U.S. Bank Foundation



U.S. Bank Foundation 

Mailing Address:
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402-7020

Email: USBankGrants@usbank.com

Website: https://www.usbank.com/community

Local Contact Person: Marcy Bliss

Local Contact Phone: (541) 776-2635

Local Contact E-mail: marcy.bliss@usbank.com

Mission and Commitment to Our Communities:

We believe all people deserve the opportunity to dream, believe, and achieve.

The building blocks that made our country great – a stable job, a home to call your own, and a community connected through culture, recreation, and play – continue to be at the heart of possibility for all of us. Through U.S. Bank’s Community Possible platform, we invest our time, resources, and passion in economic development by supporting efforts to create stable jobs, better homes, and vibrant communities.

Community Possible is designed to embrace the diversity in our communities. We consider grant requests without regard to 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. While the U.S. Bank Foundation generously funds many nonprofit organizations in our communities, it’s impossible to fund every request. In order to make the most meaningful impact in our local communities, we focus our grant giving to fund economic development tied to Work, Home, and Play.

General Guidelines and Eligibility:

Through the U.S. Bank Foundation, we support organizations and programs that advance the funding priorities described under the Community Possible grant focus areas. Organizations must be based in and serve designated

  • Bank communities. Please see appendix A for the areas we

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.

Application Process: 

In 2019, the U.S. Bank Foundation is moving to a Letter of Intent (LOI) application process. The LOI will represent the initial round of consideration.

Please note: We will only reach out if we want to move the applicant to the next round of consideration.

We strongly recommend submitting the LOI application as early in the cycle as possible to allow for more time to submit the second questionnaire if requested.

Funding Types

Within these general guidelines, we consider the following funding request types:

  • Program / Project Grants

A Program/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.

  • Operating Grants

An Operating grant given to cover an organization’s day-to-day, ongoing expenses, such as salaries, utilities, office supplies, etc. We consider operating support requests from organizations where the entire mission of the organization fits a Community Possible grant focus area.

  • Capital Grants

A Capital grant that is part of an organized drive to collect and accumulate substantial funds 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.

Funding Restrictions

The U.S. Bank Foundation Community Possible grant program will not provide funding for:

  • 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
  • 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
  • Programs operated by religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Political organizations or organizations designed primarily to lobby
  • Individuals, including those seeking scholarships or fellowship assistance
  • Travel and related expenses, including student trips and tours
  • Deficit reduction

Community Possible Grant Focus Areas

We support organizations and programs that advance the following funding priorities:

  • WORK – Workforce Education & Economic Prosperity
  • HOME – Neighborhood Stability & Revitalization
  • PLAY – Artistic & Cultural Enrichment and Learning Through Play

Please review details for each of our three focus areas, as well as our national partnership support for United Way and the American Red Cross.

Grant Cycles

In 2019, the U.S. Bank Foundation will require applications for grants according to the Community Possible focus area that most closely aligns to Work, Home, Play, or our national partnerships.




PLAY: Application open January 1 – January 31

Artistic and Cultural Enrichment & Learning Through Play

Play brings joy. It is beneficial for problem solving, creativity, and relationships. Play is just as necessary for adults as it is for kids, but in low-income areas there are often limited spaces for play and fewer people attending arts and cultural activities. That’s why we invest in community programming that supports ways for children and adults to play and create.

Access to Artistic and Cultural Programming & Arts Education

Our investments ensure economic vitality and accessibility to the arts in local communities, as well as support for arts education. Examples of grant support include:

  • Programs that provide access to cultural activities, the visual and performing arts, museums, zoos and aquariums, and botanic gardens for individuals and families living in underserved communities
  • Funding for local arts organizations that enhance the economic vitality of the community
  • Programs that provide funding for arts-focused nonprofit organizations that bring visual and performing arts programming to low- and moderate-income K-12 schools and youth centers

Learning Through Play

Many young people across the country do not have the resources and/or access to enjoy the benefits of active play. Supporting active play based programs and projects for K-12 students in low- and moderate-income communities fosters innovation, creativity, and collaboration and impacts the overall vitality of the communities we serve. Funding support includes:

  • Support for organizations that build or expand access to active play spaces and places that help K-12 students learn through play improving the education, safety, and unification in low- and moderate-income communities
  • Programs that focus on using active play to help young people develop cognitive, social, and emotional learning skills to become vibrant and productive citizens in low- and moderate-income communities

WORK: Application open April 1–April 30

Workforce Education & Economic Prosperity

At U.S. Bank, we know that a strong small business environment and an educated workforce ensure the prosperity of our communities. Through our grant making program, we make that possible. We support programs and organizations that help small businesses thrive, allow people to succeed in the workforce, provide pathways to higher education, and gain greater financial literacy.

Investing in the Workforce

We fund organizations that provide training for small business development, as well as programs that support individuals across all skill and experience levels, to ensure they have the capability to gain employment that supports individuals and their families.  Examples of grant support include:

  • Small business technical assistance programs
  • Job-skills and career readiness training programs with comprehensive placement services for low- and moderate-income individuals entering or reentering the labor force

Providing Pathways for Success to Postsecondary Education

To address the growing requirements for postsecondary education in securing competitive jobs in the workplace, we support:

  • Organizations and programs that help low- and moderate-income and at-risk middle and high school students prepare for postsecondary education at a community college, university, trade or technical school, as well as career readiness
  • Programs and initiatives at postsecondary institutions that support access to career and educational opportunities for low- and moderate-income and diverse students

Teaching Financial Well-being for Work and Life

Financial well-being is not only critical for financial stability, it is significant in helping individuals be successful in the workplace. Examples of grant support include programs that positively impact:

  • K-12 and college student financial literacy
  • Adult and workforce financial literacy
  • Senior financial fraud prevention
  • Military service members and veteran financial literacy

HOME: Application open July 1–July 31

Neighborhood Stability & Revitalization

The case for a stable, healthy home environment is clear: children and families are better positioned to thrive and succeed in a home that is safe and permanent. In response, our giving supports efforts that connect individuals and families with sustainable housing opportunities.

Providing Access to Safe, Affordable Housing

We provide financial support to assist people in developing stability in their lives through access to safe, sustainable, and accessible homes. Examples of grant support include:

  • Organizations that preserve, rehabilitate, renovate, or construct affordable housing developments for low- and moderate-income families, individuals, seniors, veterans, and special-needs populations
  • Organizations that provide transitional housing as a direct stepping stone to permanent housing
  • Organizations that focus on Veterans housing and homeownership
  • Construction of green homes for low- and moderate-income communities
  • Energy retrofit programs for low- and moderate-income housing developments

Providing Homeownership Education

Owning and maintaining a home requires significant financial knowledge, tools, and resources. We support programs that assist low- and moderate-income homebuyers and existing home owners. Examples of grant support include:

  • Homebuyer education
  • Pre- and post-purchase counseling and coaching
  • Homeownership-retention programs designed to provide foreclosure counseling

NATIONAL PARTNERSHIPS & PROGRAMS: Application open January 1–January 31

United Way

U.S. Bank supports United Way through an annual employee giving campaign. We accept grant applications from the local United Way chapter where employees make their contributions.  We accept general operating requests, as well as program grant requests that correspond with our Community Possible grant focus areas.

American Red Cross

  • 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. We accept program grant requests from local American Red Cross chapters for the Disaster Services Funding Program, Home Fire Campaign, and Service to Armed Forces

Do you fund general operating costs for non-profits? If so, under what conditions?

We consider unrestricted general operating support requests from organizations where the entire mission of the organization fits a Community Possible Grant Focus Area (see above).

Applicants are required to provide:

  • Most recent audited financial statements (if audited financial statements are not available, please provide the organization’s most recent financial statements)
  • Detailed explanation for any budget deficits
  • Full operating budget for the organization
  • Program budget –Required for program support grant requests
  • List of other funders
  • List of Board of directors and their affiliation
  • Statement on the organization’s response to a community need
  • Anticipated outcomes, evaluation methods, and impact

Preferred contact from potential grantees:

If you still have questions after reviewing our website and these guidelines, please email usbanksupport@cybergrants.com or call 866-366-7072.

The U.S. Bank Foundation continues to refine its grant process. Please review the Foundation website for changes in the process prior to submitting a grant proposal.