Funding FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Please be advised: The Foundation is currently updating its funding priorities, and is not using a standard grant round process.

How can I find out more about the current Call for Ideas and Proposals?

The Foundation currently has an open Call for Ideas and Proposals that are due on September 26th.  Click here to get the details about what we are looking for and how to submit a proposal.  You can click here if you are just looking for frequently asked questions about the Call for Ideas.   And finally, click here for instructions on how to apply online.

How can I apply for a grant?

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals for funding. Grant applications are only accepted from organizations that have been invited to submit one. Any unsolicited proposals will be returned to the requesting organization. If your organization is doing work you feel fits our funding interests, we encourage you to contact one of our staff members.

Why is the Foundation updating its funding priorities?

The Foundation has completed its 5-year grantmaking strategic plan. We have learned a lot over the last five years and are in the process of investigating and exploring ways to make our grantmaking strategies more focused and with greater potential for impact.

When will the updated funding priorities be made public?

We anticipate the process of investigation and updating of our funding priorities will take a significant amount of time. Our hope is to roll the updates out in their entirety by the end of 2016. However, we realize the process sometimes takes longer than expected. We may roll out individual strategies as they are completed. We plan to post regular updates about our progress on our website.

My organization is currently funded by the Foundation. Will we continue to be funded after your priorities are updated?

It is not yet clear what our updated funding priorities will be. As a result, we do not know which of our current regular grantees will continue to be funded once the priorities are identified. Once our updated strategies are identified, the Foundation will consider making exit grants to currently funded organizations that no longer fit into the updated priorities.

When are your grantmaking deadlines?

The Foundation does not have formal deadlines.  We only consider proposals that have been invited by one of our staff members.

What is the geographic focus of your grantmaking?

The Foundation focuses its funding on the 7 county Twin Cities metropolitan area of Minnesota. This includes Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington Counties.

My organization does work that might fit your interests. How do I tell you about it?

If your organization is doing work you feel fits our funding interests, we encourage you to contact one of our staff.  You can also completed our brief online Letter of Inquiry.  However, keep in mind that we are updating our funding priorities and will have extremely limited resources for new grantmaking in 2016.

How can I contact your trustees?

The Foundation does not give out personal contact information for our trustees. Please send all of your inquiries to the Foundation office at 615 First Avenue NE, Suite 330, Minneapolis MN  55413 or

Do you fund government programs or units of government?

On a case-by-case basis the Foundation will consider funding special projects administered by local units of government. However, the Foundation will not fund efforts that are traditionally the responsibility or function of government.

Does your foundation only fund nonprofit organizations?

The Foundation predominately funds entities that are classified by the Internal Revenue Service as tax-exempt, nonprofit organizations. We will consider funding through a fiscal agent on a special case-by-case basis.

Do you fund requests for capital support?

The Foundation will consider small capital grants to organizations with which we have a working relationship or that have a prior history of funding support from the Foundation. However, given our limited resources, these grants will primarily be considered at the end of a capital campaign or when sufficient funds have been raised to ensure a project will go forward.

Do you fund lobbying?

The Foundation is prohibited from funding direct lobbying activities aimed at influencing specific pending or proposed legislation, including referenda, local, statewide or federal ordinances and resolutions. This prohibition generally includes direct lobbying of legislators and other government officials with respect to specific legislation and mass media advertising campaigns aimed at influencing specific legislation.  The Foundation will consider requests for efforts such as grassroots organizing, issue education that is neutral, nonpartisan and grounded in recognized research, and policy research and education.  If you have questions about the acceptability of a proposed activity, please review the provisions describing prohibited activities included in Section 4945(e) of the Internal Revenue Code and Treasury Regulations Section 53.4945-2.

How can our organization access funds from your trustee-directed grants?

The Foundation does not accept unsolicited proposals for our trustee-directed grants.

Does the foundation make program related investments (PRI’s)?

The Foundation currently does not provide program related investments, nor loans of any kind.

What are your grant reporting requirements?

All organizations that receive a grant will be expected to submit a report one year after the grant is received or when the project is completed, whichever comes first.  Our intent is to have all grantees submit this report through our online grants management portal.  Details on how to complete this report will be emailed to all grant recipients as the one-year anniversary of the grant being made approaches. A list of the questions and data fields in the report may be requested by contacting Tracy Lamparty, Grants and Operations Manager.

Why doesn’t the Foundation accept unsolicited proposals?

Due to limited resources and an interest in being more proactive and entrepreneurial, the Foundation made a strategic decision in 2010 to discontinue its practice of accepting unsolicited proposals at predetermined deadlines. Staff now spends less time reviewing proposals and more time engaged in and investigating efforts that align with our funding interests. Prospective applicants may still use the online Letter of Inquiry (LOI) option to submit a brief written proposal.  LOI’s are reviewed by Foundation staff and may result in an invitation to apply for funding.

Does the Foundation support events such as galas, conferences, or benefits?

As a general rule, the Foundation does not support events.  The Foundation would rather see its limited resources go to support direct programming, systems change, public policy and advocacy and community change efforts. Please review our pasts grants to gain a better understanding of the Foundation’s giving preferences.

How can I contact you?

Contact information is available on our Contact Us page.