Grantmaking is a key role of community foundations like Southwest Initiative Foundation.
Most of our grants are awarded through our more than 120 fund partners, which have their own grant application guidelines. If you have a fund in your area, it may be a resource for you.
We can award grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, government agencies and projects that use one of these entities as a fiscal partner. We don’t award grants to individuals or to start a business. Instead, entrepreneurs can talk to our loan team. If the business plan seems like it could be a fit for Southwest Initiative Foundation, our loan team will help you apply for financing.Fill out the grant pre-application questionnaire
This grant provides emergency assistance for education agencies and services that have been impacted by the pandemic. Wrap around services, a system of care management which supports children in all aspects of life, are one of many education services that the GEER Fund supports. Funding from this grant can help cover mental health services and supports, supplemental after-school programs, distance learning programs and social, emotional and physical health supports.
Additional allowable uses include training and development to more effectively operate during the pandemic, or other activities that are necessary to maintain the operation of and continuity of services in early care and education. Applicants must serve children birth to age eight from historically underserved populations. Reporting information will be required and will include:
- Number of children (ages 0-8) impacted
- Number of parents and/or caregivers impacted
- List of populations served
- Lessons learned
- Funds leveraged
- List of partners and collaborators
Southwest Initiative Foundation received funding to support youth ages 0 to 24 years old in communities disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis, specifically for those that have faced historic racial discrimination.
Our vision is for southwest Minnesota to be a place where all people thrive. We believe that dignity and belonging are core human values, and we will work together with communities to address the systems and barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential. At a time of division and uncertainty, we must lead with our organizational values of equity, collaboration, integrity, curiosity and optimism to help ensure a safe and better future for all.
Grant awards of up to $1,500 will support individuals through:
- Telehealth services
- Mental health support
- Technology for education
- Personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Other COVID-19 related expenses
Applicant, or their guardian, must articulate of the impact COVID-19 has had on their life/livelihood (a description of COVID-19 crisis/nature of need). Priority will be given to BIPOC youth living in Priority will be given to BIPOC youth living in SWIF’s southwest Minnesota region, which includes 18 counties and two Native nations. Applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.
- Eligible expenses can be incurred between September 1 – December 30, 2020.
- Receipts must be submitted with your application. (If this is not possible, please provide the extenuating circumstance in the upload area. Follow up review will be necessary)
- Upon approval, recipients will be mailed a check for the award amount.
- One award per household will be available unless additional funds become available.
COVID-19 resources for nonprofits
- Propel Nonprofits COVID-19 resources for nonprofits
- Find out about loans available to nonprofits in the CARES Act
- Minnesota Council of Nonprofits – COVID-19: What Nonprofits need to know
- SBA Disaster Assistance Loan Application – Nonprofits are eligible to apply
- Otto Bremer Trust Emergency Fund – For nonprofits and local governments
- Spring Board for the Arts Emergency Relief Fund – For artists and communities
If your nonprofit or community is experiencing a need we should know about, please contact Nancy Fasching.