2020 Organizational Effectiveness Grants

Build Your Capacity

The Minneapolis Foundation is pleased to announce a special grant opportunity focused on increasing organizational capacity in order to drive change and deepen impact. We recognize the significant contributions that are made by organizations and leaders in the social sector across our communities. We also recognize the importance of strategic investments to support a broad spectrum of tools and infrastructure that can promote effectiveness in both small and larger organizations.

Grant requests may range from $2,500 to $50,000. We expect to approve 100 to 120 grants. The average grant will be $25,000.

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We Will Fund

Requests that increase organizational effectiveness in the following areas:
Organizational capacity
Leadership (including sabbaticals)

Grants for sabbaticals will be made to executive directors who have been in their role for at least five years; requests are capped at $15,000 and must include approval from the organization’s governing board of directors.

We Will Not Fund

Capital campaigns (including working capital)
Staff positions (new or existing)
General operating support
Emergency funding
Program expansions

Key Considerations and Review Process

As we evaluate each request, we will consider the following:

  • How well does the proposal define and explain the specific needs regarding increased capacity?
  • How will strengthened capacity help improve organizational effectiveness to advance equity in the community?
  • Is the request reasonable? Will a one-time grant sufficiently achieve the desired outcome as described in the proposal? Can the project be completed during the grant period?
  • How will the organization evaluate changes in capacity at the end of the grant period?
  • Does the organization’s board and senior leadership reflect the community it serves?

We will fund high-performing nonprofit organizations advancing social, economic, and racial equity, organizations with a tax-exempt nonprofit designation from the IRS or those which operate under fiscal sponsorship by a tax-exempt nonprofit (including organizations under a current grant agreement and those that have no previous history with The Minneapolis Foundation), and efforts focused in the Twin Cities Metro Area, preferably in the City of Minneapolis.


Applications will be accepted online starting on Wednesday, September 25, 2019. The application deadline is Wednesday, October 23, 2019, at 4:30 p.m. Our system will not accept any submissions after the deadline, even if an application is in process. All applicants will be notified of our decisions by December 15, 2019.

Application Preview

We recommend downloading a preview of the application questions to prepare for the online application.


Please direct any technical questions about the application process to Grants Administration at 612-672-8665 or grantsadministration@mplsfoundation.org. If you have questions about your proposal, please contact either:

Jo-Anne Stately at jstately@mplsfoundation.org or 612-672-3831
Catherine Gray at cgray@mplsfoundation.org or 612-672-3876