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Giving Project Grant

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits for Programs
that Lead to Positive Community Change

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Headwaters Foundation for Justice (HFJ)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/06/20 5:00 PM


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Grants of $15,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations that use community-based approaches to create positive change and address the root causes of injustice. Funding is intended to support the operations of minority-led groups that have an organized constituency base, a clear analysis of structural causes behind the challenges their community faces, and concrete goals and strategies to build power and change systems. In 2020, Headwaters will offer Giving Project grants to support organizations that are led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color (BIPOC).

Participants of the 2020 Giving Project will raise all grant funds. The cross-class, multiracial cohort will spend six months raising money from their friends, families, and communities. They will also lead the Giving Project grantmaking process.

While the work will differ, all Giving Project grantees will share the following characteristics:

  • They use community organizing as a core strategy to engage and build power in their communities in order to change systems and advance equity and justice.
  • They are led by and for BIPOC communities most directly affected by the issues the organization is working on. At least 51% of their board of directors, staff and community identify as BIPOC.
  • Their leadership is accountable to their community.
  • They continually build leadership from within their membership, base, or community. The base has a role in the organization’s decision-making.
  • They bring people together to build power they wouldn’t have individually. We define power as “the capacity of a group of people to decide what they want and to act in an organized way to get it.” (Class Action, Building Bridges Across the Class Divide).
  • They use that power to create institutional, cultural, and/or structural change.
  • They see their organization as part of a larger movement for social change, and work towards strengthening that movement.
  • They use an intersectional, cross-issue approach that makes connections between race, class, and gender.
  • They have limited access to mainstream funding sources.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 166130

Estimated Size of Grant:


Term of Contract:

Six months.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

HFJ encourages emerging and established organizations at all stages of work to apply for a Giving Project Grant. To be eligible an organization must:
- Be legally incorporated entity with 501(c)(3), or, 501(c)(4) status, or have a fiscal sponsor.
- Be based in and carry out their work in Minnesota.
- Satisfy reporting requirements for all previous HFJ grants

The following entities and activities are ineligible for this grant:
- Organizations that primarily provide direct services.
- Projects sponsored by a government agency.
- Endowment funds or capital campaigns.
- Individuals; these grants are for organizations.
- Partisan efforts.
- Late or incomplete applications

Pre-proposal Conference:

The Foundation strongly recommends attending an Information Session. Applicants will want to review the criteria and guidelines well in advance of the February 6 grant deadline. This way you can make sure your group meets eligibility requirements and funding criteria; and that you have time to get all of the required documents to complete the application.

Information Sessions:

Giving Project Grant Information Session: in-person:
Wednesday January 15, 2020, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Headwaters Foundation for Justice
2801 21st Avenue South, Suite 132B
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Register here:

Giving Project Grant Information Session: call-in:
Tuesday January 21, 2020, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Participants will call in to this information session:
Dial: 1-866-740-1260
Participant code: 8790602
Additional information:

Giving Project Grant Information Session: in-person:
Tuesday January 28, 2020, 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Headwaters Foundation for Justice
2801 21st Avenue South, Suite 132B
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Register here:

Contact Program Director Melissa Rudnick with questions (see details in Contact Information, below).

Pre-Application Information:

The application deadline is February 6, 2020, 5:00 PM.

Organizations will find out whether their application was selected for funding in late June 2020.

How to apply:

Application tutorial (video):

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Melissa Rudnick, Program Director

Noelle Martinez, Grants and Program Associate

Headwaters Foundation for Justice
2801 21st Avenue South, Suite 132B
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55407

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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