Minnesota Grant Resources

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Ever stumble across something of great value in your neighborhood? Back in 1898, Olof Ohman sure did. He found the Kensington Runestone wrapped up in the roots of a tree on his farm near Kensington, MN. Placed there around 1362, this mysterious (and much debated!) carved stone turns out to have been a boundary marker for one of the first European/Scandinavian land claims in the middle of North America. Notably, it pre-dates Columbus by 130 years. What an amazing discovery! Fortunately, there are other wonderful things for you to discover in Minnesota today: Grant funds for your nonprofit organization!

Stumbling upon funders, however, is the hard way to go. Attend our Grantsmanship Training Program and we’ll share with you how it’s done.

This sector-leading, fast-paced and inspiring 5-day workshop, is packed with the skills and guidance you’ll need to make your grant proposals stand out from the crowd. Here are three more steps for preparing grant-winning proposals!

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Questions? Contact: Gail Brauner: gail@tgci.com (213) 482-9860 X1




Whether you’re a nonprofit organization or a financial donor looking to support one, the combined St. Paul & Minnesota Foundations (SPMCF) is an excellent place to start your search. Based in St. Paul, they and their many individual donors contributed more than $32M to nonprofits and community groups around the state in 2017.

But that’s not all! Since its founding in 1949, SPMCF has helped other cities and counties create 16 affiliate community foundations from border to border, including:

Saint Anthony Park Community Foundation

Shoreview Community Foundation

Vadnais Heights Area Community Foundation

Chisholm Community Foundation

Five Star Community Foundation

Freeborn County Communities Foundation

Hibbing Foundation

Martin County Area Foundation

Martin County Youth Foundation

New Ulm Area Foundation

Saint Louis Park Public Schools Foundation

Springfield Area Foundation

Waseca Area Foundation

Wayzata Public Schools Education Foundation


Zumbrota Community Trust


Other areas have created their own independent community foundations, including the Duluth-Superior Area Community Foundation and the Bloomington Community Foundation.

Based in St. Paul, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, is the largest statewide association of member nonprofit organizations in the U.S. It works to inform, promote, connect and strengthen nonprofits through management training, advocacy, research on public policy issues, and developing cost-saving product partnerships.

The Rochester Area Foundation is a multi-service funder for the city of Rochester and for smaller communities within a 30-mile radius.  Looking for grants? Check out their guidelines. Need space for a meeting? They have several Internet-connected and multimedia-equipped rooms for rent. Looking for information and training? They have an extensive online library and workshop calendar. They’re a wonderful resource!

The following are additional links for Minnesota grantseekers. Please let us know about others we might have missed so that we can improve everyone’s search for support. Thanks!


Government offices:

Governor Tim Walz & Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan

Senator Tina Smith

Senator Amy Klobuchar

If you’d like to contact your other elected officials, click here on Find My Officials.


Minnesota State Arts Board encourages the creation, performance, and appreciation of the arts throughout the state through advocacy, grant funding, career growth and the development of collaborative partnerships. 

Minnesota Department of Education works to assure educational equity, justice, fairness and inclusion so that all students have access to the opportunities to learn and develop to their fullest potentials. Their list of grant-funding opportunities for schools and related services are updated regularly. 

Minnesota Department of Health provides programs, oversight and grant funding to protect, maintain and improve the health of all Minnesotans.

Minnesota Attorney General's Office provides a variety of informational guides for the management of nonprofit organizations, including key state laws and governance.

Minnesota Tribal Government lists the state-based tribes, their contact information, and related resources.

Charities Review Council provides a toolkit of standards for nonprofits to follow and for donors to use in order to build their funding relationships together.

Doing Good Together is a Minnesota-based national nonprofit that works to make community volunteering easy for every family. Click on the Minnesota link to find opportunities to assist your local nonprofit organizations.


Other helpful organizations:

Association of Fundraising Professionals - Minnesota Chapter is based in Maple Grove and connects colleagues around the state to share creative thinking, important updates and networking to help one another build funding skills to benefit their nonprofit clients.

Center for Nonprofit Management - University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis offers a degree program in nonprofit management along with seminars, training programs and consultation services on subjects such as board governance, fundraising, and other management topics.

Corporation for National & Community Service - MN provides connections to AmeriCorps and Senior Corps in Minnesota (ServeMinnesota), and provides state-based service statistics for the past year.

Fractured Atlas is an online resource that provides artists the tools and help they need to focus more of their time on making art. Support includes help in raising money, managing risk, building an audience, finding space for art-making and performance venues, and learning business skills.

Free Management Library - Operated by Authenticity Consulting, this online Library provides links to materials on leadership and management of organizations, including the best practices to start, develop, operate, evaluate, and resolve problems in nonprofit organizations.

Hands On Twin Cities is another resource for volunteers to connect with nonprofit service opportunities specific to this area. They also provide leadership development workshops and assist in educating local residents on social issues.

LegalCORPS - assists eligible nonprofit organizations within the state to obtain free legal assistance on a wide variety of legal issues.

Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants provides volunteer accountants to assist nonprofit organizations, schools and other entities around the state.

Propel Nonprofits is the new name for the recently merged MAP for Nonprofits and Nonprofits Assistance Fund (NAF), with their headquarters located in Minneapolis. Together, they now offer expert management training, collaborative guidance and financial resources to help Minnesota organizations around the state fulfill their missions. They also provide Fiscal Sponsorship services as a great alternative to groups not yet ready to obtain 501(c)(3) nonprofit status.

United Ways of Minnesota website lists all 38 regional offices in the state.


New Year's Proposal Writers Resolutions

As the developer, writer and steward of funding proposals, you might consider approaching 2024 with new ideas and new energy for the task. It’s a wonderful/terrible tradition that we make resolutions at this time of year, so why not think about these for your proposal-writing list.

A Classical Approach to Grant Proposals

Before campaign advisors, spin doctors, influencers or ad men, there was the Greek philosopher, Aristotle. His treatise, The Rhetoric, laid out a durable blueprint for creating persuasive arguments and the elements he described are as useful today as they were in 4th century BC Greece. As proposal writers, we sometimes get lost in the weeds of data, logic models, detailed methods and other granular stuff. Preparing persuasive proposals can benefit from reviewing these classical principles.

Logic Models, in Plain English

There comes a time when a proposal needs to include a logic model. Many foundations don’t require one but an increasing number are asking applicants to go beyond objectives and show, in a descriptive chart, the route you plan to take to get to the destination.

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