.

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Foundation Grants

Grants awarded to nonprofit organizations that provide services to low and moderate income (LMI) individuals and communities across our territory.

Learn More


Branch Donation

Money donated to local communities by branch fundraising and charitable contributions.

First Interstate BancSystem Foundation

Mailing Address

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