Minnesota Grants for Nonprofits
Grants for 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations working in Minnesota
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Bell's Brewery, Inc.
Bell's Brewery Sponsorships and Donations
Sponsored events and donations play a key role within our Bell’s philosophy. Through these events, we are able to not only give back to the communities we sell our beer in, but also get to have a great time with our fans! We are always looking for new opportunities and welcome your suggestions and applications. Please keep in mind that while we would love to be able to participate in everything, we sometimes must respectfully decline.
We do have a few guidelines we follow for all sponsorships and donations, please read through them below before proceeding to our application.
- Requests must be submitted at least 8 weeks prior to the event start date or the date the donation is needed. Any events submitted with less than 8 weeks’ notice will automatically be declined. We want to give every event we are involved in the best chance for success, which means we need time to plan. While 8 weeks is our minimum time requirement, additional time is always appreciated, especially for larger events.
- We do very little traditional advertising, instead we focus our efforts on sponsorships. When we partner with an event or an organization, we like to be involved! That said, if your proposal only involves a logo placement, we will politely decline in favor of events that offer us a chance to interact with our fans.
- We’re an eccentric bunch here at Bell’s and love to be involved with events that reflect your community’s eccentricities, uniqueness and inclusivity.
- We are always happy to consider requests for donations of Bell’s swag for homebrew competitions, fundraisers and events! That said, due to Michigan state law, we are not legally allowed to donate beer to events in any state. We’re sorry, but we legally cannot make any exceptions.
U.S. Bank Foundation
NOTE: For nonprofit organizations new to U.S. Bank Foundation, a Letter of Interest is available. Community Affairs Managers will review Letter of Interest submissions periodically to learn about new and innovative programs and organizations in their regions and markets. After reviewing a Letter of Interest, a Community Affairs Manager may reach out with a request for a full application. You can access the Letter of Interest by clicking the “Submit a letter of interest” link at the bottom of this page. Letters of Interest may be submitted at any time during the year.
Community Possible Grant
Through U.S. Bank’s Community Possible® grant program, we invest in efforts to create stable jobs, safe homes and communities.
Within these general guidelines, we consider the following funding request types:
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.
Focus Area: PLAY
Creating vibrant communities through play.
Play brings joy, and it’s 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 events. 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 and 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, visual and performing arts, 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
Supporting learning through play.
Many young people across the country do not have the resources or access to enjoy the benefits of active play. Supporting active play-based programs and projects for K-12 students located in or serving 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 and improves the health, safety and unification of neighborhoods 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
Focus Area: WORK
Supporting workforce education and prosperity.
We know that a strong small business environment and an educated workforce ensure the prosperity of our communities and reducing the expanding wealth gap for communities of color. We provide grant support to 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, career readiness training programs with comprehensive placement services for low- and moderate-income individuals entering or reentering the labor force
Providing pathways for educational success.
To address the growing requirements for post-secondary 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 post-secondary education at a community college, university, trade or technical school and career readiness
- Programs and initiatives at post-secondary 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’s crucial 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 member and veteran financial literacy
Focus Area: HOME
Working to revitalize communities one neighborhood at a time.
Children and families are better positioned to thrive and succeed in a home that is safe and permanent. Access to sustainable low-income housing is increasingly challenges for low-moderate income families. In response, our giving supports efforts that connect individuals and families with sustainable housing opportunities.
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 steppingstone 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
Home ownership 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 homeowners. Examples of grant support include:
- Homebuyer education
- Pre- and post-purchase counseling and coaching
- Homeownership-retention programs designed to provide foreclosure counseling
Laird Norton Family Foundation
Note: If you have thoroughly reviewed the Foundation’s priorities and grantmaking activity on the website and you believe your organization is a good match for our mission, you can fill out an information form here. Please be aware that the Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals or formal letters of inquiry and rarely makes grants to organizations that we first learn about through the information form—so we urge you to carefully review your fit with our organization’s priorities before investing time in filling out our information form. Full applications may be submitted by invitation only.
Laird Norton Family Foundation
The Laird Norton Family Foundation (LNFF) is a private family foundation in Seattle, Washington, with a mission to 1) honor and reflect the family’s shared values through giving and 2) engage the family in philanthropy as a platform for strengthening family connections.
The Laird Norton Family
The Laird and Norton families, related to each other from their pioneer origins in Pennsylvania, settled in Winona, Minnesota, in the mid-1850s. There, William Harris Laird and his cousins, Matthew G. Norton and James Laird Norton, formed the Laird Norton Company.
The pioneer logging and lumberyard operation was the first of several family-owned companies, first in the Midwest, later in the Pacific Northwest, and finally all over the West, including Alaska. Today, Laird Norton Company, LLC is still a privately owned and operated family business, committed to contributing value to its family and community.
A seventh-generation family, the Laird Norton family now includes approximately 500 living family members. Family members live throughout the world and occupy a wide array of professions. We come together every year to share skills and interests, and strengthen our connection to each other and our shared history.
Arts in Education
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Arts in Education program is to increase arts education and to improve pre-K through grade 12 student learning through the arts. Funding will be directed toward programs that seek to enhance students’ educational outcomes rather than to simply increase participation in, or appreciation for, the arts.
The Arts in Education program will consider funding programs that:
Why Take This Approach?
There is clear evidence to suggest that arts-integrated curricula and/or arts-rich environments are beneficial to student learning. Although we value the arts as a stand-alone experience, programs are most successful when:
- They have the support of an entire district and in-school leadership
- Teacher professional development is included in the program
- Partnerships with high-quality arts organizations are created and nourished
- Arts lessons are aligned with other student learning goals, and
- Student progress is effectively monitored
With the above lessons in mind, we have established the following guiding principles.
- K-12 public schools (or pre-K programs that receive public funding) must already have traction in arts programs (i.e. some arts education has already been established in the school, policies are in place to support arts in education, principals want a more robust arts program, and schools have support from parent groups (PTAs) to strengthen their arts programs).
- Programs must focus on positively impacting students’ learning.
- Programs must focus on students “doing” art, as opposed to observing art. Programs should enhance comprehensive, sequential delivery of arts instruction and can include all arts: performing, music, visual, theater, literary (poetry & writing), folk, media, and emerging art fields.
- Applicants should be able to demonstrate their program has been designed and is managed with an understanding of cultural competencies appropriate to their student demographic.
Goals and Strategies
Climate change poses a significant global threat, one which we are addressing by striving to ensure an equitable, resilient, habitable, and enjoyable world for current and future generations. While our work is focused on climate change, we believe in the value of ecosystems services and in the stability and resiliency of healthy natural systems. We also believe it is essential that the cost of externalities be incorporated into lifestyle, policy, and business considerations.
As a small funder addressing an enormous issue, we aim to make grants that offer potential for leverage and scalability — as well as “opportunistic” grants where our ability to move quickly may positively impact a project’s outcome. We are particularly interested in policy and research work, demonstration projects, and finding ways to address critical gaps. We are also interested in expanding our own learning (we are not experts, nor do we aspire to be).
Why Take This Approach?
We believe in persistence and prefer to invest in ongoing work with a long-term focus. Although our grants operate on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and prefer to support organizations and projects that take a long-term view and can demonstrate progress toward goals each year. We are also interested in projects that have the potential to be self-sustaining in the long run.
Currently, our grantmaking is focused on efforts to hasten the demise of coal, and on work that increases the abilities of the forests, agricultural lands, and estuaries of the Pacific Northwest to sequester carbon. We are looking to support leverageable, measurable work focused on:
- Regenerative biological systems that influence the carbon cycle (“biocarbon”)
- Reducing dependency on fossil fuels, and promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Goals and Strategies
The goal of the Human Services program is to support, empower, uplift, and create opportunities for long-term success and a brighter future for unaccompanied youth and young adults (age 12-24) who are in crisis, have experienced trauma, or are aging out of the foster care system. We want to support these youth and young adults in their journey from surviving to thriving.
We will consider funding organizations or programs that provide support for youth/young adults suffering from trauma, mental illness, or addiction, with priority given to homeless youth and those impacted by the foster care system. While the full spectrum of services for youth in crisis is essential, we expect to do the bulk of our grantmaking in two areas:
Why Take This Approach?
We believe treatment and support for mental health issues and trauma can help prevent homelessness and addiction later in life. We also believe supporting youth/young adults as they transition out of foster care and into independent living increases their odds for a positive future.
Organizations must meet at least one of the following criteria in order to be considered:
- Have leaders and/or staff that are representative of the community they serve. We believe that the best programs will have mentors and leaders that truly understand and can identify with those they serve (e.g., staff that have been homeless or in foster care or are open about their own mental health, trauma, or addiction struggles). We value organizations or programs that emphasize connection to and even emanate from the communities they seek to serve; those that embrace the mantra "nothing about us without us” in all aspects of their work.
- Organizations or programs that include or connect to wrap-around services for youth/young adults. For example: organizations that identify and connect youth to community resources, offer job/skills training and/or provide case management. We value organizations that partner with others in the community to ensure all of a young person’s needs are met.
Goals and Strategies
The Laird Norton family continually promotes the advancement of intellectual growth, business experience, and philanthropic focus in order to ensure the excellence of its youngest generations. Through the Sapling Fund, young Laird Norton family members (ages 14–21) come together to learn about grantmaking, the nonprofit sector, and family philanthropy. The Sapling Fund provides young family members a chance to identify and support causes that resonate with them, and endows future family leaders with a sense of fiscal and social responsibility.
Sapling Fund grants are guided by a “for kids, from kids” philosophy. Grants support programs and organizations that cater specifically to youth and specific priorities change each year as new cohorts of Sapling members collectively identify shared priorities for the year’s grantmaking.
Why Take This Approach?
Sapling Fund committee members gain valuable experience by organizing an annual campaign to raise money for their grantmaking activities through contributions from Laird Norton family members. The annual budget supports three to five grant awards each year and an all-family service project organized by members of the committee.
Goals and Strategies
Watersheds have social, ecological, and economic significance. The goal of the Watershed Stewardship program is to create enabling conditions for long-term social and ecological health and resilience in places of importance to the Laird Norton Family.
We take a long-term view on healthy watersheds and invest in organizational capacity with an eye to future resilience. We encourage our partners to focus not on single-species recovery or restoration to historical conditions as a primary end-goal, but to also consider the potential value of significantly altered — but functioning — ecosystems as we continue to face the impacts of climate change and other natural and human-caused changes into the future.
We seek to add value not just by making financial investments in organizations advancing place-based ecological and social outcomes, but also by building relationships in watershed communities, spending time listening and gaining experience in the watersheds in which we invest, and fostering partnerships, convenings, and additional investment from other funders.
Why Take This Approach?
We believe the wellbeing of the people who live in a place must be considered alongside ecological goals; understanding the diverse interests and values of a watershed’s human inhabitants is an important component of long-term success.
Organizations or programs we partner with should:
- Possess the organizational capacity and skills to be well-positioned to secure much more significant funding for projects than we would ever be able to provide.
- Be open to the Foundation removing barriers to entry for public funding and get projects to a shovel ready position.
- Provide us with opportunities to invest in their abilities to develop strong governance structures, collaborate, mediate, facilitate, tackle sticky challenges, get paperwork in order, maintain momentum on big projects, and otherwise lay the groundwork for success.
While we don’t specifically commit to a set term of investment in any watershed, we believe that investing in a place long enough to really understand the work is important, and we believe that sustained and flexible funding enables greater long-term success for our partners. Although we make grants on a one-year cycle, we take a partnership approach to our grantmaking and hold a long-term view on the work being done in the watersheds we prioritize, but we do move on when we no longer have a necessary role to play.
Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
The Dakota Value of Sharing
A strong tradition of helping others, "wookiye" (helpfulness) has defined the Dakota people for generations. Honoring that tradition, the SMSC contributes to causes, organizations and tribes across the region, state and country. The SMSC is the largest philanthropic benefactor for Indian Country nationally, and one of the largest charitable givers in Minnesota.
The SMSC has donated more than $325 million to organizations and causes, provided $500 million in economic development loans to other tribes, and contributed millions more to support regional governments and infrastructure. Find out more about our charitable giving in our annual Donation Reports.
In an effort to extend the Minnesota Zoo’s conservation footprint, the Zoo has a program to help fund conservation projects in wildlife habitats around the world. The Zoo’s Ulysses S. Seal Conservation Grant Program awards small grants to projects promoting the conservation of wildlife. The funding for this program comes exclusively from private contributions.The Ulysses S. Seal Fund honors a man who inspired the Minnesota Zoo to achieve greatness. He served as one of our first board chairs and founded the International Species Information System (ISIS). He was also the originator and chair of the IUCN’s Conservation Breeding Specialist Group. He believed in the value of all species and worked to conserve as many as he was able. For his extraordinary wisdom and vision, he was showered with medals and awards from zoos worldwide, but it is here at the Minnesota Zoo where his legacy began, and continues in a fund named after him.
Since its inception in 2002, the fund has awarded over $387,000 to 125 projects in 47 countries.
RBC Foundation – USA
Investing in our communities
The mission of RBC Foundation – USA is to improve the quality of life in the communities where we do business by supporting non-profit organizations that make a positive difference and promote diversity.
In 2018, RBC Foundation – USA awarded grants exceeding $2.5 million to non-profit organizations nationwide.
As a founding member of the Minnesota Keystone Program, Minneapolis-based RBC Wealth Management pledges a percentage of profits as charitable contributions each year.
Foundation Focus Areas
For maximum impact, RBC Foundation – USA prioritizes its giving to the following areas:
Youth grants are focused on programs that prepare students for future success. We concentrate our giving on programs that fall within one of the following areas and target young people in their transitional years, specifically ages 15-29.
- Programs that provide work-integrated learning experiences, for example internships, apprenticeships, vocational training;
- Programs that provide solutions to address the skills gap, including education opportunities and mentorships;
- Programs that provide access and learning opportunities for 21st century skills including:
- Critical thinking
- Complex problem solving
- Social perceptiveness
- Financial literacy
- Information communication/technology/digital literacy
- Teamwork and collaboration
- Creativity and innovation
Health grants are exclusively directed to the RBC Children’s Mental Health Project, a program that focuses on early intervention, reducing stigma and increasing public awareness. We evaluate Children's Mental Health program proposals based on the following:
We consider proposals for early intervention programs that are:
- Focused on the most prevalent childhood and adolescent mental illnesses including anxiety, conduct disorders and mood disorders;
- Evidence-based programs validated by documented scientific evidence and supported by scientifically sound studies that have demonstrated consistently positive outcomes;
- Facilitated though a community-based organization that is collaborating with all levels of service providers (including government) to provide an integrated model of service delivery; and
- Focused on children and youth between the ages of 0 to 18.
We consider proposals for programs and projects that:
- Educate parents on how to access appropriate services;
- Educate teachers and health care professionals on how to identify the signs of mental health problems and learn how to take early action;
- Educate the public, including adults, youth and children, on the nature and prevalence of children's mental health issues and how to access help; or
- Increase awareness and reduce stigma.
To foster economic independence and promote self-sufficiency, the Foundation focuses on:
- Organizations providing emergency food, shelter and basic needs; and
- Adult literacy and employment training programs.
Arts and Culture
RBC believes that the arts reflect our culture and enrich the quality of life in the communities where our employees and clients live. The Foundation’s emphasis is on the following two areas:
- RBC Emerging Artists Project; or
- Programs providing arts access for diverse populations
The Emerging Artists program supports initiatives that help artists in their early years of development and that bridge the gap between their academic experiences to professional careers in the arts. Grants are intended to support programs and initiatives that:
- Support artists who are at an early stage in their careers, have completed their basic training and have created a modest independent body of work;
- Are on-going and sustainable (i.e. not one-time events);
- Educate and raise awareness about the importance of the arts;
- Provide emerging artists with the opportunity to demonstrate their talent publicly (performance or exhibition), and/or to provide a connection to professional contacts (agents, publishers, etc);
- Provide a structured curriculum of mentorship and training, typically for a period of three to six months, although shorter more intensive programming may be considered;
- Provide an opportunity for interaction between the professional staff, visiting artists and the Emerging Artists; Serve as a bridge between senior academic programs and the professional world; and/or
- Engage the broader community in the art form, through free performances or programming to underserviced or rural communities.
About the Antioch Foundation
Since 2000, The Antioch Foundation has provided financial support to innovative people and institutions across the U.S. and around the word to share the Gospel of Jesus and serve others in the areas of faith, education, medicine, and humanitarian need.
To make a positive difference in the lives of others for the greater glory of God.
What We Fund:
- Pilot programs, start-up costs, or building projects receive priority over operating budget items.
- Most awards do not exceed $40,000 and are generally awarded for a one-year period. Multi-year grants are occasionally made for larger amounts.
- Evidence of project support from other donors is highly desirable.
Examples of previously funded grants include:
Faith: Church construction and remodel; audio, video, and online training materials production; summer youth programs
Education: Classroom technology; tuition assistance; teacher training seminars; special education programs
Medicine: Hospital and clinic expansion; advanced technology; research; community health outreach
Humanitarian Need: Natural disaster relief; water filtration and purification; temporary housing; food distribution
The James B. Linsmayer Foundation
About the Foundation
James B. Linsmayer was a lifelong resident of Minneapolis, Minnesota. The James B. Linsmayer Foundation was established to further the legacy and memory of James B. Linsmayer by primarily funding/supporting programs in the areas of arts and culture, education, health and human services in the vibrant Twin Cities. The vision of the James B. Linsmayer Foundation is to be recognized as a strategic partner in funding programs in these areas.
To further the legacy and memory of James B. Linsmayer by primarily funding/supporting programs within the areas of arts and culture, education, health and human services in the vibrant Twin Cities of Minnesota.
- Arts, culture, and humanities
- Human services
There are no program limitations, but the Foundation has a practice of primarily supporting areas of arts and culture, education, health and human services.
Laura Jane Musser Fund
The Laura Jane Musser Fund wants to encourage collaborative and participatory efforts among citizens in rural communities that will help to strengthen their towns and regions in a number of civic areas including, but not limited to, economic development, business preservation, arts and humanities, public space improvements, and education.
Priority is placed on projects that:
- Bring together a broad range of community members and institutions
- Provide the opportunity for diverse community members to work together
- Contain measurable short term outcomes within the first 12 to 18 months
- Include community members actively in all phases of the process
- Work toward an outcome of positive change within their community
Projects must demonstrate:
- Support from a diverse cross-section of community members and institutions
- Matching financial and/or in-kind support from the local community
- Significant volunteer participation
- Reasonable plans to complete the project within 18 months or less
Funds will be available for:
- Planning (up to $5,000) - These funds may support costs like: consultant or staff time, meeting costs, mailings, secretarial support, refreshments, local travel, childcare, etc.
- Note - this stage is optional and not a required phase prior to applying for or receiving an implementation grant. If an organization receives a planning grant from the Musser Fund, this in no way implies a commitment on the part of the Musser Fund to provide the organization with any subsequent implementation grant.
- But organizations that receive a planning grant may apply for subsequent implementation support after their planning activities are completed.
- Implementation (Up to $25,000) - These funds are available to implement community based rural projects that originate in, have been planned by, and involve diverse people from the local community.
- Capital campaigns will not be supported.
- The projects should result in a tangible outcome within at least the first 18 months.
- Projects will be eligible for either planning or implementation funds during any one grant period.
What the Program will Cover:
- New programs or projects within their first three years
- A planning, and/or implementation phase
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