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2017 Grant Awards

2nd Quarter 2017 Grant Awards

  • Princeton School District - Early Childhood Preventive Dental Services: $1,500 to support early childhood dental screenings to improve kindergarten readiness and promote positive health and developmental outcomes.
  • Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota - Career Development Program: $5,000 to provide a range of services to help club members explore career opportunities and develop skills essential for workforce success.
  • Kimball Area School District - Robotics Program: $2,000 to support participation of adult chaperones in the Kimball Robotics Club participation in national competition.
  • Great River Family Promise - Board and Staff Development: $1,500 to support staff and board training to maximize service delivery while positioning the organization for greater sustainability in Elk River.
  • Wright County Community Action, Inc. - Staff Development: $2,500 to support staff development initiatives that foster a positive, inclusive culture and increase staff retention and engagement while improving customer service.
  • Sherburne County Area United Way - Issue-Focused Training: $5000 to support a planning process to align with United Way’s worldwide issue-focused standards.
  • Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota - St. Cloud Neighborhood Development: $5,000 to improve efficiency and effectiveness through board and staff development in the areas of fund development, volunteer coordination and data management to better serve disadvantaged youth in the greater St. Cloud area.
  • The Yes Network – I Have a Dream: $5,000 to support the “I Have a Dream” program that provides intensive support to 35 elementary students and their families to improve long-term physical and mental health outcomes.
  • Foundation for Essential Needs - Central Minnesota Food Shelves: $5,000 to support the expansion of FFEN's capacity-building work to help Central Minnesota food shelves provide more and better services while positioning themselves for greater sustainability in Cass, Crow Wing, Kanabec and Mille Lacs counties.
  • Minnesota Planned Giving Council - Sustainability for Central MN Nonprofits Through Planned Giving: $2,500 for under-served nonprofit professionals in Central Minnesota to learn about and engage in planned-giving discussions to increase their financial sustainability.
  • City of Wahkon - Veterans Park Feasibility Study: $2,500 to complete a project analysis that includes preliminary drawings, cost estimates and solutions to restore natural shoreline vegetation at the new park location.
  • Enterprise Minnesota, Inc. - The 2017 State of Manufacturing: $1,500 to support the May 2017 State of Manufacturing briefing and tour of the Integrated Science and Engineering Laboratory Facility (ISELF) at St. Cloud State University.
  • Saint Cloud Area School District - Play Area for Pre-School Children: $2,000 to provide a Dramatic Play Area at Talahi School to serve 3- and 4-year-olds. The play area is designed to offer hands-on learning opportunities such as planting a seed, nurturing it and harvesting the vegetables.
  • St. Cloud State University - Opening Doors and Building Bridges: $10,000 to address the social and emotional needs of young children in the greater St. Cloud area through collaborations with organizations that serve immigrant and refugee populations. Funding will support two co-learning events that bring together immigrant and refugee families and early childhood professionals along with community training about healthy social and emotional development.
  • Crow Wing County United Way, Inc. - Imagination Library: $4,000 to support the distribution of Imagination Library books to children birth to 5 years old to support school readiness and to encourage families to read with their young children.
  • Licensed Family Child Care Association of Morrison County - Home-Based Preschool Literacy Project: $3,000 to provide early literacy kits to families with young children to increase at-home reading.
  • Chisago County EDA - Chisago County Affordable Housing Study: $2,500 to develop a feasibility study and action plan to create the type of housing and financing needed to attract and retain skilled workers, provide an affordable option and keep seniors close to home.
  • City of Melrose - Housing Study: $3,250 to support a city housing study—one of the more significant barriers to attracting and retaining workers and young families following a September 2016 downtown fire that destroyed an entire city block.
  • Central Minnesota Jobs and Training Services, Inc. - Financial Resiliency Program Participation: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in Round Six of the Initiative Foundation’s Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Happy Dancing Turtle - Financial Resiliency Program Participation: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in Round Six of the Initiative Foundation’s Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • STEP - Financial Resiliency Program Participation: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in Round Six of the Initiative Foundation’s Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Tri-County Community Action, Inc. - Financial Resiliency Program Participation: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in Round Six of the Initiative Foundation’s Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Flight Expo, Inc. - Financial Resiliency Program Participation: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in Round Six of the Initiative Foundation’s Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Big Lake Community Food Shelf, Inc. - Financial Resiliency Program Participation: $5,000 to advance goals developed through participation in Round Six of the Initiative Foundation’s Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise program.
  • Carnelian-Marine-St. Croix Watershed District - Rapid Response to Aquatic Invasive Species: $10,400 to employ a new treatment protocol to maintain herbicide concentration at the level required to kill Eurasian watermilfoil, an aquatic invasive species. This project is funded with grant support from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
  • Wildlife Forever - Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species: $126,400 to Wildlife Forever to deploy with its partners a self-contained, vandal-resistant cleaning station prototype to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. This project is funded with grant support from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
  • National Park Service Voyageurs National Park - Restoration of Wetlands Impaired by Invasive Cattails: $120,000 to support prevention and control strategies for non-native invasive cattails in partnership with the Bois Forte and Fonde Du Lac Bands of Ojibwe. This project is funded with grant support from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
  • Cass County Soil and Water Conservation District - Enhanced Skills Development for AIS Program: $28,000 to provide aquatic invasive species training in conflict resolution, techniques to de-escalate confrontations, and basic precepts in lake science and ecology. This project is funded with grant support from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.
  • Isanti County - High-Speed Internet Feasibility Study: $5,000 to conduct a county-wide high-speed internet access feasibility study.
  • Cass County Economic Development Corporation - Annual Support: $1,500 to build the capacity of the Cass County Economic Development Corporation to build businesses and create jobs.

1st Quarter 2017 Grant Awards

  • Mille Lacs County - Mille Lacs County Cavity Free Birth-5 and Pregnant Mothers: $17,500 to support education and access to preventative dental health to children under the age of five.
  • Children's Dental Services, Inc. - Dental Care and Education for Central Minnesota Children: $5,000 to maintain essential and accessible dental treatment for 300 of Central Minnesota's most vulnerable children.
  •  Volunteers of America of Minnesota - Our HOME Supportive Housing in South Mille Lacs Lake Area: $5,000 to support 24-hour supportive housing that provides necessary services to help up to eight families develop more stable living situations.
  • Lakes Area Interfaith Caregivers - Support Services for Brainerd Lakes Area Seniors: $5,000 to support services that allow seniors to age in place and avoid unnecessary or premature nursing home and assisted living placement.
  • New Pathways, Inc. - Operating Support: $500 to support transitional housing services for Central Minnesota families experiencing homelessness.
  • Catholic Charities of the Diocese of St. Cloud - Operating Support: $500 to support its Central Minnesota foster grandparent program.
  • Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest - Operating Support: $500 to support Junior Achievement's work in the Greater St. Cloud Area.
  • National Joint Powers Alliance - Sponsorship for 2017 Student Recognition Event: $1,000 to provide sponsorship for this event honoring scholarships for outstanding students in the National Joint Powers Alliance (NJPA) service area of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd and Wadena counties.
  • Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation - On the Grow Portal and JobSpot Enhancement: $7,500 to support improvements to GreaterStCloudJobSpot.com, a regional job portal to help retain and attract skilled workers to the region.
  • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance - Community Trust-Owned Solar Benefiting Income-eligible Minnesotans: $1,500 to help build a solar energy business model that serves Minnesota's poorest residents.
  • RESOURCE - Skills for Success: $5,000 to support the Skills for Success program that aims to build skills that enhance job and educational opportunities for new Americans in the St. Cloud area.
  • Tri-County Action Program, Inc. - Central Minnesota Free Tax Preparation: $5,000 to support the coordination of Tri-Cap's VITA (Volunteer Income Tax Assistance) program that provides free-tax return preparation and e-filing services to income-qualified individuals in Central Minnesota.
  • Community Giving - Brainerd Lakes Area Community Foundation Spirit of Hope Fund: $5,000 to establish a challenge match for community donations to provide essential services for families in need.
  • Community Giving - Staffing for Create CommUNITY and Jugaad Leadership Program: $10,000 to support recruitment and training of up to 20 emerging leaders from communities of color in the Greater St. Cloud Area.
  • Greater St. Cloud Public Safety Foundation - St Cloud Rotary Richard C Wilson Community Outpost: $2,500 to support Greater St Cloud Public Safety Foundation in development of a southside COP House (Community Oriented Policing) to increase community-police engagement and reduce crime.  
  • Nonprofits Assistance Fund - Capacity-building Training for Central Minnesota Nonprofits: $8,000 to provide nonprofits across the Initiative Foundation service area access to a variety of financial and management training opportunities.
  • Prevent Child Abuse Minnesota - St. Cloud Circle of Parents: $4,000 To provide parenting resources and a free weekly support group for parents who may be in danger of abusing or neglecting their children.
  • Stearns-Benton Employment & Training Council - Peer Career Counseling: $5,000 to recruit and train diverse college students to serve as peer mentors for high school students engaged in career exploration.
  • Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota - Emergency Childcare to Improve Self-Sufficiency and Employment Opportunities: $4,000 To reduce the maltreatment of young children and provide relief to parents in crisis by offering emergency childcare within a network of licensed child care providers in the community.
  • GiveMN - General Operating Support: $1,000 to help cover administrative costs associated with hosting the www.GiveMN.org website which serves as an online giving portal for many nonprofits throughout Minnesota.
  • St. Cloud State University - SCSU Winter Institute K-12 Teaching Workshop: $2,000 to market and deliver the Winter Institute Economic Education event to Central Minnesota K-12 educators.
  • Minnesota Council on Foundations – Minnesota Food Funders Network Contribution: $1,000 to provide administrative support for an affinity group of funding partners interesting in helping support family-owned farms, sustainable agriculture and healthy food systems.
  • Happy Dancing Turtle - Eureka! TEDx Gull Lake 2017: $2,500 to deliver a regional TEDx event to increase community engagement, highlight technology, advance workforce opportunities and inspire community partnerships.
  • Tusen Tack - Sustainable Governance of Tusen Tack/Braham Community Event Center: $2,500 to assist Tusen Tack's Board in making an orderly transition to a sustainable business operations model for the Braham Event Center.
  • City of St. Cloud - St. Cloud Parks and Recreation Master Planning: $2,500 to support public input and engagement in updating the St. Cloud parks master plan.
  • BestPrep - Minnesota Business Venture for Central Minnesota: $3,000 to deliver the Minnesota Business Venture (MBV) leadership and business skills development program program for high school students.
  • Milestones - Inside Out Connections Coalition; Supporting Children/Families Impacted by Incarceration: $5,000 to plan a regional training about children of incarcerated parents to increase awareness, provide resources and develop and maintain a network of support for families and returning citizens.
  • Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity - Brainerd Lakes Area Habitat for Humanity “ReStore” Job Transition Training: $5,000 to support a job training program for Minnesota Teen Challenge graduates that provides employment and a local reference to help them find long-term work.
  • Salem Lutheran Church - Salem WEST Fire Response Planning: $5,000 to support strategic planning assistance to help Salem WEST rebuild and reorganize following a March fire at its Deerwood facility.
  • Milestones - Caring for a Lifetime Learning Event: $2,500 toward an annual educational event attended by more than 300 self-employed child-care providers, small business owners and childcare centers.
  • Cambridge-Isanti School District - Cambridge-Isanti Early Childhood Coalition: $5,000 to support school readiness skills by providing early learning check-out materials such as books, toys and games).
  • Mille Lacs Health System - 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten in Onamia Area: $7,500 to increase access to literacy materials through the "1,000 Books before Kindergarten" program.
  • Freshwater Education District - Reading For the Future in Todd County: $3,460 to support the Reading for the Future (RFF) project that will disburse books to 500 children ages birth to age 5 at least three time per year.
  • Princeton School District - Princeton Early Childhood Coalition: $7,000 to collaborate with local agencies and businesses to enhance literacy, increase father involvement and foster teen-parent involvement.
  • United Way of Central Minnesota - Early Learning Access, Materials & Events in Greater St. Cloud: $12,000 to improve parent and caregiver involvment by providing toolkits designed to foster literacy.
  • Pine City School District - Early Childhood Standards and the Dragon Wagon: $5,000 toward training initiatives about the Minnesota Department of Education’s early childhood standards and to help fund the Dragon Wagon (mobile preschool) kindergarden readiness and literacy efforts.
  • Brainerd School District - Brainerd Lakes Area Early Childhood Coalition: $10,000 to provide trainings on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and for continued support of the school district’s cradle-to-career efforts.
  • City of Fifty Lakes - The Landing: $2,895 toward an economic development project to encourage small businesses and entrepreneurs to explore operating in a shared location with shared advertising and other services.
  • A Place for You - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Isanti County Historical Society - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
  • United Cerebral Palsy of Central Minnesota - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation’s next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Advocates Against Domestic Abuse - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Central Minnesota Habitat for Humanity - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation’s next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Employment Enterprises, Inc. - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Pine Habilitation and Supported Employment, Inc. - Financial Resiliency through Social Enterprise 2.0: $5,000 to advance goals developed through the Initiative Foundation's next-stage social enterprise training.
  • Wildlife Forever - Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species: $80,000 to assist Wildlife Forever in the deployment of a self-contained, vandal-resistant cleaning station to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. 
  • National Park Service Voyageurs National Park - Restoration of Wetlands Impaired by Invasive Cattails: $60,000 to support a pilot prevention and control strategy for non-native invasive cattails.
  • Rural Minnesota CEP, Inc. - Workforce Training for Disabled Adults: $5,000 to provide a work-transition support for individuals in Todd, Wadena, Morrison Cass and Crow Wing counties who experience employment challenges due to disabilities.
  • City of Wyoming - Community Economic Strategic Plan: $2,500 to develop a strategic economic development plan for the city of Wyoming.
  • Kanabec County EDA - Kanabec County EDA Satellite SBDC Office Formation and Mora Industrial Park Shovel-Ready Certification: $4,500 to assist the Kanabec County Economic Development Authority in the establishment of a Small Business Development Center office and to obtain shovel-ready certification for the Mora Industrial Park.
  • Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation - Micro-finance Feasibility Study for Greater St. Cloud: $2,000 to explore the creation of a peer-to-peer micro-lending program to support new Americans and other entrepreneurs in the Greater St. Cloud Area.
  • Northern Technology Initiative dba GPS 45:93 - Strengthening Economic Development in Region 7E: $8,200 to facilitate a new round of Economic Gardening (helping existing businesses move to the next stage) and to support pilot-project training for an economic development board member.