Higher Education Grants in Minnesota
Higher Education Grants in Minnesota
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US Bancorp Foundation
Making community possible
At U.S. Bank, we are dedicated to supporting our communities through responsive and humbled actions focused on addressing racial and economic inequities and creating lasting change in our communities. Through our Community Possible Grant Program, we are partnering with organizations that focus on economic and workforce advancement, safe and affordable housing and communities connected through arts and culture.
The U.S. Bank Foundation is committed to making Community Possible through Work, Home and Play. We advance this work through collaborative grant making to bring equitable and lasting change through our focus on sustainable, high-impact funding with 501c3 nonprofit partners.
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 challenging for low- to moderate-income families. In response, our giving supports efforts that connect individuals and families with sustainable housing opportunities.
Access to safe, affordable energy-efficient 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 stepping stone to permanent housing
- Organizations that focus on veterans housing and homeownership
- Construction of green homes for low- and moderate-income communities
- Clean energy retrofit programs for low- and moderate-income housing developments
- Organizations that provide access to renewable energy
- Improving waste management systems to include recycling and composting programs
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
We know that a strong small business environment and an educated workforce ensure the prosperity of our communities and reduce 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
Supporting the green economy through workforce development
The green economy is fast becoming an area of opportunity for workforce development programs. Funding support includes:
- Reskilling or retraining for jobs in renewable or clean energy
- Building and maintaining infrastructure to support renewable energy, including EV charging stations and bike/transportation programs
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
Outdoor places to play
Environmental stewardship enhances and improves the livability of our communities. Supporting efforts to preserve, protect and enhance outdoor spaces is now part of our Play pillar of giving. Funding support includes:
- Cleanup efforts in community spaces, including (but not limited to) beaches, rivers, and streams
- Protecting green spaces within the community, including planting trees, mangroves and seagrass
- Programs that support community, native and/or pollinator gardens, including community composting
NOTE: The Foundation does not have a formal letter of inquiry (LOI) process, and we do not generally accept unsolicited proposals for funding. However, we do want to hear ideas for how to support community-led, asset based solutions to challenges in our communities. If you have a program that incorporates at least three of the four areas below, please share it with us.
Organizations will be contacted if they have been selected to apply, but otherwise there is no opportunity to present an unsolicited proposal.
Our Board makes grant funding decisions three times a year. Once invited, organizations will receive information on the grant process and timelines directly from the Foundation.
Grotto Foundation seeks to improve the educational, financial, physical and social well-being of individuals and families by investing in effective nonprofit organizations throughout the state of Minnesota.
We award grants to organizations that work in at least three out of the following four areas:
Programs that provide experiences and activities to help youth develop personal values systems and social, emotional, physical, and cognitive competencies in order to achieve one's full potential.
Any high-quality postsecondary credential or certification program that leads to workforce success as defined by individuals having the skills needed to secure living wage jobs with pathways to higher levels of pay, skill, responsibility or authority.
Community Safety & Neighborhood Development
Programs should incorporate community-led organizations, localized economic development, community leadership/leadership development and clear plans for sustainability.
MentoringPrograms that promote both formal and informal mentoring relationships. Mentoring, when successful, can profoundly benefit all parties: the mentor, the mentee and the organization.
Rupert Dunklau Foundation
- Please submit a Grant Inquiry Application Form. This inquiry identifies the organization applying for a grant and the specific project the grant is being requested for. Upon receiving the Inquiry Application, our Executive Director reviews the information and, if appropriate, invites the organization to complete an official Grant Application.
- Ministries and/or organizations that have previously received a grant from the foundation, should call the foundation office when applying for subsequent grants so that they use the most updated grant request application and process information.
Rupert Dunklau Foundation Grant
The Foundation was established in 1968 to provide Rupert and Ruth Dunklau a systematic method of gifting to God’s people a portion of the blessings God had given them.
The Foundation exists to glorify God and serve His gracious will, by providing financial resources for the varied ministries related to the Lutheran tradition, especially the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, educational entities of the Lutheran Church and appropriate projects that promote the welfare of mankind
- Lutheran Education: The Foundation will support processes, efforts, and programs of ministries that engage people in furthering their education and continued learning opportunities, enabling them to become of greater service in meeting the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual needs of people.
- Health & Human Care: The Foundation will support processes, efforts and programs of ministries that take collaborative and results- oriented approaches that address the varied needs of people in His Church and the communities they serve, thus promoting the welfare of mankind.
- Faith Strengthening: The Foundation will support processes, efforts and programs of ministries that strengthen, enhance and embolden participants and their families to share their Christian faith in His Gospel Message, lived as well as spoken.
Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED)
Youth at Work Grant
The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) is committed to empowering the growth of the Minnesota economy for everyone. DEED facilitates an economic environment to produce jobs and improve the quality of the state’s workforce.
The Department of Employment and Economic Development, through the Office of Youth Development, is seeking proposals from qualified responders to the Youth at Work Grant Program.
The purpose of this grant is to target ways in which to employ economically disadvantaged youth OR at-risk youth ages 14-24 (§116L.562). Below are the definitions used for the classifications in the grant:
- Economically disadvantaged youth
- An individual who received an income, or is a member of a family that received a total family income, that, in relation to family size, does not exceed the higher of:
- The official poverty level, for an equivalent period; or
- 70% of the lower living standard income level.
- Youth who are eligible to receive or are receiving free school lunch are considered to be economically disadvantaged.
- An individual who received an income, or is a member of a family that received a total family income, that, in relation to family size, does not exceed the higher of:
- At-risk youth
- The following individuals are considered to be at-risk:
- A pregnant or parenting youth;
- A youth with Limited English Proficiency;
- A potential or actual dropout;
- A juvenile offender/diversion program youth;
- A public assistance recipient or a recipient of group home services;
- A youth with disabilities including learning disabilities;
- A homeless or runaway youth;
- A chemically dependent youth or child of drug or alcohol abusers;
- A youth with basic skills deficiency;
- A youth with educational attainment one or more levels below grade level appropriate to age; or
- A foster child.
- The following individuals are considered to be at-risk:
Creating healthy communities and improving lives
Since 1998, the UCare Foundation has improved the lives of UCare members and their communities through grants that address urgent community health needs. We focus grant-making on initiatives that improve the health of underserved individuals — including seniors, people with disabilities, children and families across Minnesota. The UCare Foundation funds high-impact services, education, community outreach and research addressing health equity, social drivers and access barriers.
Championing the UCare mission
The UCare Foundation directly supports the UCare mission to improve the health of our members through innovative services and partnerships across communities. Grant-seeking organizations should consider if their mission and activities match the UCare Foundation’s mission and guidelines.
- Projects that expand access to mental health and substance use disorder care in Minnesota, focusing on prevention, crisis response, intervention and treatment, and recovery services and supports
- Advance health equity across the mental health and substance use disorder care system by targeting the needs of the most vulnerable communities
- Culturally and linguistically appropriate projects that target improving chronic conditions including, but not limited to, diabetes, asthma, kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD), congestive heart failure and hypertension
- Projects focusing on groups with higher disease prevalence, poorer outcomes or experiencing barriers to care.
- Examples of groups include people with disabilities, low-income communities, communities of color and recent immigrants
- Programs to encourage and facilitate well-child visits and target children under age two, older teens, Asian communities and communities outside the 7‑county metro area
- Programs to improve routine dental care targeting Native American and Asian communities
- Programs that promote healthy pregnancy and postpartum transition with an emphasis on earlier identification of pregnancy
- Doula services or promotion of Doula job certification in rural communities
- Emergency department reduction programs in non-metro, moderately sized urban centers, e.g., Duluth, Rochester and Mankato
- Support for healthy lifestyles including, but not limited to addressing obesity and tobacco use
- Programs to support clinical-community partnerships and multi-sector collaboratives in the design and implementation of solutions aimed at ensuring every Minnesotan can live a healthy life
- Projects should address areas of safe and supportive housing, employment security, accessibility for increasing physical activity in disinvested areas or access to nutritious food
- Projects must focus predominately on solutions to remove and/or minimize structural and social barriers to health equity
- Structural barriers are the root causes of health disparities, which include structural racism, governing processes and economic/social policies that affect income, working conditions, housing and education, among others.
- Social barriers to health equity are the underlying community-wide social, economic and physical conditions in which people are born, grow, live, work, worship and age.
- Funding consideration will be given to requests of up to $50,000 for quality initiatives, mental health and preventive health projects
- Funding consideration will be given to requests of up to $100,000 for health equity projects
Nordson Corporation Foundation Grant - Wisconsin, Colorado, Connecticut (New London & Windham Counties), Minnesota, & California (Santa Clara County)
Nordson Corporation Foundation
Nordson Corporation Foundation
The Nordson Corporation Foundation awards grants to non-profits in our communities throughout the United States. Since 1989, the Foundation has awarded more than $60 million in grants to improve the quality of life in our communities, placing a special focus on causes related to education. Employees support the foundation by making donations during our annual A Time to Give Campaign, or by participating in a Community Affairs Committee (CAC). Committees review grant applications and vote to distribute Foundation funds to deserving local causes. During the last financial year, the Foundation gave out 362 grants totaling $6.3 million.
Nordson Foundation Giving Strategies
The geographic areas in which Nordson has major facilities determine the Nordson Foundation's giving priorities.
Within these geographic areas, granting priorities are driven by community needs. Although needs change quickly, our vision is long term. We pursue and support results-oriented opportunities that prepare individuals for full and equal participation in the economic and social mainstream. We believe these kinds of programs help improve the quality of life over the long term and produce stronger, more enlightened communities in which we live and work. We strive to fulfill these responsibilities in our communities through contributions to charitable activities with a focus on education. Other major giving categories that are supported are human welfare, civic affairs and arts and culture.
Nordson Foundation Values
In the spirit of our corporate founders, the Nordson Corporation Foundation continues to operate on the belief that business, as a corporate citizen, has a social responsibility to share its success with the communities where it operates and draws employees.
The Nordson Foundation is dedicated to improving our communities by supporting the continuum of education from birth to adulthood in the belief that education is the key for individuals to become self-sufficient, productive members of society.
To prepare individuals for economic independence, a variety of quality educational experiences are necessary. To be successful today, individuals not only need to master the basics, “reading, writing and arithmetic”, they must also know how to think critically and creatively. Strengthening the community’s human capital – through quality education – is crucial.
The Nordson Foundation offers support to non-profit organizations that cultivate educational curriculum and experiences that foster self-sufficiency, job readiness and goals to aspire to higher education. The Foundation is well aware of the fact that for non-profit organizations to remain viable they must receive operating support. With this in mind, Nordson Corporation Foundation does invest in general operating support.
As stewards of the Foundation assets, the directors feel strongly that the organizations that are supported by the Foundation be able to measure the effectiveness of their mission and programs. Quantitative and/or qualitative data allows for the Foundation to ensure that the organizations it supports are bringing about the desired outcomes in our communities.
Nordson Foundation Goals
The goals of the Nordson Corporation Foundation are to insure that:
- All children have access to and receive quality educational experiences from early childhood
- All individuals have the opportunity to be self-sufficient members of society
- There is a continuum of quality educational opportunities
- Our communities are strengthened by the organizations we fund whether their focus is education, human welfare, civic or arts and culture
Nordson Foundation Funding Strategy
Through its grant-making, the Foundation supports organizations that directly or indirectly seek to maximize success before, during and beyond the traditional classroom years. Grants will be reviewed and considered on the basis of their enrichment to the communities where our employees live and work. Organizations and programs receiving grants will be expected to identify relevant, measurable outcomes to demonstrate the effectiveness of their programs.
- Early Childhood Care and Education
- Maximizing Student Success
- Access to quality educational opportunities
- Innovative programs
- Partnerships/collaborations with school districts
- Funding gaps not covered by public monies
- Augmenting core curriculum
- Exposure to programs that expand on traditional education
- Workforce Preparation
- Initial preparation for the world of work
- Retraining for the new job market
- Strengthening our communities
- Promote prevention and lifestyle maintenance programs and activities
- Promote crisis intervention
- Promote life transition opportunities
- Promote systemic change
Arts and Culture
- Actively seek to broaden the audience bases in Nordson communities
- Support the visual and performing arts
- Provide educational enrichment for students
- Motivation for at-risk youth
- Provide access to the arts for special needs audience
- Promote greater understanding among people via the arts
- Work to improve the physical or economic environment
- Provide cultural or historical preservation
- Strive to inform citizens and increase their participation in community improvement
Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children
The mission of the Ciresi Walburn Foundation for Children's is to serve as a catalyst for creative, innovative, and societal-changing programs and policies to promote education and equitable opportunities for all of Minnesota’s children and youth.
Our Key Priorities
- Eliminate the misconception that Minnesota schools provide a quality education for all our children.
- Expand the number and capacity of high-performing schools and educational organizations throughout Minnesota serving students of color and low-income students.
- Support parent and family engagement in schools and their demands for access to high-performing schools for all students.
- Invest in strategies to diversify Minnesota’s educator workforce and equip teachers with the cultural intelligence and skills needed to support and educate all students.
- Expand access to science-based literacy instruction; high-quality early childhood learning opportunities; and scalable, high-quality tutoring programs.
What We Do and Don’t Do
The Ciresi Walburn Foundation seeks to partner with K-12 schools, higher education institutions, and 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations that support youth and families in Minnesota.
We support efforts to eliminate inequities in the educational system. We’ve funded early learning programs, education policy and advocacy, programs that support educators, high performing K–12 schools, and wrap-around programs focused on children and families in high-needs neighborhoods. We also established a scholarship fund to help African-American males complete their undergraduate degrees and stride forward as tomorrow’s leaders.
We look forward to helping innovative, effective ideas gain traction and build momentum across the educational system.
What we don’t do: Wring our hands on the sidelines or accept a system that doesn’t provide all children the opportunity for the very best.
We seek to make strategic investments during critical phases in an organization's history and to be a catalyst for innovative, bold ideas, approaches, and initiatives. Therefore, past recipients of funding should not necessarily assume that they will receive funding every year.
The Foundation will not consider for funding project or program budgets which are solely or predominantly related to technology expenses, but will consider requests for support for technology (hardware and software) that are ancillary to broader, innovative proposals.
The Foundation requires all K-12 School finalists to complete our Schools Data Dashboard Form, which can be downloaded from our website or the online application portal. In order to be eligible for funding, schools must commit to, during the grant period, assess all students, as appropriate, using either:
- The State Standards-Based Accountability Assessments (MCAs or MTAS); and/or
- A nationally-normed growth and proficiency assessment (such as the NWEA/MAP) at least twice during the school year; and, to share the results of the assessment(s) with the Foundation.
Otter Tail Corporation Foundation
We value community. Our mission is to connect with our communities to support young minds, invest in our current and future workforce, create vibrant culture and vital communities, improve health and human services, and protect our natural resources.
We focus our resources on the communities where we work and live. Our funds are for innovative projects and programs that create measurable impacts in our areas of emphasis.
The Foundation will consider requests from qualified organizations to support operating budgets and capital fund programs for the construction, refurbishment or purchase of buildings, structures, equipment or physical enhancements.
Especially early childhood education initiatives and programs that support schools of higher learning with special interest in curricula and capital improvements in the study of business, political science, economics, engineering, and natural/physical sciences as they relate to the energy and industrial industries.
Health and Human Services
Including initiatives and programs that help individuals and families struggling with daily living challenges, including hunger, poverty, domestic violence, homelessness, and disabilities.
Community, Civic, and Cultural Development
Programs and projects that focus on local, regional, or statewide economic and cultural development, including efforts that increase awareness of culture and the arts and encourage their growth, particularly for regions or populations that would otherwise be unable to participate.
programs that emphasize sustainability, preservation, environmental education, and stewardship of our land, water, and air with an emphasis on collaborative programs that strengthen ties between businesses and communities.
In 2002 the Women’s Fund was established as a component fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation to benefit women and/or girls within a 30 mile radius of St. Cloud. The Women’s Fund seeks to leverage the efforts and dollars from local nonprofits to provide resources that will make a difference to single individuals or systems.
Girls Ages 10-18
The Women’s Fund seeks to support programs to assure equality, success and health for girls. In evaluating proposals for girls, priority will be given to programs with goals aligned with one or more of the following emphases: (These goals may be addressed through culturally specific programs where appropriate.)
- Building self-esteem and helping girls make smart choices to avoid risky behaviors, make good relationship choices, and maintain a healthy body image.
- Increasing girls’ access to mentors and role models to help them increase their aspirations and envision success, make good educational and career choices, and choose healthy behaviors.
- Encouraging and preparing girls to pursue higher and/or post-secondary education, including math, science and other nontraditional education.
- Developing leadership skills and providing venues in which to practice these skills.
Women in Transition
Through its grants for women in transition, the Women’s Fund seeks to focus its grants on building the capacity of women who have experienced significant change in their lives. These goals may be addressed through culturally specific programs where appropriate. Priority will be given to proposals for programs with goals aligned with one or more of the following:
- Fostering women’s economic self sufficiency by increasing access to job training, education, support for searching for jobs, resume building and coaching.
- Encouraging low-income women to pursue job training or education to improve their financial status.
- Increasing access to quality, flexible childcare and/or early childhood education.
- Increasing access to support services, mentoring and mental health services for women during and after transitions.
- Supporting immigrant women and refugee women to achieve their aspirations and successfully integrate into the community.
Through its grants for elder women, the Women’s Fund seeks to focus on issues unique to women as they age, striving to improve the status of life for midlife and older women. These goals may be addressed through culturally specific programs, where appropriate. Priority will be given to programs with goals aligned with one or more of the following:
- Encouraging and increasing access to economic security, including information and support for employment opportunities in later life, financial planning, budgeting and saving.
- Encouraging healthy lifestyles and increasing access to reliable transportation allowing women to maintain an independent lifestyle as long as possible.
- Increasing access to quality health care coverage and mental health services, which includes access to direct fitness and exercise components and preventive care to help keep people active and healthy.
- Addressing the needs of older women living alone and/or caring for elderly parents, all facing major life changes, which could result in depression, loneliness, chemical abuse etc. Provide support for coping with life changes in a healthy manner.
- Encouraging lifelong learning, including non-traditional education, language classes, tutoring young students, to maintain an active mind and contribute to the community.
The Fund seeks to leverage the efforts and dollars from local nonprofits to provide resources that will make a difference to single individuals or systems.
- Projects/Programs that support diversity, equity and inclusion.
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