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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

More than $475,000 in Fourth Quarter Grants Awarded

January 20, 2017

The Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds are pleased to announce that 157 grants totaling $475,229 were awarded during the fourth quarter of 2016. The grants support organizations and projects primarily in the 14-county region of Central Minnesota.

Innovation Fund Awards

The following organizations were among those awarded funding during the months of October, November and December of 2016:
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Pre-K Through Grade 3 Alignment: Cambridge Isanti School District:  $2,500 to increase parent engagement by purchasing and distributing learning materials that support literacy and healthy social emotional development.
  • 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.

See the full list of grant recipients ...

Partner Fund Awards

The Initiative Foundation hosts a variety of Partner Funds for families, businesses, nonprofit organizations and volunteer-led groups. The following organizations were among those awarded grants during the months of October, November and December of 2016.
  • Three Rivers Community Foundation: $3,000 to provide scholarships to 728 Cadets, Inc., the Elk River area marching band.
  • Sauk Rapids-Rice Education Foundation: $500 to purchase a 3D printer for Rice Elementary school.
  • Granite Equity Partners: $500 to sponsor the American Cancer Society's Real Men Wear Pink event in St. Cloud.
  • John & Bonnie Schlagel Endowment: $3,000 to support New Pathways, Inc., an organization that provides assistance to homeless families. 
  • Rum River Community Foundation: $15,872 to support the Milaca Band Shell Restoration project.

About Initiative Foundation Grants

Since 1986, the Foundation has awarded thousands of grants totaling nearly  $32 million. The average grant award is about $5,000. All grants support projects that address at least one of the following areas: 

  • Help small businesses and social enterprises through access to technical assistance, mentorship, and education efforts.  The foundation is especially interested in supporting minority business ownership and/or job creation in areas of concentrated poverty.
  • Help communities address opportunities or barriers to business growth and creation or retention of quality jobs.
  • Support activities that that lead to improved skills and employment or advancement in growing sectors for future, displaced, or underemployed workers.
  • Support community-based early childhood efforts to advance literacy, school readiness and access to dental services for children in poverty.
  • Help nonprofits that have a core focus on poverty become more effective or efficient through strategic planning, staff development, or board training.
  • Support activities that cultivate the next generation of leaders working and living in our region.
  • Support planning or start-up funds for community-based amenities or events that support a strategic plan to help attract and retain skilled workers and young families.
  • Help communities respond to and recover from significant local natural disasters.
Letters of inquiry for the 2017 second-quarter grant round are due on March 31. Visit the Initiative Foundation Grants page to learn more. 

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