Initiative Foundation: Innovation Fund Grant

Initiative Foundation

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Next deadline: May 5, 2021 (Letter of inquiry)

Later deadlines: Aug 11, 2021 (Letter of inquiry), Nov 10, 2021 (Letter of inquiry), Feb 3, 2022 (Letter of inquiry)

Grant amount: Up to US $5,000

Fields of work: Workforce Preparation & Job Readiness Poverty Alleviation & Services Business Development Job Creation Entrepreneurship Civic Leadership Development Basic Human Needs Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit, Government Entity

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program, Training / Capacity Building, General Operating Expense

Location of project: Counties in Minnesota: Benton County, Cass County, Chisago County, Crow Wing County, Isanti County Show all

Location of residency: United States

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About this funder:



Innovation Fund

The Initiative Foundation makes grants through its Innovation Fund for projects and programs that advance our mission to empower people across Central Minnesota to build a thriving economy, vibrant communities and a lasting culture of generosity.

Innovation Fund grants primarily support start-up or capacity-building projects across the 14 counties of Central Minnesota. Applications to the Innovation Fund are accepted on an ongoing basis, with quarterly awards made through a competitive review process.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grant applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofits, school districts or local units of government that serve the people and communities in Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties, and the portions of the sovereign tribal nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe which lay within these counties.


  • Proposals that focus on at least one of the following areas will be given priority consideration:
    • General operating support for nonprofits addressing the urgent needs of vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
    • Cost share for projects intended to create behavioral change associated with combating racism, and advancing diversity, equity and inclusion.
    • Advancement of creative activities or strategies to address workforce shortages and/or re-training by those displaced by the COVID-19 pandemic. 
    • Support for strategic planning, fund development, board training or other capacity building initiatives for nonprofits that advance economic security for vulnerable households and financially disadvantaged people.
    • Projects responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in one of our region’s three communities which are home to large meat processing facilities (Cold Spring, Melrose and Long Prairie).
    • Support for local and regional community and economic development entities advancing early-stage feasibility or pilot projects.


  • Funding requests for use outside of this geography will not be considered.
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply for grant funds.
  • The following expenses are ineligible and will NOT be considered for Innovation funding:
    • Grants or reimbursements to individuals and businesses.
    • Expenses incurred prior to the receipt of a grant award.
    • Capital expenses (e.g., buildings, equipment, vehicles, etc.).
    • Programs or projects that DO NOT directly benefit residents in the Initiative Foundation’s 14-county service area.
    • Replacement of or substitution for government funding.
    • Religious activities.
    • Lobbying or campaigning for a candidate, issue or referendum vote.
    • Development or purchase of school curriculum or support for school athletic programs.
    • Out-of-state travel.


This page was last reviewed April 06, 2021 and last updated April 06, 2021