Grants for BIPOC in Minnesota
Grants for BIPOC in Minnesota
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The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations
NOTE: The Management Improvement Fund has a rolling application. All interested applicants are highly encouraged to email the Management Improvement Fund before applying to ensure that the Fund fits your needs.
Nonprofit organizations work hard to meet the needs of our communities and raise the funds needed to support the day-to-day operations of their programs, leaving them little time and resources to devote to essential professional and technical services.
The Management Improvement Fund supports vital capacity-building work and technical assistance that expand organizational capacity, improve management capabilities to better serve the community, and nurture Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) leadership in the nonprofit sector. As a result, grant recipients can bolster fundraising, expand important programs and improve their services to the community.
The Management Improvement Fund
The Management Improvement Fund, a special fund of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, provides grants to nonprofit organizations operating in or serving the Twin Cities East Metro (Ramsey, Washington and/or Dakota counties). This Fund makes grants to small to midsize nonprofit organizations to finance the cost of consultation or technical assistance to expand organizational capacity, improve management capabilities to better serve the community, and nurture Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) leadership in the nonprofit sector.
The staff of the Foundation provide assistance to potential grant applicants to help them define needs appropriate for funding and works closely with grant recipients to monitor their progress on their projects. Since 1991, the Foundation has provided more than 600 Management Improvement Fund grants totaling $6 million to nonprofit organizations across Minnesota.
In 2023, the Foundation expanded its approach to supporting the management and leadership of Minnesota nonprofits. Specifically, we saw the lack of support and resources available to BIPOC leaders and decided to expand the Management Improvement Fund to provide resources that are meant to be agile and responsive to nonprofits as they continue to pivot and grow from the racial reckoning and COVID-19 pandemic. As part of this expansion, the Management Improvement Fund has broadened its funding guidelines so that BIPOC nonprofit leaders and organizations have what they need to thrive.
Many nonprofit organizations struggle financially to raise enough revenue for their programs to serve BIPOC and/or low-income individuals and families and don’t have the financial resources to pay for much needed professional consultation and technical services. Management Improvement Fund grants to nonprofit organizations help them stay strong and healthy, paying dividends to the communities they serve.
The needs of nonprofit organizations vary widely due to the type, age and size of organizations as well as external factors influencing the nonprofit environment. Because of these differences, Management Improvement Fund grants offset the expenses of a variety of capacity-building activities.
The Foundation acknowledges that the needs of our communities, and especially our BIPOC communities, cannot be properly addressed by a single source. More specifically, BIPOC communities have a multitude of needs and strengths requiring flexibility and responsiveness. A priority of the Management Improvement Fund is to reflect community-defined needs and identify mechanisms that work to enhance and improve conditions in low-income and BIPOC communities. The Management Improvement Fund is committed to being an ongoing, responsive opportunity for organizations to meet community needs.
Illinois Arts Council Agency
About the Illinois Arts Council Agency
The Illinois Arts Council Agency was created as a state agency by the Illinois General Assembly in 1965 through legislation sponsored by Senators Paul Simon, Thomas McGloon, and Alan Dixon. The agency is governed by up to twenty-one private citizens chosen for their demonstrated commitment to the arts and appointed by the Governor. Council members serve in a voluntary, non-paid capacity and are charged with developing the state’s public arts policy, fostering quality culturally diverse programs, and approving grants expenditures. A small professional staff with in-depth knowledge of the arts develops and administers the agency’s programs, provides technical assistance, and ensures the responsible and impactful distribution of all funds. Resources to support the Illinois Arts Council Agency are provided by the Governor and General Assembly of Illinois and the National Endowment for the Arts.
About GIG FundThe GIG Fund provides flexible grants for nonprofit organizations to support programs and activities featuring professional artists. GIG Fund grants help cover fees for touring or local artists. Funds may also be used for project costs such as accessibility accommodations and marketing. We work with a panel to help us review applications and distribute grants annually.Sample activities include:
- A rural community hosting a short artist residency at a local school.
- An artist hosting a creative writing program with justice-impacted citizens.
- An artist talkback or meet & greet in an exhibition featuring the work of LGBTQ+ photographers.
- Presenting a concert series focused on the music of BIPOC composers.
- Initiating a new partnership to provide art classes with people with disabilities.
The Joyce Foundation
NOTE: The Joyce Foundation accepts grant inquiries online throughout the year. Proposals are considered at meetings of the Foundation’s Board of Directors in April, July, and December. Applicants are strongly encouraged to plan their application and proposal submission process for the April or July meetings, since most grant funds will be distributed at those times.
Through its grantmaking and other policy-focused efforts, the Foundation seeks to:
- Racial Equity: Incorporate the voices of, and achieve more equitable outcomes for, Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) communities in the Great Lakes region.
- Economic Mobility: Improve the ability of individuals in the Great Lakes region to move up the economic ladder within a lifetime or from one generation to the next.
- Next Generation: Incorporate the voices of, and improve outcomes for, the next generation of Great Lakes residents, defined as young people born after 2000.
Education & Economic Mobility Grants
The Education & Economic Mobility Program, through the focus areas below, works to increase the number of historically underserved young people who move up the economic ladder by ensuring equitable access to high-quality education and jobs. We invest in local, state and federal policies that ensure historically underserved young people have effective educators, graduate high school with academic and career momentum, and attain college credentials with economic value. We also support policies that help ensure low-wage workers achieve economic stability, dignity, and mobility. In the short term, we will invest in research, policy development, and advocacy to help the education systems recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Advance federal, state and district policies to ensure historically underserved students in the Great Lakes region have highly effective, diverse teachers and principals. Efforts include research, policy development, advocacy, and technical assistance to reform teacher preparation, diversify the educator pipeline, build strong pathways from high school into teaching, and overhaul school staffing models to support principals and spread the reach of great teachers. Our investments here are focused on Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota and on national efforts.
College and Career Readiness
Support federal, state and school district policies that ensure historically underserved young people in the Great Lakes region graduate high school ready for college and career success. Efforts include research, policy development, and advocacy to reform dual-credit and remediation policies, expand access to quality work-based learning opportunities, and align K-12, post-secondary and workforce systems.
Support federal and state policies to close race- and family income-based gaps in college attainment. Efforts include scaling up proven student support models to improve community college outcomes; preserving access for students of color and rural students to affordable, high- quality public college options and to labor markets that require college degrees; seeking racial and family income representativeness at selective public universities; and supporting advocacy, litigation, and policy development to narrow gaps in post-graduate financial outcomes for students of color and low-income students.
Future of Work
Support state and federal policies to help low-wage workers achieve greater economic stability, dignity, and mobility, with a special focus on technology’s role in the workplace and labor market. Specifically, we will support state policy to ensure employees can access public benefits, refundable tax credit policies, and nascent policy development on issues of technology and the labor market.
Headwaters Foundation for Justice
About HFJ and our Four Core Values
We are a Minneapolis-based community foundation that invests in grassroots organizing across Minnesota. We do this through grantmaking programs that support organizations and groups on the front lines of social change. Each of our programs invite people from the community to learn about and lead our grantmaking work. Since 1984, Headwaters has believed that the people who directly experience society’s injustices are exactly the people who know the way to collective liberation. We fund a variety of groups, and we prioritize funding groups that are led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
Giving Project Grant
Headwaters Foundation for Justice (HFJ) believes that people who are closest to injustice have the wisdom and power to transform society. Giving Project Grants support organizations that prioritize community organizing as the core strategy to engage and build power in their communities in order to change systems and advance equity and justice. Headwaters has been offering Giving Project grants since 2015.
We recognize and value that there are different approaches to community organizing; and that organizing looks different in every community and in this particular moment. New or emerging organizations are also encouraged to apply. Eligible organizations tell us about their organized constituency base, specific goals and strategies. We ask applicants to tell us how they build power in their communities to push for systems change.
Mardag Foundation has three primary interest areas for its grantmaking.
Improving the lives of low-income Children, Youth and Families that lack access to critical opportunities and resources that they need
Mardag Foundation seeks to support organizations focused on eliminating barriers and increasing access to equitable opportunities for children, youth and families.
This round, priority will be given to organizations working with marginalized communities (especially Black, Indigenous and communities of color) at the intersections of education, basic needs, mental health, access to healthcare, pathways to employment, and stable and affordable housing.
Supporting older adults across Minnesota who lack access or have barriers to critical opportunities to thrive and create community connections
The Foundation supports organizations directly serving low-income older adults who may also be experiencing other forms of marginality (e.g., BIPOC, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.).
Priorities include meeting basic needs, improving the well-being and quality of caregiving, addressing isolation and mental health issues, services to help older Minnesotans age in place and/or in safe and stable housing, and intergenerational programming.
Building capacity to improve community vitality through Arts and Culture
The Foundation shares Grantmakers in the Arts’ view that “[a]ll peoples, their cultures, and their art contribute to the meaning and understanding of our humanity and should be honored and celebrated.” Priority will be given to arts and culture organizations that seek to amplify narratives and voices across BIPOC communities and other communities experiencing marginalization (e.g., older adults, people with disabilities, low-income children/youth/families, members of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.).
Within environmental grantmaking we focus on Mitigating Climate Change:
Carolyn Foundation’s highest environmental priority is addressing climate change as the most important issue affecting our world. The Foundation’s objective is to support aggressive & equitable carbon reduction between now and 2030 as the foundation for achieving net-zero carbon by 2050.
In the Foundation’s upcoming environmental grant cycle, we want to support climate and/or environmental efforts led by those most likely to be impacted by climate change. The Carolyn Foundation wants to emphasize support for organizations and efforts led by Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) and rural community members. We understand that these organizations may be multifaceted with climate and/or environment as one part of their priorities. We hope through our grants we can learn and build relationships to be better allies in the future.
American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation Inc
Community Grants - American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation Grant Program
The American Family Insurance Dreams Foundation, Inc builds on our long-standing commitment and support of communities we serve by offering unrestricted, general operating grants to eligible non-profit 501(c)(3) partners.
Our approach to grantmaking is evolving. We are committed to using trust-based values to create meaningful, impactful relationships and reduce the inherent power imbalances of the traditional funding model. Like many of our community partners, we are also committed to learning, listening, and changing through collaboration and trust.
The Dreams Foundation grant funding priorities are Academic Achievement and Education, Healthy Youth Development, Economic Opportunity, and Community Resiliency (formerly Basic Needs). These priorities align with our organizational efforts to invest in and improve the communities where we live and serve.
Academic Achievement and Education
Programs and services that advance educational equity in learning and academic achievement through access to high quality education. Our grant making focus includes wrap-around educational programming from birth through college with an emphasis on the following:
- Early Childhood Education
- Academic Support and achievement
- Reading and literacy
Healthy Youth Development
Programs and services that support the ongoing needs of young people from birth through 25 including:
- Social-emotional learning
- Mental and behavioral health
- Reducing mental health stigma and discrimination
Programs and services that increase employment access and opportunity, including:
- Job training
- Financial literacy
- Workforce and career readiness
- Reading and literacy
Additionally, within this grant priority, we also have an emphasis on organizations and programming that offer educational or workforce opportunities for incarcerated or previously incarcerated individuals.
Formerly our Basic Needs giving priority, these are programs and services that remove barriers to short and/or long-term needs of individuals and families. Specific areas of grantmaking include:
- Food Security through foodbanks and pantries, community gardens, and sustainable food sources
- Housing via emergency shelter, and transitional/long term stable housing
- Transportation and Daycare to pursue education and/or maintain employment
Communities of Focus
Within our grant priorities, the Foundation places an emphasis on supporting organizations that work with individuals and communities that include:
- Economically disadvantaged
- Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC)
- Youth (birth through 25) and young families
About UsPropel Nonprofits is an intermediary organization and federally certified community development financial institution (CDFI). We provide capacity-building services and access to capital to support nonprofits in achieving their missions including the ability to link strategy, governance, and finance and to support nonprofits throughout their organizational lifecycle. Propel Nonprofits was created from the 2017 merger of Nonprofits Assistance Fund and MAP for Nonprofits.
Fueling the impact and effectiveness of nonprofits with guidance, expertise, and capital
A diverse network of mission-driven nonprofits building a healthy, vibrant, and more just community
Seeding Cultural TreasuresSeeding Cultural Treasures (SCT) is an initiative to nourish the landscape of arts and culture organizations run by and for Black, Indigenous, and other People of Color (BIPOC) in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota and the 23 Tribal Nations within that geographic area. The SCT team at Propel Nonprofits hopes to take a step toward reimagined ways of investing and capacity building in these organizations by:
- Strengthening networks intentionally for BIPOC artists and arts and culture organizations.
- Partnering with funders for more abundant, restorative, and transformative opportunities.
- Centering relationship building and trust in grantmaking.
- Providing unrestricted general operating funds.
- Creating multiple pathways for optional and ongoing support through technical assistance support and peer-learning opportunities.
This round of the SCT initiative is providing funds and technical assistance for arts and culture organizations that have 501(c)(3) status, are fiscally sponsored, and/or are units of tribal government in Minnesota and/or the 11 Tribal Nations within its border. We are specifically prioritizing organizations located in and serving Greater Minnesota communities (outside of the 7-County Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro geographic area, consisting of Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties). We are aiming to widen the reach of the SCT program to arts and culture organizations serving Greater Minnesota, and this focused Request for Proposals (RFP) will help us achieve that goal.
This RFP is exclusively open to organizations located in and serving Greater Minnesota. However, Propel Nonprofits will also review a select number of proposals received last year that were scored highly by reviewers but were not funded by the SCT program, including organizations located in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul Metro area. Some of those organizations will be considered for support in this phase. Organizations will be notified if they are being considered for funding in this round and will have an opportunity to update their application submissions.
Benefits for Organizations Selected
- General operating grant between $50,000 and $70,000 over two and a half years.
- Recipients will work with Propel to determine the distribution of the grant.
- Technical assistance to grantees in financial administration and other nonprofit finance, strategy, and governance areas.
- Optional workshops and peer-learning opportunities in other focus areas as determined by recipients.
- To strengthen and nourish the BIPOC arts and culture landscape, many of these workshops, peer learnings, and networking opportunities will be available to all applicants and the wider BIPOC arts and culture community, regardless of being a grantee.
Expectations of Organizations Selected
- Attend grantee onboarding/kickoff and annual grantee convenings.
- Participate in Developmental Evaluation (DE) activities related to Seeding Cultural Treasures (SCT) programming throughout the grant period.
Mortenson Family Foundation
NOTE: The Sustaining Environmental Systems 2022 grant application will open on August 29, 2022 . Updated guidelines for the Sustaining Environmental Systems program can be found on our website at that time.
We seek to protect, conserve and restore biodiversity and habitat in Minnesota's watersheds in order to improve water quality in a changing climate.
In addition to our 11,842 lakes, Minnesota’s water flows to diverse drainages including the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, and Hudson Bay. Water plays a critical role in Minnesota’s identity and economic framework, as well as supporting habitat that encompasses the diversity of wildlife in our state.
If a broad base of people has positive exposure to and experiences with nature, they will be enabled to acquire, share, and/or implement a range of environmental approaches resulting in:
- Effective environmental solutions and stewardship that originate in and are led by and for communities most affected by the environmental impact
- Opportunities for all communities to experience ways of being, learning, and respectfully and mutually leveraging knowledge that provides alternatives to dominant extractive human/land relationships and ultimately results in better outcomes for the environment and all people.
- Reduced and repaired environmental harms to black, indigenous, people of color (BIPOC), and other historically marginalized communities resulting in restoration of relationships, communities, and environments.
Climate and Racial Justice
As we are learning to prioritize racial and climate justice in our work, we seek partners who are doing the same, acknowledging that climate change:
- Interacts with and worsens existing inequalities in society that are shaped by racism, exclusion, and oppression.
- Requires integrated, non-siloed approaches centering the well-being of human and natural communities most adversely impacted.
- Will be best addressed through knowledge, ideas, and leadership from BIPOC communities and others adversely impacted by climate and other environmental harms.
We acknowledge that a range of environmental approaches could be used to accomplish this outcome and work with partners who promote:
- Information, education, and practices that lead to new, deeper, and/or resurfaced understanding, and/or a renewed relationship with nature.
- Opportunities for BIPOC and other historically marginalized communities to practice and/or renew culturally-based stewardship practices that result in improved land, water, and community health.
- Sustainable economic options grounded in environmental approaches that meet basic needs, stimulate growth, and create opportunity.
- Policy solutions that center community voice to reduce environmental harms to BIPOC and other historically marginalized communities.
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