The Foundation awards grants and supports programs for charitable purposes primarily in Yellow Springs, Ohio, St. Cloud, Minnesota, and their immediate vicinity. The boardís intent has been that each geographic target area would benefit in roughly equal proportions for most years.
In recent years the Foundationís annual grantmaking has ranged from $2-$2.8 million. The Foundation has typically received requests for two to three times the amount of money available for grants. Most grant awards have been in the $10,000-$100,000 range. Over the Foundationís history, the average grant amount has generally been decreasing over the years.
From the Foundationís first board-initiated grants in fiscal 2005, the circle has been gradually widening to accept proposals from a broader range of nonprofit applicants. However, over the last several years the Foundation has implemented some changes to narrow the focus of its grantmaking.
In the spring of 2013, the Foundation decided to concentrate its Yellow Springs grant dollars on Antioch College and made a three-year $2.875 million pledge. In 2015, the Foundation again reaffirmed its commitment to the college with a five-year, $6 million grant. Consequently, the Foundation is not accepting unsolicited grant requests for projects or organizations in the Yellow Springs area through May 2019.
In the fall of 2013, the Foundation also began a modest grantmaking pilot in Portland, Oregon focused on homeless youth. The Foundation distributed $201,500 over two years to eight organizations working with young people experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless.
In 2016 the Foundation recognized that the next few years would offer a much smaller budget for new grants. The Foundation responded by deciding to focus new grantmaking in the early childhood area. Instead of its usual open, competitive grant application process in 2017 and 2018, new grants were awarded as part of the St. Cloud Early Childhood Initiative.