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Grants to USA Nonprofits in Multiple States for Programs Focusing on
Safety, Community Spaces, Workforce Development, and Local Needs

Community Ties Giving Program - Local Grants

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Union Pacific Foundation (UPF)

Deadline Date:



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Grants of up to $25,000 to USA nonprofit organizations in multiple states for programs that benefit communities served by the funding source. Funding is intended to support capacity-building activities, and programs and projects in the areas of safety, workforce development, community spaces, and local needs. Preference will be shown for programs and organizations working to advance the diversity, equity and inclusion of underrepresented populations.

The program or project for which grant funds are sought must primarily benefit a community that is served by Union Pacific. Union Pacific serves communities in the following states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

Funding will be prioritized for direct services and efforts that build the capacity of organizations focused on the causes listed below within the Foundation's local operating communities. Within each focus area, they aim to support programs and organizations working to advance the diversity, equity and inclusion of underrepresented populations within the local context and issue areas addressed.

Focus Areas:

Safety: Funding is prioritized for programs that seek to:

  • Encourage safe behaviors and prevent accidents through education and awareness,  particularly projects which focus on rail, driver, bike, and pedestrian safety, and ensure outreach efforts reach diverse populations.
  • Eliminate risks and improve safe and equitable access to community spaces through infrastructure improvements, such as signage, proper lighting, and public trail improvements.
  • Prepare and equip residents and emergency responders to effectively respond to incidents and emergencies if or when they occur.
  • Prevent crime and violent incidents through efforts that address the root causes of these issues and seek to mitigate their occurrence.
  • Provide homeless and at-risk populations access to safe shelter and services that ameliorate and prevent homelessness. 
  • Build the capacity of safety-focused organizations to integrate DEI best practices internally and/or within their community programs. 

Workforce Development: Funding is prioritized for programs that seek to:

  • Put youth on the right track by creating awareness of family-supporting jobs like those Union Pacific offers, and building foundational skills, especially in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) as well as necessary technical and life skills, to begin a trajectory toward these careers.
  • Raise awareness of, educate and prepare young adults for middle skills jobs like those Union Pacific offers, for instance through community colleges, vocational and career training programs, workforce readiness initiatives, and programs that assist with job placement and/or on-the-job experience. Programs that develop proficiency in areas of relevance to Union Pacific operations such as welding, electrical work, machine operations, and civil and electrical engineering are given priority.
  • "Up-skill" the existing workforce by providing training and resources that enable them to reach the next level of their career. Programs that develop proficiency in areas of relevance to Union Pacific operations are given priority.
  • Build the capacity of workforce development-focused organizations to integrate DEI best practices internally and/or within their community programs.

Programs with a focus on cultivating a diverse and inclusive workforce through the intentional support of women and BIPOC individuals in particular, as well as those with a focus on rural communities, will be given special consideration.

Community Spaces: Funding is prioritized for programs and projects that achieve the following:

  • Create, sustain or expand artistic and cultural experiences offered to a broad and diverse audience (e.g., museums, theatres, libraries, concerts, lectures, etc.), and ensure equitable access.
  • Preserve and share the unique culture and history of the local community, including projects related to train and/or Union Pacific history.
  • Provide clean, safe, equitable and accessible outdoor recreational and/or educational opportunities that foster an appreciation for our natural environment.
  • Beautify neighborhoods and main street areas, especially in historically underinvested neighborhoods, in order to improve livability, promote commerce and, ultimately, attract more residents, businesses and visitors to town.
  • Plan for, create or enhance unique spaces that reflect the character of a place and take into account community members' diverse needs, interests, and desires.
  • Build the capacity of community spaces-focused organizations to integrate DEI best practices internally and/or within their community programs.

Local Needs: Funding is prioritized for programs that achieve the following:

  • Improve the quality of life among underserved populations.
  • Address a critical challenge among those most in need.
  • Advance local DEI efforts, including grants to BIPOC-led organizations.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 169781

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Typical grant awards will range from $2,500 - $25,000. Based on the past several years, the average grant was less than $10,000.

Term of Contract:

The grant term is one year.

Programs/Projects are Administered: October 2022 – September 2023

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

In order to be considered for a Local Grant, your organization and the program or project for which you are requesting funds must meet the following eligibility requirements:

Public Charity Status:
All grant recipients must be non-profit, charitable organizations tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and further, be classified as an organization described in sections 509(a)(1) or 509(a)(2) under 170 (b)(1)(A)(vii) of the code. (As of 2018, the Community Ties Giving Program no longer funds governmental entities without a 501(c)(3) public charity designation from the IRS.)

- Emergency service providers such as fire and police departments must apply under their own public charity with 501(c)(3) designation.
- Religious organizations such as churches, mosques, and synagogues may qualify only if they have established a separate 501(c)(3) organization to operate the funded program AND the outreach program is offered to the general population regardless of religious affiliation.
- Elementary and secondary schools cannot be funded directly; programs administered within a school environment by a separate 501(c)(3) organization may be considered.

The program or project for which grant funds are sought must primarily benefit a community that is served by Union Pacific. (For a list of eligible communities, see Further, it is preferred that the organization requesting funds be located in a community served by Union Pacific.

Applications will not be accepted from private foundations or a disqualified supporting organization with the meaning of section 4966(d)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code.

For funding restrictions, see

Pre-Application Information:

- 2021 Grant Reports Due: August 1, 2022
- Application Submission Period: April 1 – May 31, 2022
- Award Status Notification: September 1, 2022
- Checks Delivered/Presented: September – October 2022
- Grant Term: Programs/Projects are Administered: October 2022 – September 2023
- Grant Reports Due: August 1, 2023

Any organization interested in receiving a Local Grant must first complete a survey to determine eligibility. Organizations determined eligible to apply for a Local Grant through the Eligibility Survey are provided immediate access to a full Grant Application.

Corporate Giving staff will not review or discuss proposed projects but will be happy to answer questions on how to navigate the application process and online system.

An organization is allowed to complete only one application, and receive only one grant, through the Local Grants program per annual grant period.

Organizations having received three consecutive years of UPF Local Grants are not eligible to apply. Each year is a new, competitive process; funding in one year does not guarantee or predict future funding. However, in the event a grantee receives multiple consecutive years of funding, after taking a "year off" from funding, organizations may be eligible to apply again. (Due to the unexpected impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will not be considered in calculating consecutive years; 2022 will be the first year this rule is enforced).

Application Process and Timeline:

Grant Criteria and Eligibility:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:
- Community Spaces:
- Safety:
- Workforce Development:
- Local Needs:

For technical difficulties, please send an email inquiry to

Grant Coverage Areas:

The program or project for which grant funds are sought must primarily benefit a community that is served by Union Pacific. See list of communities at:

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Louisiana;   Minnesota;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Mexico;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Washington;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

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