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girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) Grant

Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, Schools, and Tribes for
Financial Preparedness Programs for Low-Income Girls

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Women’s Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN)

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

04/01/20 11:59 PM


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Grants of up to $20,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations, schools, and tribes for programs that assist adolescent girls in attaining financial preparedness. Funding is intended to support programs geared for low-income girls aged 12 to 18 that include academic programs, entrepreneurial programs, employment development, advocacy, and public education. The purpose of the program is to increase readiness to achieve economic wellbeing in the future.

In 2002, the Women's Foundation of Minnesota (WFMN) launched the girlsBEST (girls Building Economic Success Together) fund to support programs that work to ensure the future economic opportunity of girls across Minnesota. Economic opportunity is the underpinning for girls’ equity; it increases their safety, improves their health outcomes; and impacts their access to leadership opportunities. Since its inception, girlsBEST has impacted the economic success and leadership development of 44,000 low-income girls across the state.

Minnesota organizations and groups with girl-driven programs are invited to apply to join the sixth cohort of girlsBEST partners who receive multi-year grants. Funding criteria and eligibility include the following:

  • The WFMN definition of girls includes any young person who identifies as a girl; the program is inclusive of transgender, gender non-conforming, and gender non-binary people
  • Must operate in Minnesota and serve low-income girls in Minnesota
  • Priority is given to programs that focus on low-income girls, girls of color and American Indian girls, girls in Greater and Rural Minnesota, LGBTQ+ youth, and girls with disabilities
  • Must demonstrate a strategic focus on increasing girls’ economic readiness and opportunity
  • Must demonstrate how girls are engaged in all aspects of the program including planning, implementation, and evaluation
  • Programs must serve girls between 12 and 18 years of age

The girlsBEST fund supports programs in four program tracks. Applicants will choose one program track that best describes their work with girls:

  1.  Academic Programs:
    • Programs that help girls stay in school and pursue college and future career goals.
    • Programs that build girls’ financial and economic capacity.
    • School-based programs that help girls excel in math, science, technology, and other subjects in which girls have been underrepresented or excluded.
  2. Entrepreneurial Programs:
    • Programs that teach and support girls in business planning and development.
  3.  Employment Development and High-Paying/High-Skill Careers:

    • Programs that build girls’ employment skills and/or encourage them to seek high-paying and high-skill careers.
  4. Public Education and Advocacy Programs:
    • Programs in which girls organize on issues that impact their economic success, such as access to reproductive and family planning, sexual health, and ending violence.

For further details on girlsBEST programs, see

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 188397

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grants range from $10,000 to $20,000 per year. The average award is $15,000.

Term of Contract:

Grants will be awarded for up to three years of funding, renewable each year based on evidence of satisfactory progress toward goals and outcomes, as follows:

- Year 1: June 15, 2020 through June 14, 2021
- Year 2: June 15, 2021 through June 14, 2022
- Year 3: June 15, 2022 through June 14, 2023

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Minnesota organizations and groups with girl-driven programs are invited to apply. Eligible Programs Include:

- Nonprofit tax-exempt organizations and schools that operate programs in Minnesota
- Unincorporated organizations with a tax-exempt fiscal sponsor
- American Indian Nations

The following activities or groups are not eligible for girlsBEST funding:

- Scholarships to attend college, university, technical or certificate programs
- Projects within religious institutions that do not align with the mission and values of the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
- Retroactive support of projects or activities
- Fundraising events
- Individuals
- Organizations that may be deemed as discriminatory based on race, creed, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression, age, physical or mental ability,veteran status, military obligation, immigration status, and marital status
- An organization that limits or opposes a woman’s right to self-determination
- Reduction of an operating deficit or to liquidate existing debt

Pre-proposal Conference:

A grant information webinar will be held on March 10, 2020, from 2-3 p.m.

Please contact the organizer, Jasmine Sanchez, via email for more information.

Pre-Application Information:


- Online application opens: Feb. 28, 2020
- Grant information webinar: March 10, 2020, 2-3 pm
- Proposals due by 11:59: April 1, 2020
- Applicants selected for site visit will be notified: April 15, 2020
- Site visits conducted in-person with the girlsBEST Grantmaking Committee: May 30, 2020
- Organizations notified of grant status: June 11, 2020
- Evaluation information webinar: July 21, 2020

Your registration will prompt an authentication by WFMN, which should take no more than one business day to complete. Please give yourself time to register ahead of the application deadline.

Contact Information:

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

Online application portal:

For questions and information about this program, or for technical assistance with the application, contact:

Jasmine Sánchez, Program Office & Grants Manager
612-236-1836 (or 888.337.5050 toll free)

Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
105 5th Ave S. – Suite 300
Minneapolis, MN 55401
Toll-Free: 888.337.5010

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota

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