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Northland Foundation Grant

Grants to Northeastern Minnesota Nonprofits, Schools, and
Agencies for Children and Families, Rural Aging, and Self-Reliance

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Northland Foundation

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Grants to Northeastern Minnesota nonprofit organizations, schools, and public agencies for programs focusing on children, youth, and families, opportunities for self-reliance, and rural aging. Priorities for each of these focus areas are outlined further below.

Grant Guidelines:

Eligible organizations must operate in Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties.

Organizations may submit Small Grant applications for requests of $5,000 and under, and Large Grant applications for requests over $5,000.

High-impact programs and projects often intentionally incorporate certain strategic approaches that improve outcomes. The Northland Foundation encourages inclusion of one or more of the following components to the work to be considered for funding:

- Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Actively working to reach and fully reflect the diversity of communities served, facilitate inclusion, and counter systemic inequity.
- Multi-Generational: Considering the needs of multiple generations when addressing an issue, for example, programs for children may include components for parents and guardians.
- Collaboration: Bringing other partners into a program or project in order to tap others’ expertise, expand geographic or demographic reach, and/or improve outcomes.
- Multi-Sector: Engaging organizations from diverse sectors and disciplines in program design and delivery.
- Systems Change: Seeking to change public policy and increase the civic engagement of under-represented populations.

The Northland Foundation will consider grant requests for:

- Existing programs or expansion of programs, as well as special time-limited projects.
- Start-up costs for promising new programs or nonprofit organizations that demonstrate sound management and clear goals relevant to community needs.
- Support for organizations that seek to build their capacity and strengthen their organizational management or infrastructure.
- General operating support for organizations with which we have partnered successfully in the past, with a solid track record of high performance, and that provide programs and services that fit within our priority areas.

Priorities for Each of the Areas of Focus:

Children, Youth, and Families:

Through the Grant Program priorities, the Foundation works to build positive, caring environments for young children, youth, and families. The Northland Foundation supports programs that deliver:

- Positive interaction between youth and caring adults.
- Early childhood care and education.
- High-quality youth enrichment activities for in-school or out-of-school time.
- Parenting and grandparenting support.
- Promotion of respect, diversity, and inclusion.
- Children- and youth-focused programming that engages multiple generations.
- Youth leadership, civic involvement, volunteerism, and philanthropy.

To promote youth volunteerism and charitable giving, the Northland Foundation also offers grants through the Minnesota Power Foundation Youth In Philanthropy Program. This grantmaking board consists of students in grades 7-12, and adult mentors, from throughout the region. Community and school groups and nonprofit organizations are invited to submit grant proposals of up to $1,000 for youth-driven projects that are supported by an adult advisor.

Opportunities for Self-Reliance:

The Northland Foundation supports self-reliance and dignity for all people by funding projects that address:

- Job training, employment, and education for people with low incomes or who are living in poverty.
- Asset building, including home ownership and financial literacy.
- Neighborhood revitalization and safe, affordable housing.
- Enhancing the lives of people with disabilities.
- Homeless issues and basic needs, such as food security.
- Prevention of domestic violence, abuse, and sex trafficking.
- Promotion of diversity, equity, and inclusion for all people.
- Helping older adults maintain independence and providing support for their caregivers.

Rural Aging Initiative Phase II

From January 2017 through December 2019, the Northland Foundation is undertaking Phase II of the Rural Aging Initiative to strengthen capacity among nonprofit and community based services, and promote collaboration and innovation to help older adults in the Northeast Minnesota region to age in place. The components of Phase II are as follows.

- Capacity Building is providing financial and training support to 18 nonprofit organizations that focus on aging services in the region.
- Civic Engagement and Social Connectedness among older adults is being enhanced through support for the 16 "Age to Age: Bringing Generations Together" sites in the region.
- The Aging Innovations Program is designed to spur fresh, inventive approaches to helping older adults age in place with independence and purpose in rural communities. The Aging Innovations Program includes competitive funding opportunities.

Aging Innovations Major Grants:

The Aging Innovations Program includes an opportunity to apply for grants up to $50,000 each. There will be two grantmaking rounds: November 2017 and Spring 2018. Northland anticipates awarding three to five grants each round.

The Aging Innovations Major Grants are intended to spur innovative approaches to improve community care integration; utilize technological advances; support family caregivers; promote strategies addressing direct care workforce challenges; and replicate/adapt evidenced-informed or evidenced-based program models.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 161199

Number of Grants:

Northland anticipates awarding three to five grants each round for Aging Innovations Major Grants.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Small Grants: $5,000 and under
- Large Grants: Over $5,000

Community and school groups and nonprofit organizations are invited to submit grant proposals of up to $1,000 for youth-driven projects that are supported by an adult advisor.

Aging Innovations Major Grants: The Aging Innovations Program includes an opportunity to apply for grants up to $50,000 each.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible organizations are 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofits, schools, and other public entities located in or serving the seven-county region of northeastern Minnesota (Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties).

The Northland Foundation generally will not consider grant requests for:

- Programs or projects outside of our priority areas or taking place outside of the seven-county area of northeastern Minnesota.
- Organizations seeking to do work within our seven-county service area but which do not have staffing or a physical location within the region.
- Grants to individuals, businesses, or private foundations.
- Sectarian religious programs.
- Endowment, capital campaigns, or support for fundraising events.
- Replacement of traditional government services or public funding that has been cut.

Pre-Application Information:

Applicants interested in applying for grant funds are strongly encouraged to contact the Northland Foundation to discuss project ideas with program staff as the first step. To discuss a project idea, please contact Erik Torch (see contact details below).

The Northland Foundation uses a web-based portal for organizations to apply for funding and submit grant reports. The portal entry and application process differ based on the dollar amount being requested.

The deadlines are January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1.

Small Grant Application Process (for requests of $5,000 or less):

- To initiate a new grant request for $5,000 or less, click on the Small Grants Portal link below. If this is the first time you have used the portal to request a small grant, you may wish to review the instructions attached below (see Supporting Documents section) before you begin.
- Small Grant requests are reviewed within 4 weeks of each quarterly deadline. Applicants will be notified by email of our decision.

Large Grant Application Process (for requests of more than $5,000):

- The application process for grants more than $5,000 is a 3-step process and may take up to 90 days for a final decision.
- Submit an Inquiry using the portal link below. Inquiries are reviewed by Northland staff to determine if the request fits within the Foundation’s grantmaking priority areas of interest and are reviewed within approximately 3 weeks of each quarterly deadline. You will be notified shortly after by email of a decision.
- If your initial inquiry is approved to move forward, you will be invited to submit a Full Proposal that will be due within 3 weeks after receiving the invitation.
- Northland staff review the Full Proposal and conduct a site visit, with final decisions made by the last week of each quarter. You will be notified by email of a decision.

Aging Innovations Major Grants (up to $50,000):

There will be two grantmaking rounds: November 2017 and Spring 2018.

Additional Links:

About the Grants:
Grant Guidelines:
The Foundation's Region:

Focus Areas:

Children, Youth, and Families:
Opportunities for Self-Reliance:
Rural Aging Initiative Phase II:

Contact Information:

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

Small Grants Portal Entry:

Large Grants Portal Entry:

To discuss a project idea, please contact Erik Torch, Director of Grantmaking, (218) 723-4040 or 1-800-433-4045, or

For questions about using the Grant Portal, please contact Carol Chipman, Grants Manager, at, or call the Northland Foundation at (218) 723-4040 or 1-800-433-4045.

Note: For more information about the Rural Aging Initiative, please contact Zane Bail, Director of Development and Special Projects at the Northland Foundation,


Northland Foundation
202 West Superior Street, Suite 610
Duluth, Minnesota 55802

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties