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 scope of this grant program is limited to advancing social equity in St. Cloud, Minnesota and/or the immediate vicinity. The focus of our social equity grantmaking 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 grant cycles.
Areas of interest include, but are not limited to:
- preparing individuals from marginalized and at-risk populations to serve and lead the community;
- building healthy relationships among various societal groups; and
- triggering bold, collaborative community projects that advance social equity.
To address this theme, the Foundation awards grants through two open, competitive grant application cycles.
How to Apply: Social Equity
Grant applications are considered twice a year, at the May and November board meetings.
|Steps in Grant Process
||Winter/Spring Cycle 2023
||Summer/Fall Cycle 2023
|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
Grantseekers should first review the grant guidelines to determine if their approach and funding needs are consistent with the Foundation’s interests. Organizations which believe that there may be mutual interests then complete a letter of inquiry (LOI) through our online grant system, GivingData.
Nonprofit organizations 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. Foundation staff often network with nonprofits to share information about the Foundation’s program interests and to learn about organizations working in those areas.
Foundation staff will contact each applicant, usually within four weeks following the letter of inquiry deadline, to either invite or decline a full application, which is also submitted online through GivingData. 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.
Once a full application is submitted, the Foundation’s Social Equity Program Officer 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.