Supporting rural communities in Montana, Idaho and Appalachian Kentucky.

The Steele-Reese Foundation is a charitable trust committed to supporting rural communities and the nonprofit organizations that serve them in Idaho, Montana, and Appalachian Kentucky. Since its inception, the Foundation has maintained a focus on the unique challenges of rural living and on helping people build healthy, successful, and sustainable communities.

Eleanor Steele Reese, daughter of Charles Steele – a banker, lawyer, and business associate of J.P. Morgan – created The Steele-Reese Foundation in 1955. The Foundation's name honors Eleanor's family as well as the family of her husband, Emmet Reese. The couple found strength and fulfillment in their work as cattle ranchers in Idaho and they created the Foundation as a lasting commitment to their rural values.

The Foundation supports nonprofit organizations working in the areas of rural education; health; human/social services; the arts and humanities; and land, water, and wildlife conservation and historic preservation. Applications from organizations operating outside of the Foundation's regional or programming areas are not eligible for funding. At times, the program areas and priorities of the Appalachian Kentucky Grant Program may vary from those of the Idaho and Montana Grant Program. Please check back periodically for the latest updates (at right) about the Foundation's priorities and application policies.

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2017 Grant Programs

A recorded webinar offering tips for submitting a successful application to the 2017 Kentucky program, led by Appalachian Director Judy Owens, is available at:

To help improve future webinars, please complete the evaluation after listening to the webinar.

In the Idaho and Montana Grant Program, we begin the grant application process with a Letter of Inquiry (LOI) for projects in all program areas. We accept LOIs between December 1, 2016, and January 10, 2017, no later than 11:59 pm Mountain Time. If the Foundation is able to consider a request, we will send a response by March 1 inviting a full application, which will be due April 3, 2017.


We encourage you to contact the Foundation's Appalachian Director, Judy Owens, or Western Director, Linda Tracy, with any questions about these changes to our policies, or with questions about your organization's proposed request.