The purpose of the Morgan Family Foundation is to advance the human condition.
The Morgan Family Foundation invests its grant resources in nonprofit partners that are:
- preparing individuals to serve and lead the community, especially those from marginalized and at-risk populations;
- building healthy relationships in all kinds of families and among various societal groups; and
- triggering bold, collaborative community projects that advance social equity.
Areas of Interest
While the Foundation’s interest historically has focused on strengthening the communities of Yellow Springs, Ohio and St. Cloud, Minnesota, the Foundation has shifted its interests moving forward. In 2021 the Foundation’s grantmaking is centered on the following themes: social equity, mitigating global warming in Minnesota, and end-of-life issues. The following Grant Guidelines pertain only to our social equity theme.
To address our social equity theme, the scope of our open, competitive grant application process in 2021 is limited to advancing social equity in St. Cloud, Minnesota and/or the immediate vicinity.
Social equity is central to our purpose, as we seek a just society in which all individuals have ample opportunities to thrive and outcomes are not determined by one’s heritage, physical characteristics, beliefs, residence or inclusion in any particular group. Social inequities directly challenge many different groups of people and in many different sectors of our society, and we all suffer when some are excluded from their full potential.
The focus of our competitive grantmaking in 2021 is the reduction of unfair disparities for disadvantaged communities and at-risk populations in St. Cloud, Minnesota and for positive change in attitudes, practices and policies that lead to equitable outcomes for those communities. This includes, but is not limited to, disparities and inequities of race, class, religion, gender, age, immigrant status, sexual orientation, and ability, as well as inequities related to COVID-19. As the Foundation learns more about social equity in St. Cloud, we may narrow our focus further for future competitive grant cycles.
The Foundation will accept requests for a variety of grant types in the equity arena, including:
- Program, Project, Capital, Start-Up and Operating Grants: We welcome grant requests to support innovative program initiatives, short-term projects, capital requests, start-up or operating needs.
- Capacity Building: Grant resources are available to invest in efforts to enhance the management and governance performance of charitable organizations serving St. Cloud, Minnesota and its immediate vicinity.
- Advocacy: While the Foundation is prohibited from lobbying, we will consider funding permissible advocacy activities such as public education campaigns on a given topic, nonpartisan analysis study or research, training for nonprofits on how to engage effectively in advocacy, educating public policy makers on various issues, and nonpartisan election-related activity.
The Foundation welcomes collaboration with other grantmakers and favors grantseekers with multiple sources of support. Historically, we generally don’t consider requests for less than $10,000.
The Morgan Family Foundation will address its other emerging thematic interests (global warming in Minnesota and end of life issues) as we learn more about those issues, and primarily through Foundation-initiated grants. To honor the family legacy in the Yellow Springs community, the Foundation has pledged three-year support through a fund in the Yellow Springs Community Foundation for 2020, 2021, and 2022 (contact the Yellow Springs Community Foundation for details on how to apply). In addition, other communities and organizations that are supported by board and family members may receive grants from time to time.
Limitations on Grantmaking
The Morgan Family Foundation awards the vast majority of its grants to charitable, nonprofit organizations that are recognized by the IRS as 501(c)(3) public charities. Occasionally grants may be made to units of government. If a charitable project is being undertaken by an entity that does not have 501(c)(3) status, please contact the Foundation for eligibility.
Generally, the Foundation will not:
- make grants to individuals or for the benefit of pre-selected individuals
- provide funds to lobby legislation or influence public elections
- support animal rights or animal welfare causes
- promote any particular religious doctrine
- serve as replacement funding for public programs
- finance medical research.
How to Apply
Please note: For information on deadlines and how to apply for a grant, see below. For a printer-friendly version of our Grant Guidelines and How to Apply, click here.
Grant application are considered twice a year, at the May and November board meetings.
|Steps in Grant Process
||Summer/Fall Cycle – 2021
||Winter/Spring Cycle 2022
|Grantseeker submits letter of inquiry by
|Foundation invites or declines full proposal by
|Grantseeker submits full proposal by
|Foundation notifies applicants of grant decisions by
Grantseeking organizations that believe their funding needs may be consistent with the Foundation’s interests begin by completing a letter of inquiry (LOI) through our online grant system eGrant.
Grantseekers are welcome to contact the Foundation with questions or to discuss their ideas with Foundation staff at any time, even before submitting a letter of inquiry.
For 2021: The Foundation is no longer accepting grant requests for the Summer/Fall 2021 Social Equity Grant Cycle.
Foundation staff will contact each applicant, usually within four weeks of the letter of inquiry deadline, to either invite or decline a full application, which is also submitted online through eGrant. An invitation to submit a full application is no guarantee of a grant. It is an indication that the Foundation wants to hear more about the proposal because it appears to meet the basic requirements for funding. As time allows, the Foundation is also willing to visit and answer questions regarding a draft proposal before it is finalized.
For 2021: Full applications for those invited for further consideration for the Summer/Fall Social Equity Grant Cycle are due no later than August 31.
Each full application is assigned to a Foundation program officer. S/he may contact the applicant with questions and schedule a site visit, if deemed necessary. Applicants will be notified of the grant decision within three weeks of the board meeting. Grant awards may include a reduction in the amount of funding, a full or partial matching challenge, a modified payment schedule, or other stipulations. Any restrictions will be described in the grant agreement, which will also specify a reporting schedule. Proposals that are funded generally have report requirements, including both narrative and financial information. Grantee reports may be used as a learning tool to help other organizations and guide future Foundation funding.
Updated October 6, 2021
Selected Glossary of Terms
Excerpted from The Foundation Center’s GrantSpace
501(c)(3): The section of the tax code that defines nonprofit, charitable, tax-exempt organizations; 501(c)(3) organizations are further defined as public charities, private operating foundations, and private non-operating foundations.
Capital support: Funds provided for endowment purposes, buildings, construction, or equipment.
Fiscal sponsorship: Affiliation with an existing nonprofit organization for the purpose of receiving grants. Grantseekers may either apply for federal tax-exempt status or affiliate with a nonprofit sponsor.
General/operating support: A grant made to further the general purpose or work of an organization, rather than for a specific purpose or project; also called an unrestricted grant or basic support.
Start-up costs or seed money: A grant or contribution used to start a new project or organization. Seed grants may cover salaries and other operating expenses of a new project.
Technical assistance: Operational or management assistance given to nonprofit organizations. This type of help can include fundraising assistance, budgeting and financial planning, program planning, legal advice, marketing, and other aids to management. Assistance may be offered directly by the staff of a foundation or corporation, or it may be provided in the form of a grant to pay for the services of an outside consultant.