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

Giving Project Grant

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Headwaters Foundation for Justice (HFJ)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

02/18/21 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 inequity. 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.

Giving Project grants provide general operating support to organizations led by and for BIPOC that lead grassroots organizing work across Minnesota. Giving Project Grants support organizations that prioritize community organizing as the core strategy to engage and build power in their communities in order to change systems and advance equity and justice. Mutual aid projects that mobilize people to meet survival needs and build shared understanding about the root causes of those unmet needs are encouraged to apply. 

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 reflective of and 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:

Applicant organizations can apply for $15,000.

Term of Contract:

One year

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Giving Project grants support organizations that are led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC) that also use a community organizing approach to address root causes of injustice.

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.

New or emerging organizations are also encouraged to apply.

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:

Info Sessions are an opportunity for applicant organizations to ask program staff questions and meet current or former grantees. You can attend one of three Zoom sessions in 2021. RSVP beginning January 8:

Wednesday, January 13 at Noon Central
To Register:

Tuesday, January 26 at 6 p.m.
To Register:

Friday, February 12 at Noon Central
To Register:

Pre-Application Information:

The deadline will be at 5 p.m. on Thursday, February 18, 2021.

Organizations will find out whether their application was selected for funding in July 2021.

Contact Information:

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

Apply Online:

Questions about the Giving Project Program can be directed to Program Director Allison Johnson Heist,, 612-400-6264.

For technical assistance with the grant portal, please contact Ray Martinez, Program Manager:, (612) 400-6262.

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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