Corporate Grants for Nonprofits in Minnesota
Corporate Grants for Nonprofits in Minnesota
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The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation
NOTE: We fund ambitious, visionary work at the intersection of the arts and humanities and social justice. If your organization has a project that aligns with one of our grantmaking areas, please consider submitting a new inquiry here.
Through our Arts and Culture program, Mellon celebrates the power of the arts to challenge, activate, and nourish the human spirit. We support exceptional creative practice, scholarship, and conservation practices while nurturing a representative and robust arts and culture ecosystem. We work with artists, curators, conservators, scholars, and organizations to ensure equitable access to excellent arts and cultural experiences and support approaches that place the arts and artists at the center of thriving, healthy communities.
Three interconnected strategies guide Mellon’s Arts and Culture grantmaking.
Supporting visionary artists and practitioners and the participatory roles they play across institutions and communities
Artists reveal our shared humanity and connect us all. We invest in visionary artists and arts leaders whose practices extend beyond their studios or workspaces to catalyze change in our world. We celebrate artist-driven, cross-sector collaborations and acknowledge the dimensional nature of an artist’s work and place in society.
Supporting exceptional organizations and artists that have been historically under-resourced, including the creation, conservation, and preservation of their artwork, histories, collections, and traditions
Mellon seeks to engender an understanding of broader histories, narratives, and aesthetic traditions through multi-year support of artists and communities historically subject to disinvestment. Grants seek to ensure the legacies of many instead of few.
Creating scaffolding for experiments with new economic paradigms and institutional models that center equity and justice and creative problem-solving in arts and culture
Mellon seeds experiments that center and embolden artists to imagine new structures and organizational models that reflect their holistic approach to social change. Mellon provides support for projects that pilot new operating and funding models for individual artists and organizations that foster a more inclusive, nimble, and cooperative sector.
The Awesome Foundation
The Awesome Foundation is a global community advancing the interest of awesome in the universe, $1000 at a time.
Each fully autonomous chapter supports awesome projects through micro-grants, usually given out monthly. These micro-grants, $1000 or the local equivalent, come out of pockets of the chapter's "trustees" and are given on a no-strings-attached basis to people and groups working on awesome projects.
What do you mean by "Awesome"?
Every chapter interprets "awesome" for itself. As such, awesome projects include initiatives in a wide range of areas including arts, technology, community development, and more. Many awesome projects are novel or experimental, and evoke surprise and delight. Awesome sometimes challenges and often inspires. Browse some grants on the chapter pages of this site to see what we mean! We're still waiting for something with dinosaurs (hint, hint).
Please see individual chapter pages for preferences & restrictions.
Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation
The Draper Richards Kaplan Foundation seeks to dramatically improve the lives of people and the world around us through innovative strategies, systems changing approaches, and disrupting technologies. Our goal is to find social entrepreneurs with dynamic ideas and nurture them at the early stages with maximum leverage and total commitment.
Prospects for our portfolio of social enterprises come from a vast field of compelling ideas and dedicated leaders. We concentrate our selection on the capabilities of the founder/leader, the scalability of the model, and the potential impact of the organization on the world.
We have an open application process and accept applications year round. Borrowed from our venture capital legacy we find exceptional entrepreneurs, provide them with 3 years of unrestricted capital (totaling $300,000) and provide rigorous on-going support by joining their board of directors for the 3 years and partnering with the leader to help them to build capacity in their organization and scale their impact.
What We Fund
DRK’s hope is to support outsized impact through entrepreneurs and enterprises that create a transformational paradigm shift to meaningfully address a pressing societal problem affecting people’s lives.
- Organizations addressing a critical social or environmental issue as the focus of their work.
- Founders who intend to expand their impact significantly over time.
- Organizations operating in Africa, Europe, India, Latin America, and the United States.
- Independent nonprofit and impact first, mission-driven for-profit entities, including US 501(c)3 and its non-US equivalents, C corporations, B corporations, and hybrid organizations.
- Fiscally sponsored organizations in select cases where there is a plan to spin out (in our experience, independence creates stronger enabling conditions for growth).
- Post-pilot, pre-scale organizations. This typically means:
- Your program, product or service is already in the market or in the field.
- You have early indication that your model is having its intended impact.
- Your organization is 3-5 years old (this is not a rule, but a guidepost).
- Organizations with one or more founders who are full-time or intend to be.
- We believe that full-time leadership from the organization’s founder(s) is critical to an early stage organization’s growth.
- We recognize that going full-time requires resources that you may still be putting together, and if that is the case we are happy to start a conversation with you in the meantime.
- We value diversity of people proximate to the problem at hand and a commitment to foster justice, equity, inclusion, and belonging practices.
- Arts & Culture
- Civic Engagement
- Economic Empowerment
- Energy & Environment
- Environment & Climate Change
- Food & Agriculture
- Social Justice
- Systemic Poverty
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
We live in a dynamic world. Major health events, new technologies, scientific discoveries, climate change and economic and demographic shifts shape where and how we live, learn, work and play. These changes profoundly impact health equity in our society. What dramatic changes might we see in the next 5 to 15 years? What can we do today to create a better, more equitable tomorrow?
We seek to answer these questions and support unconventional approaches and breakthrough ideas that can help lead the way to a future where everyone in America has the opportunity to live their healthiest life possible.
This funding opportunity seeks proposals primed to impact health equity moving forward. We are interested in ideas that address any of these four areas of focus: Future of Evidence; Future of Social Interaction; Future of Food; Future of Work. Additionally, we welcome ideas that might fall outside of these four focus areas, but which offer unique approaches to advancing health equity and our progress toward a Culture of Health.
We want to hear from scientists, anthropologists, artists, urban planners, community leaders—anyone, anywhere who has a new or unconventional idea that could alter the trajectory of health and improve health equity and well-being for generations to come. The changes we seek require diverse perspectives and cannot be accomplished by any one person, organization, or sector.
Total to be Awarded
- The average Pioneering Ideas for an Equitable Future grant in 2019 was $315,031.
- However, there is not an explicit range for budget requests.
- Grant periods are flexible, though generally range from 1 to 3 years
The Impact Fund
The Impact Fund awards recoverable grants to legal services nonprofits, private attorneys, and small law firms who seek to advance justice in the areas of civil and human rights, environmental justice, and poverty law. Since being founded in 1992, the Impact Fund has made more than 700 recoverable grants totaling more than $8 million for impact litigation.
The Impact Fund provides grants and legal support to assist in human and civil rights cases. We have helped to change dozens of laws and win cases to improve the rights of thousands. The cases we are funding allege that:
- In Orange County, California there are currently 13 gang injunctions under effect, which disproportionately affect young men of color.
- In Chicago, Illinois, the city’s homeless shelter program is inaccessible to people with disabilities.
- In Springfield, Oregon, the city and its police department used excessive force during a Black Lives Matter protest.
- In Maine, the state fails to safely monitor the prescription and administration of powerful psychotropic medications to foster youth.
- In Missouri, a Medicaid agency fails to arrange for in-home nursing services for children with medically complex conditions.
- In Montana, voter suppression laws disadvantage young adults and give priority to gun owners.
- In Vancouver, British Columbia, the police perpetuate systemic discrimination against Indigenous people through bureaucratic measures.
- In West Virginia, incarcerated individuals do not receive adequate medical and mental health care, and jails do not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The Impact Fund provides grants to support local litigation for environmental justice. These are often cases no one else will support. The cases we are funding allege that:
- In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin the proposed expansion of a highway will divide the region's Black, Asian, and Latine neighborhoods and bring pollution and ill health.
- In North Dakota, the five-month closure of a highway in response to the Dakota Access Pipeline protests disproportionately affected the livelihoods and health of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe members.
- In Ontario, Canada, mercury contamination of the English-Wabigoon river system causes catastrophic environmental and health impacts for the Grassy Narrows First Nation.
- In Sacramento, California, the county government and Sacramento Area Sewer District violate the Clean Water Act by discharging raw sewage into the Delta, the Sacramento River, and the American River.
- In Fresno, California, the city’s efforts to streamline industrial development fail to protect vulnerable neighborhoods from adverse environmental and public health impacts.
- In the Eastern Coachella Valley in California, 1,900 residents of the Oasis Mobile Home Park suffer from arsenic-laced drinking water, wastewater contamination, and overcharging for utilities.
The Impact Fund provides financial and other forms of support to cases fighting for economic justice. From workers' rights to consumer protection for vulnerable populations, impact litigation is a powerful tool to hold corporations accountable. The cases we are funding allege that:
- In San Diego, California, vehicle ordinances target homeless vehicle owners even when no adequate housing alternative exists.
- In Minneapolis, Minnesota, the city and county destroy the property of homeless individuals and employ forced evictions from public spaces.
- In Miami, Florida, insurance companies discriminate against a nonprofit community development corporation renting to tenants with Section 8 rental subsidies.
The Audacious Project is a collaborative funding initiative catalyzing social impact on a grand scale. Every year we select and nurture a group of big, bold solutions to the world’s most urgent challenges, and with the support of an inspiring group of donors and supporters, come together to get them launched.
Housed at TED, the nonprofit with a long track record of surfacing ideas worth spreading, and with support from leading social impact advisor The Bridgespan Group, the funding collective is comprised of several respected organizations and individuals in philanthropy.
Our goal is to match bold ideas with catalytic resources.
We encourage the world’s inspirational changemakers to dream bigger than ever before.
Help shape their best ideas into viable multi-year plans.
Present those solutions in a compelling way to potential supporters.
Every year, The Audacious Project works with proven change-makers to surface their best, boldest ideas for tackling global problems.
Sourcing & review
Projects are sourced from public applications and a global network of partners and donors. They are narrowed down to a group of finalists whose ideas are representative of a broad range of geographies and issue areas while elevating leaders with proximity to the communities they serve.
Idea shaping & investment support
Each finalist project goes through a rigorous ideation, due diligence, and investment support process, to ensure their proposal is achievable and compelling.
Funding & launch
Finalist projects are presented privately to groups of donors and are then publicly unveiled at TED. Funded projects then pursue their plans and share regular updates on key milestones reached with donors and the public.
Is Your Idea Audacious?
Are you a changemaker with a bold vision?
Are you a non-profit with an experienced team equipped to receive large scale philanthropic support?
Is your idea a proven concept that aspires to create a better world?
We look for ideas that cover a wide range of issues, from global health and climate change, to social justice and education.
Please refer to FAQ for additional guidelines.
The Workers Lab
Our purpose at The Workers Lab is to give new ideas for and with workers a chance to succeed. Our Innovation Fund is one of the ways we achieve this purpose. It’s how we invest in innovators and entrepreneurs who are serving workers and addressing the challenges faced by workers.
Since 2014, the Innovation Fund has invested $5.7 million in 77 innovators.
We understand that bringing transformative ideas for and with workers to fruition requires investment. Far too many worker-led ideas, especially those by entrepreneurs of color and women, never see the light of day since they historically receive only a tiny fraction of the early investment enjoyed by others. The Workers Lab is changing that. The ideas we invest in are collectively making the ways our country serves workers more modern and inclusive to ensure that every worker is safe, healthy, secure, and has power.
The following are considered as applications are evaluated:
- Innovators who are from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented among those who receive venture capital and startup funding, especially entrepreneurs who identify as women of color.
- Innovators with early-stage ideas (idea, solution, pre-pilot) centered around making the ways our country serves workers more modern and inclusive in the United States.
- Idea - You’ve identified a critical problem facing workers and now you’re researching whether solutions exist.
- Solution - You’ve begun honing in on the potential solution you want to develop (product, program, service, tool, strategy, etc.) and are scoping a prototype.
- Pre-Pilot - You have a solution that you’ve conceptualized/designed a prototype for. Now, you’re seeking partners and seed funding for a future pilot.
- Innovators with plans for diversified future revenue streams that support long-term sustainability.
- Innovators who need startup capital and technical support, and have ambition for their ideas to be brought to scale.
Additionally, we’ve identified the following areas of interest and encourage applicants who are serving workers in:
- Key states where startup funding for worker-innovators is lacking including but not limited to, Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, North Carolina, Philadelphia, Texas, Florida, and the broader South.
- Key industries and subsets of the economy where there are fewer supports for workers, including but not limited to gig work, care (homecare, healthcare, childcare), as well as climate (energy and the environment).
Jesse W Couch Charitable Foundation
About the Foundation
Jesse W. Couch lived a life of zeal, honor, and dedication to the betterment of his community. The Couch family now humbly stewards the foundation he created to carry on his legacy of service for future generations. We believe that impact is best accomplished through partnerships with local organizations that know the people and communities they serve. We invest in and support efforts to protect the environment, further conservation and preservation initiatives, and save historical architecture that preserves community heritage. We also support initiatives that promote wellness and mental health and organizations seeking to provide and further education for all communities.
What's the Purpose Here?We're always in search of ways to partner with great people doing great things. In order for us to better evaluate how we can work together, we need more information from you.
We believe in preserving our history so that we can understand and educate the importance of community. Historic places affect our identity and have a direct impact on our well-being.
We believe it's our duty to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. We envision a world where everyone works in harmony to protect what is important so that all life on this planet can thrive.
Renewable energy provides essential resources to communities without the planet-warming effects of fossil fuels. Solar, wind, hydroelectric, biomass and geothermal power are all great examples of renewable energy sources. We're looking for teams that are expanding the reach of these critical resources so that we can stave off rising global temperatures.
Food management activities, including producing food, transporting it, and storing wasted food in landfills, produce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. What is your team doing to help solve these problems?
Burning fossil fuels like gasoline and diesel release carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation account for about 29 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, making it the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse emissions. How are you changing the transportation industry?
Today, products are disposed of at very high rates, and each is quickly replaced by new ones. This cycle leads to the use of more fossil fuels that are needed to power the processes required to obtain raw materials to manufacture more of these items. All of this leads to growing waste sites that contaminate our water, pollute our environment, and kill wildlife. Can you think of a better way?
Early Childhood Education
We are looking for schools that are providing young children with a creative and balanced approach to education. Things we love in early childhood curriculums:
- Life Skills
- Collaboration With Their Peers and Teachers
- Having Fun
- Montessori Teachings
- Project Based Teachings
- More Time Outside
- Less Screen Time
We are looking for schools that teach students the essential 21st-century skills needed for the future:
- Critical thinking and problem-solving
- Collaboration across networks and leading by influence
- Agility and adaptability
- Effective oral and written communication
- Initiative and entrepreneurship
- Ability to access and analyze information
- Curiosity and imagination
Teachers are essential to providing children with the best possible education. We must invest in their future and are always looking for teams that help them succeed in educating future generations.
We are looking for teams that are helping those who struggle with mental health issues such as:
We are actively looking for teams that are educating and creating awareness to promote a more balanced technological lifestyle around the world.
Being outside can improve memory, fight depression, lower blood pressure, and more! We support organizations that facilitate and encourage more outdoor activities that help create healthier communities.
Minnesota Housing Finance Agency
Minnesota Housing Mission and Strategic Priorities
Housing is the foundation for success, so we collaborate with individuals, communities and partners to create, preserve and finance affordable housing.
Minnesota Housing’s strategic priorities are:
- Improve the Housing System
- Preserve and Create Housing Opportunities
- Make Homeownership More Accessible
- Support People Needing Services
- Strengthen Communities
Impact Fund Program Overview
The Community Homeownership Impact Fund (Impact Fund) Program is the umbrella name for a variety of Minnesota Housing’s limited funding resources for single family housing, including the Economic Development and Housing Challenge Fund (Challenge), Workforce and Affordable Homeownership Development Funds, Agency funds, and other resources when available.
The goal of the Impact Fund is to increase the supply of affordable, owner-occupied, single family housing, while maintaining the safety and habitability of existing owner-occupied, single family homes in communities throughout Minnesota.
Types of Funds Available
A short-term unsecured loan made to an Administrator to assist with acquiring, demolishing, rehabilitating or constructing owner-occupant homes. Interim loans may not be transferred to eligible homebuyers. An interim loan requires monthly interest payments, quarterly financial reporting and must be repaid.
A non-amortizing, zero percent interest loan made to a household or to an Administrator that must be repaid. Deferred loans made to a household are originated and closed by the Administrator then assigned to Minnesota Housing.
A grant to finance value gap (i.e., the difference between the total development cost and the after-improved appraised value of a home) and other eligible activities for which Minnesota Housing may not recapture loans without increasing housing costs beyond affordability to the eligible homebuyer. In deciding whether to award grant funds, Minnesota Housing will consider administrative ease and whether the award will expand and preserve affordable housing opportunities over time.
All funded housing activities must result in safe, habitable, affordable single family owner- occupied housing that conforms to the Minnesota State Building code and local codes and regulations. Applicants are encouraged to form working partnerships with one or more entities to achieve the objectives stated in their proposal.
The type, terms and conditions of assistance will vary depending on the needs outlined in each proposal and the availability of funding resources. Generally, if an activity may be addressed through a loan rather than a grant, a loan will be offered.
Awarded projects must be completed within 20 months from the effective date of the contract. Awarded interim loans may have a Repayment/Expenditure Date of up to 26 months; however, the Agency may adjust the loan terms based on a financial feasibility analysis by Agency staff or requirements and conditions of other funding sources. The determination of financial feasibility is based on whether all sources of funding are available and sufficient to cover the total development costs of the housing.
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