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2016 Grant Awards

4th Quarter 2016 Grant Awards

  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - Early Education Oral Health Improvement Project: $6,640 for  early education programming to provide fluoride varnishing treatments to young children.
  • City of Pine City - Hotel Market Feasibility Study: $2,500 to complete a professional hotel market study in support of a regional or national chain hotel in the Pine City area. 
  • St. Cloud Area School District - Experience Books for Blind/Visually Impaired Children: $2,500 for supplies to help blind/visually-impaired children learn to read by creating storybooks from their own life experiences.
  • Central Minnesota Taskforce on Battered Women - Children Exposed to Violence Initiative: $4,000 to support children who suffer from physical, developmental and psychological effects as a result of exposure to trauma and violence.
  • City of Cambridge - Engaging Business Owners for Downtown Revitalization: $5,000 to evaluate, prioritize and implement Minnesota Design Team recommendations following its April 2016 visit to Cambridge.
  • Prairie Woods Environmental Learning Center - Youth Workforce Development in Brainerd, Sauk Rapids-Rice, St. Joseph and Elk River: $2,500 to support the expansion of the Youth Energy Summit program, an effort to develop S.T.E.M. skills, critical thinking and entrepreneurial strategies to help students develop projects that conserve or generate (renewable) energy.
  • Dreams United/Sueños Unidos - Celebrating the Diversity of Long Prairie Residents: $2,500 to support the 10th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration in Long Prairie--a cultural festival that features diverse cuisine and host local vendors and musicians.
  • Kanabec-Pine Community Health - Flood Recovery Project: $5,000 to help drive donations to the Kanabec County Flood Relief Fund, a program that assists vulnerable individuals and households with needs related to July 2016 flooding.
  • Community Aid of Elk River (CAER) - Car CAER Vehicle Repair: $3,500 to support a vehicle repair program to support income-eligible families in the Elk River area.
  • Goodwill Industries, Inc. - St. Cloud Area Youth Workforce Development: $4,000 to provide classroom and on-the-job training to economically disadvantaged youth.
  • City of Melrose - Area Fire Relief Fund: $5,000 for disaster relief to individuals and businesses affected by a September fire in downtown Melrose that destroyed a number of historic buildings that housed businesses and apartments.
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits - Strengthening Central Minnesota's Nonprofits: $1,100 to provide annual support to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, an organization that provides resources, training and information to help nonprofits operate efficiently and reach their goals.
  • Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation - Talent and Innovation Summit: $5,000 to provide sponsorship for the 2016 Innovation Summit, an event highlighting innovative events and activities happening in and around the Greater St. Cloud area.
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe - Leech Lake Area YouthBuild Program: $5,000 to support program costs associated with Leech Lake Area YouthBuild construction training program.
  • All Parks Alliance for Change - Support for Affordable Housing: $3,000 to train and educate policy makers and residents of manufactured home parks to ensure that these communities are recognized and preserved as an affordable housing option in Minnesota. 
  • Hands Across the World - Take Ten Program - Crucial Conversations in Greater St. Cloud: $4,000 to fund proactive conversations with students that are aimed at preventing bullying and reducing racial tensions in schools.
  • Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, Inc. - Kids-Packs-to-Go Backpack Program: $2,500 to provide approximately 15,795 nutritious food packs to children who are at risk of going hungry during long weekends and school vacations. 
  • City of Wahkon - Feasibility Study for Veterans Park: $2,500 to complete a professional analysis of the city's Veterans Park project, including: preliminary drawings, cost estimates and solutions for restoring the area's natural vegetation.
  • Someplace Safe - Wadena Advocacy Program Support: $2,500 to provide individuals and families victimized by crime and abuse with support services such as temporary housing, food and clothing.
  • Eden Valley Area Library - Strategic Planning: $1,200 to support a community-driven strategic planning process to improve library services.
  • Wellness in the Woods, Inc. - Central Minnesota Peer Respite Program: $4,000 to support a pilot program to train and employ 10-12 Central Minnesota peer recovery specialists to support and advise individuals experiencing mental health crises.
  • City of Crosslake - Design Team Implementation Project: $2,500 to implement prioritized community development projects recommended by the Minnesota Design Team.
  • Open Doors For Youth - Elk River Area Connections Program: $4,000 to help homeless youth and link them to educational, employment, health and housing support services.
  • Hands Across the World - Support for New Americans in Greater St. Cloud: $1,000 to support programs which help new Americans learn English, explore educational opportunities, gain job skills and integrate into the Greater St. Cloud community. This award is made to honor the service of Linda Eich DesJardins as a member of the Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees, including her role as past board chair (2007-2016).
  • Central Lakes College Foundation - Scholarship for Native American Students: $1,000 to provide scholarship support to advance the education of a Native American student enrolled at Central Lakes College. This gift is made in recognition of the service of John J. Babcock as a member of the Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees (2014-2016). 
  • Staples Motley Beyond Poverty - Circle of Support Project: $3,000 in general operating support for the "Not on My Block" methamphetamine forum and community connection day.
  • Community Grassroots Solutions - Informational Sessions Connecting Programs/Services to the Community: $5,000 to support informational sessions in St. Cloud that build the capacity of Somali women who are interested in full- or part-time employment.
  • Brainerd Housing & Redevelopment Authority - Brainerd Riverfront Business Plan: $5,000 to support the development of recreational access and amenities along the Brainerd riverfront.
  • Little Falls School District - Weekend Food Backpack Program: $2,500 to provide nutritious food packs to about 50 children who are at risk of hunger during long weekends and school vacations. 
  • City of Montrose - Economic and Community Development Planning: $2,000 to update Montrose's comprehensive development plan by gathering community input on quality of life and economic development opportunities.
  • Big Lake Community Food Shelf, Inc. - Big Lake Community Food Shelf Space Expansion Project: $2,500 to support the planned relocation of the Big Lake community food shelf to a larger and more efficient space.
  • University of St. Thomas - Institute for Executive Director Leadership: $5,000 to underwrite scholarships for Central Minnesota nonprofit leaders to attend the St. Thomas Institute for Executive Leadership.
  • Staples Economic Development Authority - Staples Comprehensive Plan: $2,500 to facilitate community discussions centered on the creation of a new city development plan.
  • Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Education Association - Brainerd Downtown Business Competition: $5,000 to aid in the revitalization of downtown Brainerd through the creation of a business competition.
  • Service Corps of Retired Executives (Central Minnesota Chapter) - Central Minnesota Score Education & Outreach Project: $3,000 to develop comprehensive marketing, social media and training seminars for Central Minnesota small businesses.
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud - Transitional Housing: $5,000 to support the efforts of Domus, a program which supports women and children as they transition from chemical dependency treatment centers, mental health care facilities, domestic abuse shelters and homeless shelters. 
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud - Strengthening Families in Mille Lacs County: $5,000 to support cross-cultural community engagement and education while supporting paths to individual, family and community resilience.
  • Isanti County - Isanti County Trail and Bikeway Master Plan: $5,000 to retain a consultant and collect community input on a master plan to develop an interconnected trail system.
  • Minnesota Council on Foundations - Annual Support: $5,850 to provide annual support to the Minnesota Council on Foundations, a statewide affinity group which provides resources, training and information to help nonprofits excel.
  • Morrison County - Literacy Kits for Families: $3,000 to provide early literacy kits to families with young children to encourage reading and increase parental engagement.
  • Wright County Community Action, Inc. - Raising a Reader Program: $5,000 to develop a research-based literacy program designed to increase school readiness and parent-child bonding opportunities by creating a culture of literacy in the home.  
  • Greater Twin Cities United Way - Start Early Funders Coalition Supportive Funding - 2017: $1,000 to provide annual support to this 26-member philanthropic coalition that provides funding, research, program development, public policy and grant-making to support and improve early childhood efforts in Minnesota.
  • Wadena County - Early Childhood Coalition: $7,345 for families with young children to learn about the lifelong significance of early childhood care, education and consistent parental engagement.
  • Pre-K through Grade 3 Alignment Efforts:
    • St. Cloud Milestones: $7,500 to plan and coordinate family engagement events that will bring together professionals and families to discuss opportunities, challenges and strategies for implementing stronger family engagement.
    • Monticello School District: $2,500 to coordinate a birth to age 8 system to educate families about the importance of teaching children early through reading, language experiences and exposure to various opportunities.
    • Pierz School District: $3,150 to support a collaborative teacher effort to decrease the need for special education services and shrink the achievement gap by improving mathematical skills and increasing reading abilities.
    • Pine City School District: $1,500 for school personnel and community partners to attend the Pre-K- through Grade 3 Leadership Institute to improve school readiness and align educational policies and practices.
    • Cambridge Isanti School District:  $2,500 to increase parent engagement by purchasing and distributing learning materials that support literacy and healthy social emotional development.  
    • Rocori School District: $2,500 to support the efforts of the First School On-Line program, a module-based program that increases the capacity of educators to align literacy techniques and engagement across grade levels.
    • Wadena-Deer Creek School District: $2,500 for attendance at curriculum alignment sessions designed to facilitate a smooth transition for children from pre-kindergarten to kindergarten.
  • City of Milaca - Preparing for Natural Disasters: $2,000 to develop a plan and coordinate disaster response professionals, nonprofits, service clubs and faith communities to provide immediate and long-term relief in the event of fire, flood, tornado or other disaster.
  • Financial Resiliency Through Social Enterprise 2.0 Participants: 
    • Helping Hands Outreach: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
    • Paws & Claws Animal Shelter: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
    • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Central Lakes College Foundation - Small Business Technical Assistance Support: $10,000 to provide trained consultants who will offer one-on-one sessions to help guide small business owners in business planning, financial projections, marketing consultation and other technical assistance.
  • Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corp (BLAEDC) - Workforce Attraction Website Update: $10,000 help the Brainerd Lakes Area Development Corporation redesign its website and use live-feed data and social media marketing to better meet the mission of attracting workforce and new business to their region.
  • Economic Development Partnership of Wright County - Wright County Commercial Broker Event: $2,500 to build awareness of business startup and expansion opportunities in their region.

3rd Quarter 2016 Grant Awards

  • Princeton School District - Early Childhood Preventative Dental Services: $3,000 to provide dental education and fluoride varnishing at all Princeton Early Childhood screening events family nights and the early childhood fair.
  • Mille Lacs Health System - Cavity Free Little Panthers in Onamia: $8,500 to provide an oral health screening in conjunction with the early childhood screenings, including fluoride varnish. 
  • Mille Lacs County - Mille Lacs County Public Health Cavity Free Birth to Five: $10,000 to improve access to preventative dental health care using fluoride varnish at school and other screenings provided by Mille Lacs County Public Health nurses.
  • Isle School District - Dental Awareness in Isle Early Childhood: $1,500 to purchase fluoride varnish and retain a dental provider to provide treatment up to four times in the school year to enrolled children ages 0-5. 
  • College-Link - New American Students Connect to Higher Education in Greater St. Cloud: $5,000 to support high school students interested in obtaining a college or university degree. This work includes practical assistance with test preparation, admission application(s), financial aid, etc. 
  • St. Cloud State University Foundation - Memorial for Dr. Earl Potter: $1,000 in remembrance of exceptional service to the Initiative Foundation in his capacity as a trustee (2007-2016), to the university and to our region.
  • Southwest Initiative Foundation - Sponsorship of Minnesota Council of Foundations: $416 to support the Jan. 19-20, 2017, annual conference, "Philanthropy in Action," at the Radison Blu in Minneapolis.  
  • Funders Network for Smart Growth & Livable Communities: $5,000 to sponsor the 2017 National Conference in St. Paul. This sponsorship is a combined contribution from each of the six Initiative Foundations which serve all of Greater Minnesota.
  • New Hampshire Charitable Foundation - Community Foundation's Opportunity Network: $2,500 to sponsor coordination and logistical support for this national affinity group seeking to build social capital in under-served communities.  
  • United Way of Central Minnesota - Better Together - Feeding Greater St. Cloud: $5,000 to support engagement across communities, neighborhoods and cultures while preparing meals for food shelves, charities and community groups that serve individuals experiencing food insecurity throughout Central Minnesota.
  • Central Minnesota Jobs & Training - Community Economic Development Strategy for Benton, Sherburne, Stearns and Wright Counties: $7,000 to retain professional expertise and engage the public in updating the U.S. Economic Development Authority reviewed five-year plan.  
  • Amherst Wilder Foundation - Minnesota Compass Support: $4,000 to maintain and enhance Minnesota Compass (www.mncompass.org), a website which presents summary statistics, and tracks and analyzes trends in areas that affect the quality of life in Greater Minnesota.  
  • Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation - Sponsorship of Manufacturing Tour of Greater St. Cloud: $2,000 to support coordination and promotion of the Oct. 8 St. Cloud Area Tour of Manufacturing events and activities.
  • Big Lake School District - Big Lake Early Childhood Coalition: $7,000 to increase literacy-rich opportunities for families with young children, especially those living in poverty.
  • Morrison County United Way - Dolly Parton Imagination Library: $4,000 to support the distribution of Imagination Library books to children from birth to 5 years old; intended to support school readiness by encouraging families to read with their young children.
  • Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota - Emergency Child Care - Benton and Stearns: $4,000 to provide 300 income-eligible children a safe and temporary place to go when their parent/caregiver is dealing with a crisis.
  • Foley School District - PreK-Grade 3 Alignment: $2,350 to align Parent Aware-approved preschool cirriculum with current Kindergarten through Grade 3 programs. 
  • Pine River-Backus School District - PreK-Grade 3 Alignment: $1,300 to increase quality and continuity of education within the PreK-3rd Grade time frame, designed to support staff in forming relationships and collaborations that will help children develop the skills needed to succeed in school.
  • Pine City School District - PreK-Grade 3 Alignment: $2,350 to increase coordination and collaboration between professionals in both the private and public sectors of Pre-K to Grade 3 education and care, designed to align educational standards, literacy plans and professional development opportunities.
  • Brainerd School District - PreK-Grade 3 Alignment: $2,350 to provide training to preschool and child care providers on a Parent Aware-approved early childhood assessment tool to asses school readiness.
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - PreK-Grade 3 Alignment: $2,350 to support planning and implementation of the PreK-Grade 3 collaboration between Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Isle and Onamia School Districts and Nay Ah Shing School.
  • City of Sandstone - Thriving Communities Implementation Project: $10,000 to carry out projects developed though the Thriving Communities Initiative program, including: expanding Arts in the Park; school and community youth events and training; an analysis of a historic downtown building; and a wayfinding project to better identify community amenities for residents and visitors.
  • City of Fifty Lakes - GoNorth Thriving Communities Initiative: $10,000 to support goals developed through the GoNorth Thriving Communities Initiative process that includes Emily, Fifty Lakes, and three adjacent townships.
  • LEAP, Inc. - Staples Thriving Communities Implementation: $10,000 for the following projects: housing; encouraging entrepreneurship; small business expansion and formation;  improving community amenities; and creating a skilled workforce.
  • City of Staples - Disaster Preparedness Project: $4,000 to plan and install backup generation capacity for the emergency response center as part of the long-term recovery team project.
  • Sherburne County - Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy: $7,000 to update the 2013 Region 7W Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) so that the four-county region can maintain eligibility for grant funds from the Federal Department of Commerce while maintaining a common economic development strategy that will benefit all participants in the process.
  • Gateway Institute for Research and Development - Business Planning for Somali Entrepreneurs in St. Cloud: $5,000 to provide an introduction to key skills and resources for New Americans interested in starting or expanding businesses. 
  • BestPrep - Entrepreneurial Training for Youth in Greater St. Cloud: $3,000 to provide scholarships to a residential summer entrepreneurship program hosted at St. Cloud State University and Saint John's University for Central Minnesota high school students.
  • City of Sartell - Update Development Plan for Heavy Development Zone: $7,000 to support public input and professional land-use guidance for heavy industrial-zoned land within the city.  
  • Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council - Immigrant-Workforce Connections for Greater St. Cloud: $5,000 to support training for employers interested in hiring new Americans plus assistance for immigrants seeking employment opportunities. 
  • Northern Technology Initiative dba GPS 45:93 - Economic Development Strategic Plan for East Central Minnesota: $2,500 to retain an economic development consultant for the development of a strategic plan that identifies opportunities to create and/or retain quality jobs align GPS 45:93 resources with the structure needed to achieve measurable progress. 

2nd Quarter 2016 Grant Awards

  • New Pathways, Inc. - Shelter and Support Services in Central Minnesota: $5,000 to provide shelter and support services to homeless children and families in Central Minnesota.
  • Boys & Girls Club of the Leech Lake Area - Cass Lake Boys & Girls Club Career Launch Program: $5,000 to support the Career Launch program that provides essential tools and skills to better prepare youth to obtain future employment.
  • The Yes Network - St. Cloud Yes Network: $4,000 to support the 'Future Search' facilitated communal dialogue in five St. Cloud low-income neighborhoods, aimed at empowering residents to collectively work to achieve shared goals to improve their communities.
  • MInnesota Council on Foundations - Minnesota Food Funders Network: $1,000 to provide administrative support for a group of funding partners interesting in helping support family-owned farms, sustainable agriculture and healthy food systems.
  • International Mountain Bicycling Association - Trail Development in Cuyuna Range: $5,000 to develop new trails in the Cuyuna Recreational Area to support area youth and economic development.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota - Youth Mentoring in St. Cloud Area: $5,000 to provide mentoring opportunities between youth and adults in Central Minnesota with a special focus on youth residing in low-income, single-parent homes.
  • Cuyuna Range Youth Center - Youth Development in Crosby: $5,000 to deliver an after school program which provides activities and a safe space for area youth.
  • Cornerstones Center, Inc. - Capacity-Building: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Kinship Partners, Inc. - Pathways to Mentoring: $5,000 to support school-based youth mentoring programs and follow-up community-based mentoring in Crosby, Pequot Lakes, Staples/Motley and Pillager schools in 2016.
  • Minnesota Assistance Council for Veterans - Greater St. Cloud Veterans and Families: $2,500 to provide direct assistance to at least 225 veterans and their families.
  • College Possible - College Access and Support for Income-Eligible Students: $5,000 to support programming to help eligible high school students prepare and apply for college and persist through to graduation once they are accepted.
  • Mid-Minnesota Women's Center, Inc. - Brainerd Lakes Area: $5,000 to support training in crisis intervention work skills for Center and partner organization staff.
  • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance - Leech Lake Reservation Workforce Training: $5,000 to help two tribal members obtain their "Registered Unlicensed Electrician" certification so they can assist in the installation of solar panels at the Leech Lake Tribal College. The Legislative Citizens' Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) has awarded $490,000 to support the capital expenses associated with this project.
  • Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest - Growing Entrepreneurs in Stearns County: $5,000 to expand programing into five new schools: Albany, Avon, Sartell, St. Joseph and Sauk Rapids. Funds will be used to support operations, enhance networks and build new partnerships with local community leaders.
  • Saint Cloud Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation - High School Mentors: $4,000 to support 80-hour internships for students of color to gain workforce experience and explore career opportunities. 
  • Higher Ground Church - Greater St. Cloud Summer Learning Program for Vulnerable Children: $1,500 to explore community engagement, the arts and higher education through a healthy, safe and interactive learning environment while providing quality care and educational programming.
  • Community Giving - Grassroots Leadership Program Support: $5,000 to deliver a series of civic leadership and engagement workshops that support people of color living and/or working in the St. Cloud area.
  • Green Card Voices - Stories from the New American Community in Greater St. Cloud: $5,000 through the creation of a series of videos featuring local immigrants and/or refugees to enhance cultural awareness and create more welcoming communities.
  • Chisago County EDA - ABC Competition Project: $4,000 to support the coordination and evaluation of the next phase of the National ABC Community Development Process for the cities of Taylors Falls, Shafer, Center City, LIndstrom and Chisago Lakes. 
  • Employment Enterprises, Inc. - Morrison County Glass Recycling Program Improvements: $4,000 to help streamline a glass recycling program to increase efficiency, effectiveness and safety and to provide jobs for adults with disabilities.
  • Arc Midstate - Advancing Skills & Leadership in Person-Centered Planning: $3,500 to support Arc's efforts to become a 'go-to' training resource for organizations developing person-centered approaches to service delivery for people with disabilities.
  • City of Big Lake - Housing and Comprehensive Plan Update: $4,000 to retain a consultant, conduct research and solicit public input for a housing feasibility study and action plan and subsequently update the city's Comprehensive Plan to support affordable and workforce housing.
  • Hackensack Senior Citizens Center, Inc. - Strategic Planning and Community Engagement: $2,500 to support engagement of service recipients and the broader community to update the center's strategic plan and business model.
  • Saint Cloud State University - SCRUBS Camp for Health Care Careers: $5,000 to support a collaboration with St. Cloud Technical and Community College and area high schools to provide students an opportunity to explore career options.  
  • Second Harvest Heartland - CentraCare Food Support for Greater St. Cloud: $4,000 to connect income-eligible St. Cloud-area patients living with diabetes and/or heart disease to healthy food as a means to reduce hunger, increase health and reduce care costs.
  • Leech Lake Financial Services - Business Assistance/Financial Literacy Intern: $4,000 to provide general operating support to retain a finance/business summer intern to assist with origination and underwriting of business and consumer loans and to support clients via the Credit Building Loan Program designed to help residents gain greater access to conventional banking services.
  • City of Saint Cloud - Development of River Walk Master Plan: $5,000 to secure consulting, planning and engineering services to develop a physical design and to support construction for enhanced public access along the Mississippi River, connecting downtown St. Cloud, Hester Park and the Lake Wobegon Trail.
  • Pine River-Backus School District - Structural Analysis for Solar Schools Project: $2,000 for structural and equipment analysis needed to assess and configure a solar panel project proposed for the school.  
  • Quality Innovations & Resources Corporation - Parenting the Love and Logic Way: $2,500 to provide and market "Parenting the Love and Logic Way" classes to offer healthy, natural-consequence teaching opportunities.
  • Pine City School District - Pine City Area Early Childhood Coalition Strategic Planning: $1,500 to develop an updated strategic plan and subsequent action plan that will represent the needs of children birth to age 5 in Pine City.
  • Essentia Health Foundation - Reach Out and Read - Brainerd Lakes Area: $2,750 to increase engagement of parents and children in early literacy through interactions with health care providers through Reach Out and Read—a program that trains and supports medical staff who provide books to children and offer parents advice about the importance of reading to their children.
  • Pine River-Backus School District - Pine River-Backus Early Childhood Coalition: $8,500 To develop an updated strategic plan that will represent the needs of children birth to age 5 in the Pine River-Backus area. The grant will support Love and Logic parenting classes; community events for families with young children; and increase parent engagement and planning to align the PreK-Grade 3 system to enhance kindergarten readiness and reading levels by the third grade.
  • Saint Cloud State University - Thrive Early Childhood Coalition: $10,000 to address the social and emotional needs of young children by building strong collaborations with organizations that serve immigrant and refugee populations; coordinating co-learning events with immigrant/refugee families and early childhood professionals; and to survey the community and update/reformat a resource directory for parents with young children.
  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe - PreK-Grade 3 Alignment: $2,350 to support ongoing planning and implementation of the PreK-Grade 3 strategy work in collaboration with the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Isle and Onamia school districts and Nay Ah Shing School.
  • Saint Cloud Neighborhood Coalition - Creating Welcoming and Viable Neighborhoods: $20,000 to work with up to 10 core neighborhoods to do neighborhood cleanups; build connections between homeowners and renters; and work with the city to host neighborhood gatherings to address positive crime prevention and ordinance enforcement.  
  • Camp Vanasek, Inc. - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 To conduct a business planning process and advance goals developed during participation in the Initiative Foundation's Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Koronis Lake Association - Starry Stonewort Management Project in Stearns County: $50,000 to support experimental management designed to control and contain a Starry Stonewort infestation of Koronis Lake. This grant is supported by funds provided by the Outdoor Heritage Council as recommended by the Minnesota Legislature.

1st Quarter 2016 Grant Awards

  • Central Lakes College Foundation - Diversity in the Dental Workforce in Central Minnesota: $45,000 to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of students working towards dental careers in Central Minnesota. Learn more ...
  • St. Cloud Technical and Community College - Diversity in the Dental Workforce in Central Minnesota: $45,000 to increase the racial and ethnic diversity of students working towards dental careers in Central Minnesota. Learn more ...
  • Lakes Area Restorative Justice Project - Crow Wing County Safer Saner Schools Project: $4,000 to grow the Safer Saner Schools project that uses restorative practices to address negative behaviors and increase student engagement and success.
  • Cloverleaf Youth Partnership dba Cyber Cafe - Wadena Area Youth Programming: $2,500 to support art and computer coding classes for area teens to promote positive, constructive out-of-school activities.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota - St. Cloud Area Youth Employment Program: $5,000 to deliver Career Launch program, designed to empower youth in gaining skills in order to obtain future employment.
  • University of St. Thomas - Nonprofit Leadership Development in Central Minnesota: $5,000 to provide scholarships for up to five participants from Central Minnesota to attend nonprofit leadership training.
  • Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers - Services for Seniors: $5,000 to support services that enable seniors and adults with disabilities to remain living in homes of their choosing.
  • A Place for You - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Saint Cloud State University - Development of Cyber Security Education Partnership: $5,000 to support the creation of a statewide cyber security initiative to educate and train qualified professionals from higher education, industry and government.
  • Family Pathways - Backpack Food Program for Isle Elementary: $3,500 to provide supplemental food packs to about 50 children who are at risk of hunger during weekends and school breaks to improve school performance and reduce behavioral and health issue related to insufficient nutrition.
  • Bridges of Hope - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest - Connecting Youth to Morrison County Leaders: $3,500 to support local educators whose mission is to prepare students to be successful adults. The program will reach 750 Morrison County students during the 2015-2016 school year.
  • Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota - Leadership Opportunities for St. Cloud Talahi Families: $5,000 to provide supportive services, enhance economic stability and cultivate leadership opportunities for up to 75 program participants/families.
  • Chisago County Economic Development Authority - Renewable Energy Options: $5,000 to support energy audits, technical assistance and financing options to provide access to energy conservation and solar power options for nonprofit, private and public sector partners.
  • Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation - Economic Recovery from Madelia Fire: $2,000 to support community and economic recovery efforts from the fire which devastated the commercial district of Madelia in early February.
  • Wadena-Deer Creek School District - FIRST Robotics: $1,000 to provide a challenge grant to help secure private sector sponsors for the district's robotics team.
  • Community Giving - Conversation on Race: $5,000 to bring together diverse members of the Greater St. Cloud community to discuss issues of racism and encourage a united call to action to create a welcoming community.
  • Helping Hands Outreach, Holdingford - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Unity Family Healthcare - Community Health Needs Assessment: $1,000 to support a community survey and stakeholder interviews with residents of Morrison, Todd and Wadena Counties to explore healthcare needs and opportunities.
  • Faith In Action for Cass County - Capacity Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better seve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Great River Family Promise - Capacity Building Support for Elk River Nonprofit: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Mid-Minnesota Women's Center, Inc., Brainerd - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Paradise Community Theatre Association, Inc., Mora - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • CentraCare Health Foundation - Greatest Needs Fund: $500 in recognition and honor of the 5 Under 40 program and its 2015 award winners.
  • Seven County Senior Federation, Mora - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so that they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Tusen Tack, Braham - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts so they may better serve their community and fulfill their charitable purpose.
  • Big Lake Backpack Buddies - Backpack Food Program for Youth: $2,500 to provide supplemental food packs for more than 200 students who are at risk of hunger during weekends and school breaks to improve school performance and reduce behavioral and health issue related to insufficient nutrition.
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits - Greater Minnesota Nonprofit Summit in St. Cloud: $1,500 to bring together Central Minnesota nonprofits on May 5 at River's Edge Convention Center to provide training and resources.
  • Child Care Choices, Inc. - Caring for a Lifetime Learning Event: $1,000 to support a one-day educational event for more than 300 self-employed family childcare providers, small business owners and childcare centers.
  • Princeton School District - Princeton Area Early Childhood Coalition: $7,000 to expand family outreach, increase learning opportunities and to organize a Princeton Early Childhood Fair.
  • Wadena County - Wadena County Early Childhood Coalition: $1,585 to support an updated strategic plan to support the needs of child from birth to age 5 in Wadena County.
  • Big Lake School District - Big Lake Area Early Childhood Coalition: $2,200 for a community strategic planning process designed to begin a new early childhood coalition in the Big Lake area with a goal of benefitting young children and their families.
  • Freshwater Education District - Reading for the Future: $3,000 to support a Staples-area literacy project that will distribute books three times a year to 500 children from birth to age 5.
  • Brainerd School District - Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition: $15,000 to continue "Cradle to Career" work to address the social-emotional needs of children, birth to age 5. Goals include Adverse Childhood Experiences training; merging Inside-Out Connections and Early Childhood Coalition initiatives; expanding a pre-kindergarten assessment tool to other community early learning providers; and offering Love and Logic parenting classes.
  • Staples Economic Development Authority - Housing Study: $3,250 to complete an assessment of new and rehabilitated housing opportunities.
  • Rockville Area Sportsmans Club - Public Service Recognition Project: $1,000 to recognize past and current community members who served in the military or emergency services and to foster a culture of public service.
  • Rush City - Thriving Communities Initiative Implementation: $10,000 to enhance a Shop Local campaign; promote events through technology; increase community educational offerings; and raise funds for a community LED sign to enhance communication with citizens.
  • Little Falls - Thriving Communities Initiative: $10,000 to carry out community projects identified through the Little Falls Town 101 Thriving Communities Initiative process. Projects include making the industrial park shovel ready; tourism marketing; implementing an initiative to retain and attract downtown businesses; supporting a youth/business mentorship program; and using city park space to grow local foods.
  • Birthline, Inc. - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity-building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • Community Grassroots Solutions - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity-building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • Helping Hands Outreach - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity-building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • Oasis Central Minnesota, Inc. - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity-building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • Open Doors for Youth - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • Opportunity Matters, Inc. - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • Salem Lutheran Church - Online Learning Beta Testing Grant: $1,000 to support nonprofit capacity-building efforts and beta testing of ifoundtraining.org, an online learning tool of the Initiative Foundation.
  • A Place for You - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 for the development of a business plan to advance goals developed during participation in the Initiative Foundation's Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Bridges of Hope - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 for the development of a business plan to advance goals developed during participation in the Initiative Foundation's Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Clearwater-Clear Lake Food Shelf - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Todd County Developmental Achievement Center, Inc. - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Brainerd Restoration - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Central Minnesota Jobs & Training, Monticello - Capacity-Building: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Children's Day Montessori, Inc. - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Community Grassroots Solutions - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Salem Lutheran Church - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Isanti County Historical Society - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 for the development of a business plan to advance goals established during participation in the Initiative Foundation's Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Morrison County Animal Humane Society - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 for the development of a business plan to advance goals established during participation in the Initiative Foundation's Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Oasis Central Minnesota, Inc. - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 for the development of a business plan to advance goals establshed during participation in the Initiative Foundation's Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • RiverWorks - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise Program Participation: $7,500 To conduct a thorough business planning process and advance goals developed during participation in the TOP Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program,
  • Brainerd Baxter Youth Center - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Leech Lake Area Watershed Foundation - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Kinship of Morrison County - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Rivers of Hope - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Eradicating Achievement Gap & Learning Empowerment, Inc. - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Central Minnesota Taskforce on Battered Women - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Community Aid of Elk River (CAER) - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Great River Arts Association - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Let's Go Fishing - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Paul Bunyan Arboretum - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Pearl Crisis Center - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • PORT of Crow Wing County, Inc. - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Ski Gull, Inc. - Capacity-Building Support: $4,000 to support capacity-building efforts to better serve the community and fulfill the organization's charitable purpose.
  • Crow Wing County - Wakeboarder Outreach Campaign: $67,588 to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) through a media campaign that targets younger recreationalists. Learn more ...
  • Kandiyohi County - Centralized Inspection and Decontamination Station: $48,000 to support a centralized site where boaters can book an appointment to have their watercraft inspected for aquatic invasive species. Learn more ...
  • Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District - Enhanced Skills Development for Aquatic Invasive Species Program: $17,769 to train aquatic invasive species (AIS) inspectors in conflict resolution, techniques to de-escalate confrontations and basic precepts in lake science and ecology. Learn more ...
  • Wildlife Forever - Multimedia Access and Signage Project: $37,760 to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species (AIS) by the use of geo-fencing (pushing messages to smart phones within a defined geographic area) to share best practices, locations of decontamination or inspection services and other resources. Learn more ...
  • Anderson Center - Scholarships for Executive Training: $10,000 to increase accessibility to training that supports new and expanding businesses.
  • Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation - Downtown Business Improvement District: $7,000 to explore the creation of a business improvement district and to assess the structure, function and efficiencies of the St. Cloud Downtown Council and Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation.
  • Central Lakes College Foundation - Growth Curve Specialist Certification: $1,000 to learn about tools that improve profits, performance and productivity that will help companies develop leadership skills, identify root causes of critical issues and execute on growth initiatives.
  • Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation - Support for Regional Economic Development: $7,500 to renew annual commitment to this investor-supported organization of community leaders dedicated to enhancing and expanding St. Cloud area economic opportunities.

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