Recent Grants

Contact: Teresa Morrow
VP External Relations and Marketing
612-672-3834 |

The Minneapolis Foundation awards $3.4 million in Community Grants

Funding will result in measurable progress towards creating "OneMinneapolis"

1/14/14 - In December, The Minneapolis Foundation awarded 64 Community Grants totaling $3,450,024 to organizations working to create a more vibrant and equitable community through education, economic vitality, and civic engagement. The funded activities will result in more students on track for college and career, a more competitive and inclusive workforce, and a more robust and representative democracy. (See the list of grant recipients and a summary of funded activities below.)

The grants were awarded through a new competitive process designed to elicit the highest-impact strategies for closing the racial disparities that plague the region. The Foundation focuses its leadership efforts towards closing these gaps. The Foundation’s vision is of “OneMinneapolis,” where everyone can fully participate in the economic and civic life of the region and enjoy an excellent quality of life.

Since 2011, the Foundation has monitored how various racial and ethnic communities in Minneapolis are faring on two dozen key indicators of a healthy, productive life. This data informs Foundation investments and helps the community coalesce around a common goal. In addition, more than 100 nonprofits and public agencies use the Foundation’s OneMinneapolis reports to target their program delivery, advocate for more equitable policies, and build support for their efforts to close the gaps.

Community Grant funding is one of several key strategies for closing these gaps. The Minneapolis Foundation complements those investments with advocacy, public awareness, program-related investments, and other means of achieving measurable community impact.

“Philanthropy today is more than writing a check,” says Minneapolis Foundation President and CEO Sandra Vargas. “It takes vision, data, and partnerships to realize change on the scale our community needs. Fortunately, we know more than ever about what works in education, employment, and civic participation and The Minneapolis Foundation is proud to invest in these organizations to get results we can measure.”

Community Grants are awarded from an endowment to meet critical community needs as identified by the Foundation’s board of trustees. The endowment is funded by Minnesotans who want to make a greater community impact by combining their charitable gifts, either planned or direct, with those of other civic-minded individuals and families.

In addition, thousands of donors manage their giving through charitable funds they’ve established at the Foundation, granting out $35 million each year to thousands of charities in Minnesota and beyond. The Foundation also provides a matching grant program for its donors each year, with every fund eligible for an additional $1,000 to the designated local nonprofit of their choice. Since 2009, this has resulted in $685,000 to hundreds of organizations that enhance the quality of life in Minnesota.

Following is a summary of funded activities and list of grant recipients in each focus area.

Economic Vitality

Community grants will support job training programs with high completion, placement, and retention rates, the majority of which offer entry- level wages of at least $12/hour. These programs are in the health, manufacturing, construction, and hospitality industries. They serve un- and under-employed individuals, including those who are incarcerated or preparing for release from corrections, young parents receiving public assistance, and non-English speakers. Grants will also help low-income families and communities build wealth through: increased access to working capital and technical assistance for minority-owned businesses; credit counseling and financial literacy education; and promoting greater regulation of high-interest payday loans. Additional funding for minority business development and workforce training in communities of color was provided by the Northwest Area Foundation.
•    AccessAbility Inc.
•    AccountAbility Minnesota
•    African Development Center of Minnesota
•    African Economic Development Solutions
•    American Indian Community Development Corporation
•    American Indian OIC
•    Build Wealth Minnesota, Inc.
•    Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio
•    Family Housing Fund
•    Heading Home Hennepin
•    Hennepin County
•    Hope United CDC
•    Jeremiah Program
•    Jewish Community Action
•    Latino Economic Development Center
•    Local Initiatives Support Corporation
•    Metropolitan Economic Development Association
•    Minneapolis Urban League
•    Minnesota American Indian Chamber of Commerce
•    Neighborhood Development Alliance
•    Neighborhood Development Center
•    Northside Economic Development Network (NEON)
•    Northside Funders Group (NFG)
•    Project for Pride in Living, Inc.
•    RESOURCE, Inc.
•    Somali Success School
•    Summit Academy OIC
•    Twin Cities RISE


Community Grants will increase the number of children participating in effective early childhood programs; support and help replicate K-12 schools where students are making significant academic progress each year; recruit, develop, and retain high-performing teachers and school leaders; engage parents in education advocacy; and promote policy reforms that are shown to increase educational equity and achievement.

•    ARCH Academy
•    Baby’s Space - A Place to Grow
•    Charter School Partners
•    Education Transformation Initiative
•    El Colegio Charter High School
•    Hiawatha Academies
•    Joyce Preschool
•    KIPP Minnesota
•    MIGIZI Communications
•    Minneapolis College Preparatory School
•    Minnesota Minority Education Partnership
•    Parent Aware for School Readiness
•    People Serving People
•    Phyllis Wheatley Community Center
•    Teach for America
•    The Mastery School
•    Think Small
•    Way to Grow
Civic Engagement

Community Grants will help increase voter participation in underrepresented communities and recruit and develop leaders from communities of color to serve in positions with influence on public policies that affect their lives. (These grants follow a combined award of $175,000 in 2013 to support nonpartisan get-out-the-vote efforts leading up to the fall elections. Seven groups received funding, including NACDI, which held the first-ever mayoral forum in the Native community.)
•    The Banyan Community
•    Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha (CTUL)
•    Council on Crime and Justice
•    Headwaters Foundation for Justice
•    Hope Community
•    Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota
•    Lake Street Council
•    Lao Assistance Center of Minnesota
•    Lyndale Neighborhood Association
•    Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless
•    Minnesota Neighborhoods Organizing for Change
•    Nexus Community Partners
•    Organizing Apprenticeship Project
•    State Voices
•    TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund
•    WE WIN Institute, Inc.

To learn more at about OneMinneapolis, The Minneapolis Foundation’s Community Grant guidelines and approach to community impact, and its donor advised funds and charitable giving services.


About The Minneapolis Foundation For 100 years, The Minneapolis Foundation has connected people, charitable resources and ideas that enrich our community and beyond.  The Foundation provides customized, convenient and tax-smart giving solutions that enable generous Minnesotans to fund their charitable passions. TMF brings people together to unite behind common goals and spark positive change in our community.