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2018 Innovation Fund Grant

Grants to Central Minnesota Nonprofits, Agencies, and
School Districts for Start-Up and Capacity Building Projects

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Initiative Foundation (if)

LOI Date:

10/12/18

Deadline Date:

11/16/18

Description:

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Grants of up to $5,000 to Central Minnesota nonprofits, government agencies, and school districts for start-ups and capacity building programs to strengthen businesses and nonprofits and address workforce shortages. Applicants must submit a letter of intent by January 12, 2018.

Support is intended to serve the people and communities within Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, and Wright Counties.

Innovation Fund grants support at least one of the following priorities:

- Help small businesses and social enterprise ventures through access to technical assistance, mentorship, succession planning, and education efforts. The Foundation is especially interested in supporting minority business ownership and/or job creation in areas of concentrated poverty.
- Help communities address opportunities or barriers to business growth and creation or retention of quality jobs.
- Support activities or strategies to address workforce shortages in communities within the region that lead to improved skills, access to employment opportunities, or advancement in growing sectors.
- Support community-based early childhood efforts that advance literacy and school readiness, particularly in communities not served by one of the existing Early Childhood Coalitions.
- Support strategic planning, fund development, board training, or other capacity-building initiatives for nonprofits that have a core focus on poverty.
- Support activities that cultivate new and emerging community and philanthropic leaders working and living in our region.
- Support innovative community planning, design, and engagement strategies to help attract and retain skilled workers and young families.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 180284

Estimated Size of Grant:

Innovation Fund grants seldom exceed $5,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofits, school districts or local units of government that serve the people and communities within Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, and Wright Counties. Funding requests for outside of this area will not be considered. Individuals are ineligible to apply for funds.

The following expenses are ineligible and will not be considered for Innovation funding:

- Grants or reimbursements to individuals and businesses.
- Expenses incurred prior to the receipt of a grant award.
- Capital expenses (e.g. buildings, equipment, vehicles, etc.).
- Programs or projects that do not directly benefit residents in the Initiative Foundation’s 14-county service area.
- Replacement of or substitution for government funding.
- Religious activities.
- Lobbying or campaigning for a candidate, issue or referendum vote.
- Development or purchase of school curriculum or support for school athletic programs.
- Arts, health-related and media production applications are discouraged unless they directly address at least one of the priorities listed above.

Pre-Application Information:

Grants generally fund 50 percent or less of the total program/project budget.

Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

- Qualified organizations interested in applying to the Initiative Foundation are required to complete an electronic Letter of Inquiry.
- Inquiries are accepted on an ongoing basis and reviewed based on the timeline below. If a proposed project is selected, applicants are invited to submit a full proposal.

2018 Application Timeline:

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) due: Jan. 12
Notification of invitation to submit full proposal or decline no later than Jan. 26
Full proposal due: Feb. 16

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) due: April 13
Notification of invitation to submit full proposal or decline no later than April 27
Full proposal due: May 18

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) due: July 13
Notification of invitation to submit full proposal or decline no later than July 27
Full proposal due: Aug. 17

Letter of Inquiry (LOI) due: Oct. 12
Notification of invitation to submit full proposal or decline no later than Oct. 26
Full proposal due: Nov. 16

Full proposals are generally reviewed within 30 to 45 days.

Contact Information:

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

Login for LOI Application: https://www.grantrequest.com/SID_1411/SA=SNA&FID=35003

Grants assistant:
(320) 631-2014
grants@ifound.org

Initiative Foundation
405 First St. S.E.
Little Falls, MN 56345

Toll Free: (877) 632-9255
Phone: (320) 632-9255
Fax: (320) 632-9258
Email: info@ifound.org

Don Hickman, Vice President for Community & Workforce Development
dhickman@ifound.org
(320) 631-2043

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena, and Wright Counties