Foundation Grants List 10/14/2020

Grant Recommendations

Welcome! Here are this week’s recommended foundations. These grants will be for various types of organizations, so they may not always be a perfect fit for you. However, there will be some that are. We also offer customized grant research reports that offer grants researched specifically for your organization, provide you with all of the submission requirements, deadlines, and a researched recommended request amount so that you can put your best effort forward when you apply. Some of the deadlines may have passed, but you can keep this information for their next funding cycle.

Initiative Foundation’s Emergency Relief and Recovery Grants Program 2020

The Initiative Foundation is seeking applications for its Emergency Relief and Recovery Grants Program.


Priority will be given to new or existing programs or services that provide for the basic needs of individuals and families negatively affected by the COVID-19 health crisis. Examples include food security, housing, clothing, health care and employment.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Initiative Foundation offered flexibility to grantees with open Innovation Fund Grants. The following first-quarter 2020 grants were redirected from their original purpose to be used for general operating expenses and other COVID-19 response.

  • College of Saint Benedict—Interfaith Engagement Event: $2,000 original grant amount (amount redirected: $2,000)
  • Wright County Community Action, Inc.—Engaging the Community with the 2020 Census to Strengthen Partnerships: $5,000 original grant amount (amount redirected: $5,000)
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota—Dr. Potter’s Bigs On-Campus Mentoring Initiative: $5,000 original grant amount (amount redirected: $5,000)

Funding Information

Due to current funding limitations, the likely maximum grant award is expected to be $5,000. Larger grants may be considered based on the scale of impact. Although they strongly encourage local support, they are waiving normal expectation that local support be at least 50 percent of a program or project’s estimated cost.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Grant applicants must be 501(c)(3) nonprofits, school districts or local units of government that serve the people and communities in Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties, and the sovereign tribal nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe.
  • Funding requests for use outside of this geography will not be considered.
  • Individuals are not eligible to apply for grant funds.

Reimagining Pathways to Employment in United States Challenge

MIT Solve is seeking applications for the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in United States (US) Challenge.

Across the US, now more than ever, workers are experiencing unprecedented levels of instability, with many people facing unemployment or struggling financially in low-paying, temporary, or part-time jobs. Long standing racial and gender injustices in the US continue to hinder the education, employment, and earning potential of Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other historically marginalized communities. 
Four-year degree enrollment has significantly increased over the past few decades, but so has student debt—ballooning to $1.5 trillion in 2019. Too many students do not graduate, while others learn skills that are misaligned with the fastest growing professions of the new economy. Meanwhile, there are still many careers—from nursing and elderly care to plumbing and information technology—that do not require four-year degrees. Many of these professions have vacancies that go unfilled due to employer-reported lack of skilled labor.
The nature of work is constantly changing—and has been complicated by massive economic disruptions, including Covid-19, and technologies such as artificial intelligence and automation. Many workers will need to continually learn new skills that are adapted for the jobs of today and tomorrow. Education systems and employers will also need to coordinate more closely to match demand and address growing inequities. 
The good news is that innovation and technology also create new opportunities for workers. All across the US, tech entrepreneurs, community colleges, vocational schools, and employers are reimagining pathways to employment that are fairer and more inclusive. 
This Challenge—powered by MIT Solve, the Morgridge Family Foundation and New Profit—seeks the most promising solutions that accelerate pathways to current and future employment across the US. Solutions that focus on non-coastal states, US interior regions, and/or racial justice are encouraged to apply. To that end, they seek solutions that: 
  • Drive resources and support to Black, Indigenous, and Latinx entrepreneurs and innovators, who receive a fraction of funding in both the nonprofit and for-profit sectors, despite their frequent proximity to workforce challenges and the systems-focused solutions needed to solve them.
  • Increase access to high-quality, affordable learning, skill-building, and training opportunities for those entering the workforce, transitioning between jobs, or facing unemployment. 
  • Enable learners to make informed decisions about which pathways and jobs best suit them, including promoting the benefits of non-degree pathways to employment.
  • Implement competency-based models for life-long learning and credentialing.
  • Match current and future employer and industry needs with education providers, workforce development programs, and diverse job seekers.
Funding Information
Prize Funding + Available Support for the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge up to US$625,000 in prize funding is available for the Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge.
Eligibility Criteria
  • The Morgridge Family Foundation and New Profit are especially interested in solutions that benefit the non-coastal and US interior regions. 
  • The Reimagining Pathways to Employment in the US Challenge is open to solutions that have at least a working, tested prototype that are:
    • Currently deployed in at least one US state
    • Operating in another country, but have plans to expand to at least one US state
Judging Criteria
  • Alignment: The solution addresses the challenge that has been set forth.
  • Potential for Impact: The planned solution implementation has the potential to impact lives and drive economic growth nationally.
  • Scalability: The solution can be scaled to affect the lives of more people.
  • Feasibility: Solution implementation is feasible, and the team has a plan for financial sustainability.
  • Innovative Approach: This is a new solution, a new application of a solution, a new business model, or a new process for solving the challenge, and the team clearly identifies its competitive advantages (e.g. intellectual property).

Spencer Foundation seeking Applications for Small Research Grants Program on Education

The Spencer Foundation is seeking applications for Small Research Grants Program to support education research projects that will contribute to the improvement of education, broadly conceived, with budgets up to $50,000 for projects ranging from one to five years.

This program is “field-initiated” in that proposal submissions are not in response to a specific request for a particular research topic, discipline, design, or method. The goal for this program is to support rigorous, intellectually ambitious and technically sound research that is relevant to the most pressing questions and compelling opportunities in education. They seek to support scholarship that develops new foundational knowledge that may have a lasting impact on educational discourse.

The Spencer Foundation recognize that learning occurs across the life course as well as across settings—from the classroom to the workplace, to family and community contexts and even onto the playing field—any of which may, in the right circumstance, provide the basis for rewarding study that makes significant contributions to the field. It value work that fosters creative and open-minded scholarship, engages in deep inquiry, and examines robust questions related to education. It anticipate that proposals will span a wide range of topics and disciplines that innovatively investigate questions central to education, including for example education, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, sociology, law, economics, history, or neuroscience, amongst others.

Funding Information

Proposed budgets for this program are limited to $50,000 total and may not include indirect cost charges per Spencer’s policy.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Proposals to the Research Grants on Education program must be for academic research projects that aim to study education.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs applying for a Small Research Grant on Education must have an earned doctorate in an academic discipline or professional field, or appropriate experience in an education research-related profession. While graduate students may be part of the research team, they may not be named the PI or Co-PI on the proposal.
  • Proposals are accepted from the U.S. and internationally, however, all proposals must be submitted in English and budgets must be proposed in U.S. Dollars.

The PI must be affiliated with a non-profit organization that is willing to serve as the administering organization if the grant is awarded. The Spencer Foundation does not award grants directly to individuals. Examples include non-profit colleges, universities, school districts, and research facilities, as well as other non-profit organizations with a determination from the IRS.