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Initiative Quarterly Magazine
Initiative Quarterly

More Than $600,000 in 1st Quarter Grants Awarded

April 25, 2017

The Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds are pleased to announce that 117 grants totaling $614,773 were awarded during the first quarter of 2017. 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 January, February and March 2017:
  • 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.
  • 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 retain and attract skilled workers to the region.
  • Happy Dancing Turtle - Eureka! TEDx Gull Lake 2017: $2,500 to deliver a regional TEDx-style event to increase community engagement, highlight technology, advance workforce opportunities and inspire Brainerd Lakes Area partnerships.
  • Salem Lutheran Church - Salem WEST Fire Response Planning: $5,000 to support strategic planning and help Salem WEST rebuild and reorganize following a March fire at the nonprofit's Deerwood facility.
  • Wildlife Forever - Preventing the Spread of Aquatic Invasive Species: $80,000 to assist Wildlife Forever in the deployment of a self-contained, vandal-resistant aquatic invasive species cleaning station.

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 first-quarter 2017 grants:
  • Cuyuna Lakes Education Foundation: $4,000 for operating and classroom support.
  • Edeburn Family Fund: $1,000 to the St. Cloud Area Family YMCA for the aquatic and community center project.
  • Alternative Sources of Energy Fund: $1,375 for science enrichment at Milaca High School.
  • Paws & Claws Animal Shelter: $1,550 for operations and marketing support.
  • Wadena Regional Wellness Center Fund: $54,270 to support the Wadena Regional Wellness Center.

About Initiative Foundation Grants

Since 1986, the Foundation has awarded thousands of grants totaling nearly $33 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 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 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 third-quarter grant round are due July 14. Visit the Initiative Foundation Grants page to learn more.

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