OneMPLS Capacity Building Grants
The Minneapolis Foundation announces a call for proposals for Capacity Building Grants from our OneMPLS Fund. Launched in 2018, the OneMPLS Fund is a collective impact fund that is designed to be nimble and responsive to emerging needs aligned with our mission.
Our vision for the OneMPLS Fund is that it supports organizations and projects that demonstrate:
- Intersectionality. We support integrated approaches that recognize the connections between community issues.
- Systems change. We support strategies that increase access to opportunity by targeting the policies and practices that keep inequitable systems in place.
- Innovation. We support organizations that identify and implement groundbreaking, catalytic, or upstream solutions to pressing issues.
- Multi-generational approaches. We support work that strengthens our community across generations.
- Community voices. We believe that those closes to issues are best positioned to understand and address them.
Previous OneMPLS grant rounds have addressed critical needs such as affordable housing, pandemic relief, and rebuilding support for small businesses recovering from the combined effects of COVID-19 and the civil unrest that followed the murder of George Floyd. Now, we are deploying the OneMPLS Fund to enhance the capacity of nonprofits to navigate the ongoing pandemic and meet the evolving needs of the diverse communities they serve.
The OneMPLS Capacity Building Grants are grounded in the recognition that, over the past 18 months, our community has stepped up in a big way to respond to the pandemic, showing extraordinary grit and resilience during a time of unprecedented need. Many local nonprofits pivoted quickly to serve more people or meet the needs of their communities in new ways by adapting their existing programs or launching new ones. These changes stretched the capacity of many nonprofits and put further stress on organizations grounded in the needs of Black and Indigenous people and people of color, given the disproportionate impact of the pandemic on these communities. This grant round is designed to strengthen these nonprofits as they continue to provide important services.
This funding opportunity is open to:
- Small- to Medium-Sized Nonprofits with budgets of up to approximately $3 million that have supported children, youth, and families in need, or adults seeking living-wage career and business opportunities during the pandemic.
- Nonprofit Intermediaries with larger budgets, but which have experience partnering with small- to medium-sized nonprofits that align with the description above.
What We Will Fund
- Staff and Administrative Capacity to properly manage restricted state and federal funding, and/or to implement programs that have experienced increased demand during the pandemic.
- Technology Resources to help nonprofit organizations adjust how they work to meet community needs amid the Delta variant surge.
- Staff Wellness Resources and Incentives to combat burnout and encourage sustainability within nonprofit organizations amid the increased demands imposed by the ongoing pandemic.
- Planning and Visioning Resources to help nonprofit executive directors and their boards reflect and seek advice to build the capacity of their organizations to be sustainable (in terms of operations, fundraising, communications, community engagement, etc.) during and beyond the pandemic.
Additional Guidelines and Considerations
- Geographic Area: These grants will support organizations that serve Minneapolis and the inner-ring suburbs of Hennepin County (Brooklyn Center, Edina, Fridley, Golden Valley, Richfield, Robbinsdale, St. Anthony, and St. Louis Park).
- Impact: Priority will be given to organizations that seek to advance equity as part of their mission, and which are led by and/or grounded in the wisdom and needs of Black and Indigenous people and people of color.
- Number and Size of Grants: We expect to award 20 to 30 grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 apiece, with an anticipated average award of $30,000 to $40,000. In total, we have approximately $800,000 to $900,000 available to grant.
- Grant Period: January through December 2022.
We will begin accepting applications at 9 a.m. CST on November 1, 2021. Applications must be submitted through the Minneapolis Foundation’s online portal. All applications must be received by 4 p.m. CST on November 22, 2021.
We recommend downloading this preview document to prepare to apply online. Once the application portal opens, we encourage all applicants to log in to ensure that you have access and that your organization’s contact information is current. If you are a first-time applicant for funding from the Minneapolis Foundation, you will need to start by going through a simple process to register your organization in our online portal.
Late applications will not be accepted. We strongly urge all applicants to begin their online applications well in advance of the deadline so that any technical challenges are resolved in time.
Please do not submit multiple applications; only one application per organization will be reviewed.
- Application Period Begins: November 1, 2021 at 9 a.m. CST
- Deadline to Apply: November 22, 2021 at 4 p.m. CST
- Award/Denial Notifications: January 10, 2022 by 5 p.m. via email.
- Grant Period: January through December 2022. Payments will be issued in late January and early February.
As you consider applying for this funding opportunity, you are welcome (but not required) to contact Patrice Relerford at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jo-Anne Stately at email@example.com with questions or to request a 10-to-15-minute phone call about the content of your proposal. Due to high demand, email is the most efficient way to reach out. If necessary, phone calls can be scheduled after an email is sent. Please read the guidelines in advance of the phone conversation. Please contact either Patrice or Jo-Anne (not both of them) to avoid duplication of effort.
For assistance with our online portal, including help with your username and/or login information, please contact our Grants Administration team at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Frequently Asked Questions
May individuals or for-profit businesses apply for funding? No, this opportunity is available to 501(c)(3) organizations or groups with a fiscal sponsor.
If I am a current grantee of the Minneapolis Foundation, can I apply for funds? Yes, as long as your request aligns with the purpose of the OneMPLS Capacity Building Grants. Please make sure you have completed the reporting requirements for other awards from the Foundation.
Does my organization have to be based in Minneapolis? No, this opportunity is open to organizations working in Minneapolis and the inner-ring suburbs of Hennepin County.
Can we apply for funding independently and with a technical assistance provider? This is not recommended, given the limited amount of funding and anticipated demand. We recommend that your organization submit only one application.
The guidelines say that the grant period is 12 months. Can we request a longer time period? Possibly, but our intent is to provide support in early 2022 to organizations that have been working during the pandemic and have more immediate capacity-building needs.
Will there be other grant opportunities similar to this in the near future? We will continue to raise funds for the OneMPLS Fund and plan to administer future grant rounds to address emerging needs in the community. This grant round’s focus on capacity building is a one-time opportunity that is designed to recognize the capacity challenges that nonprofits currently face. We encourage all grant seekers to sign up for our email list to receive updates on Minneapolis Foundation grant opportunities.
How soon can we expect our grant payment? We realize the importance of getting grant payments out the door as quickly as possible. Grant agreements will be sent electronically during the week of January 10. You will have the option of selecting an automatic bank deposit or a check. The grant payment process is usually completed within 1-2 weeks.