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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

Foundation Drives $1.3 Million-Plus in Local Grants

December 23, 2020

Nearly 250 Q3 Grants Go Toward Economic Recovery, Nonprofit Support

The Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds provided grants worth more than $1.3 million during the third quarter of 2020, with many going to regional COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts.
The awards include 163 grants to Pine County businesses and organizations through a partnership with the county to distribute CARES Act funds. Another 83 grants were distributed through the Foundation's Innovation Fund and its community-based Partner Funds.
During its third-quarter grants cycle, the Initiative Foundation also continued its delivery of Small Business Relief Grants in partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. While the totals in this news release do not reflect the in-progress Small Business Relief Grants effort, the Initiative Foundation is on track to distribute up to $7.5 million in relief to hundreds of local businesses by year's end.
For a snapshot of the Initiative Foundation's relief and recovery efforts, visit our COVID-19 Impact Update page or view our infographic.
"Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations who serve those most in need are still struggling. Many businesses also are suffering during state-mandated closures and restrictions," said Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation president. “We are here for the long-haul for COVID-19 recovery efforts. Our grants won't solve these problems completely, but they can help cushion financial impacts during this pandemic so that these organizations can focus on providing critical services.”
Find third-quarter 2020 Innovation Fund and Partner Fund grant highlights below with additional information available at ifound.org

The following organizations were among those that received Initiative Foundation grant funding during the months of July, August and September 2020:

Central Minnesota Relief & Recovery Fund Awards

  • Pine Habilitation and Supported Employment, Inc.—COVID-19 Relief: $5,000
  • Homeless Helping Homeless—COVID-19 Motel Sheltering Effort: $4,000
  • Trinity Lutheran Church of North Branch—Viking Vittles Food Programs for School-Aged Children: $2,000

Innovation Fund Awards

  • Sprout, LLC—Expanding Regional Food Networks Through Increased Online Capacity: $5,000 to enhance the capacity of Sprout, a regional food hub for Central Minnesota. The project goal is to create greater producer-to-consumer access to fresh and healthy foods. An additional goal is to shorten supply chains and help farmers harmed by tariffs and pandemic-related markets disruptions.
  • GPS 45:93—East Central Minnesota Virtual Business Park Tour: $4,100 to support a virtual tour of shovel-ready business parks and industrial sites in East Central Minnesota.

Partner Fund Awards

The Initiative Foundation hosts a variety of Partner Funds for families, businesses, nonprofit organizations and volunteer-led groups. The following grants were among those made by our Partner Funds during the months of July, August and September 2020: 
  • Greater Pine Area Endowment: $645 for technology improvement to Pine Center for the Arts.
  • Lake Region Christian School Education Foundation: $9,912 for classroom enhancements at the school.
  • John & Bonnie Schlagel Endowment: $2,000 to Minnesota Safe Ride for the sober cab program in Kanabec and Pine counties. 

Partner Fund Relief & Recovery Fund Awards

  • Sourcewell Region 5 COVID 19 Relief Fund: $10,000 to West Central Telephone Association and CTC for relief grants.
  • Sherburne County Outdoor Dining Capacity Fund: $4,000 to Lupulin Brewing, LLC for outdoor seating.
  • Hackensack-Backus Relief Fund: $1,500 to Pine Mountaineer Senior Center for a relief grant.

Relief & Innovation Fund Highlights   Partner Fund Highlights

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