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Nonprofit Mission Awards

Awards to Minnesota Nonprofits and Foundations
to Recognize Excellence in the Nonprofit Sector

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN)

Deadline Date:

05/21/18 5:00 PM


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Awards to Minnesota nonprofit organizations for outstanding efforts that contribute to a better quality of life in the region. These awards will be given in various categories for work related to community solutions, advocacy strategies, anti-prejudice activities, and responsive philanthropic initiatives.

Award categories are divided as follows:

Innovation: This award recognizes creative applications and nontraditional approaches to solving community challenges. Nominated nonprofit innovations should:
- Bring creative solutions to community challenges;
- Employ a variety of strategies in developing these solutions; and
- Collaborate with other nonprofit organizations, businesses, and governmental agencies in their efforts.

Advocacy: This award recognizes advocacy as one of the most effective and unique roles of nonprofit organizations. Nominated organizations should:
- Implement an effective advocacy strategy;
- Demonstrate success in its advocacy efforts; and
- Have a significant impact on the organization's constituency.

Anti-Racism Initiative: The Anti-Racism Initiative Award recognizes an organization that actively engages audiences in anti-racism activities. Nominated organizations should:
- Work to eliminate prejudice and racism in society;
- Demonstrate a commitment to pluralism and inclusively; and
- Develop unique and thought-provoking strategies to combat racism.

Responsive Philanthropy: This award recognizes the partnership between funders and nonprofits in mobilizing resources for public benefit. Nominated organizations should:
- Be responsive to citizen initiatives;
- Recognize public policy issues and long-term strategies to fight problems; and
- Commit substantial resources to disadvantaged people and Minnesota communities through a process of dialogue and partnership.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 143447

Estimated Size of Grant:

Nonprofit Mission Award Recipients Receive:
- The honor and distinction of being recognized as a leader among Minnesota’s nonprofits during the 2018 MCN Annual Conference in St. Paul
- A professional video production from Open Window Productions capturing the organization's work for which it is receiving the award.
- A one-of-a-kind art glass award engraved with the organization’s name
- A feature profile of the organization in MCN’s Nonprofit News reaching 14,000 nonprofit managers
- A small cash award (except for the winner of the Responsive Philanthropy award)

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Anyone is eligible to nominate an organization for a Nonprofit Mission Award. As the nominator, one does not need to have a formal relationship to the organization one is nominating for a Nonprofit Mission Award. Applications for the Nonprofit Excellence Awards must be submitted by the organization, as the application involves board review and detailed responses on specific practices.

Eligibility Criteria:
- The achievements of the organization must be relevant (i.e. should have taken place within approximately the last 12-18 months).
- Nominated organizations must be based in Minnesota, even if their work serves populations outside of Minnesota.
- Organizations nominated must be a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Programs of nonprofits, unincorporated nonprofits and coalitions of nonprofits may apply for the Nonprofit Mission Awards. Government entities, business entities and individuals are not eligible to apply.
- Organizations may be nominated in more than one award category, but must submit a separate nomination for each category, and must answer the criteria specific to each award.
- Organizations may self nominate or apply on their own behalf. Organizations may be nominated by others for Nonprofit Mission Awards for Innovation, Anti-racism Initiative, Advocacy and Responsive Philanthropy.

The Innovation Award is intended to honor true innovation in the work of a nonprofit. This award is not intended to recognize overall organizational achievements.

Advocacy Award: The selection committee is particularly interested in the work of coalitions, though coalition work is not a requirement to receive this award. Types of advocacy work honored in this category could include: systems change, legislative action, civic engagement, grassroots advocacy, etc.

Responsive Philanthropy Award: This award is intended to honor the work of private foundations, community foundations or corporate giving programs in Minnesota.

Pre-Application Information:

- Nominations must be received by 5 p.m., Monday, May 21.
- June: The Nonprofit Mission Awards Selection Committee will then review all complete nominations in the categories of Innovation, Anti-racism Initiative, Advocacy and Responsive Philanthropy and narrow the field of nominations to three finalists in each category. Finalists will be notified. MCN member organizations and their staff members will be invited to vote on the winners from the field of finalists. The finalists with the winning number of votes in each category will be selected to receive the awards.
- July: Recipients will be notified (but will not be publicly announced until October) and award video shooting will be scheduled and begin.
- September: Awards Recipients Announced.
- October: The Nonprofit Awards ceremony will take place during the MCN’s Annual Conference in St. Paul on November 14-15.

Staff members, board members, volunteers, program recipients, donors or other supporters may nominate a nonprofit for a Mission Award through an online nomination form. Printed nomination forms for the Nonprofit Mission Awards are available upon request for those unable to complete an online nomination.

Responsive Philanthropy Award: Once a nomination form is completed, the nominated funder will be asked to complete an application to further provide detail on their organization and philanthropic focus.

Mission Awards:

Innovation Award:

Anti-Racism Initiative Award:

Advocacy Award:

Responsive Philanthropy Award:


Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Nominate for Innovation:
Nominate for Advocacy:
Nominate for Anti-Racism Initiative:
Nominate for Responsive Philanthropy:

John Wurm

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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