We are a Minneapolis-based community foundation that invests in grassroots organizing across Minnesota. We do this through grantmaking programs that support organizations and groups on the front lines of social change. Each of our programs invites people from the community to learn about and lead our grantmaking work. Since 1984, Headwaters has believed that the people who directly experience society’s injustices are exactly the people who know the way to collective liberation. We fund a variety of groups, and we prioritize funding groups that are led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color.
To amplify the power of community to advance equity and justice.
Our work supports movements and systems change that lead to individual resiliency and community power.
People who are most affected by inequity are often left out of decision-making work. We insist on changing that—nationally, regionally, and locally.
We grow power through community-led grantmaking, donor education, and leadership development.
TRUST IN COMMUNITY
A community knows itself best, and its people need to lead the way to collective liberation. Our job is to listen to and support the solutions that will improve life for all Minnesotans.
WELCOME FROM HFJ BOARD CHAIR
Over the past two and half years, change has been one of the most reliable constants. So, at Headwaters, we are learning to shape change in the direction of liberation and equity.
In this context of ongoing upheaval, we have made it our goal to be a stabilizing force for the communities and movements we support through our grantmaking. We’re here for the long-haul and we know that how we show up for our grantees, donors, and communities matters.
So, this year Headwaters staff doubled down, working with focus and commitment. We grew our donor community, increased our grantmaking, and continued to develop our organizational culture to ensure that our staff can take care of themselves and their people.
As a result, this year was marked by incredible accomplishments led by Headwaters’ community grantmakers, volunteers, and staff.
BY THE NUMBERS
* includes both Donor Advised Funds and community-led grantmaking funds
Organizations are encouraged to apply for multiple grants per year
Donors Who Gave Under $1500
In our community-led grantmaking in Fiscal Year 2022:
First Time Grantees
5+ Year Grantees
Grantees with Budgets < $1 Million
YEAR IN GRANTMAKING
Grantmaking and relationships are at the heart of what we do. We move money to movement organizations in Minnesota working towards justice, liberation, self-determination, and community vitality and vibrancy.
Our grantmaking is unique in several ways:
- As a community foundation, we raise the dollars that we grant out. Every donor and partner is part of making our grants possible.
- We prioritize investing in BIPOC-led organizing and systems change work. We know this work is often overlooked, underfunded, and underestimated.
- We practice community-led grantmaking, meaning that community members make decisions about where dollars go. We believe community should have a say in allocation of resources and we know community members have the knowledge and expertise to guide our grantmaking.
- We offer support beyond the grant check. We strive to be champions for our grantees, amplify their work, and serve as a connector and partner.
- We trust and learn alongside our grantees. We offer general operating support and multi-year grants to provide organizations with maximum flexibility.
As a community foundation, we raise the dollars that we grant out. Every donor and partner is part of making our grants possible.
We prioritize investing in BIPOC-led organizing and systems change work. We know this work is often overlooked, underfunded, and underestimated.
We practice community-led grantmaking, meaning that community members make decisions about where dollars go. We believe community should have a say in allocation of resources and we know community members have the knowledge and expertise to guide our grantmaking.
We trust and learn alongside our grantees. We offer general operating support and multi-year grants to provide organizations with maximum flexibility.
We offer support beyond the grant check. We strive to be champions for our grantees, amplify their work, and serve as a connector and partner.
In Fiscal Year 2022, Headwaters invested over $2 million dollars through the Giving Project, Fund of the Sacred Circle, Black Seed Fund, and Community Innovation grants. This marks our biggest year of community-led grantmaking yet.
Our grantees are bold and unapologetic, fighting for their visions of community with creativity, wisdom, strategy, and commitment. They are building cultural, narrative, political, and economic power to move towards liberation and justice in their communities and beyond.
In addition to our community-led grantmaking, we moved resources through rapid response grants and donor advised funds. In Fiscal Year 2022, we granted over $1.1 million through donor advised funds and nearly $175,000 through rapid response grants.
We hope you’ll take some time to learn about our grantees and the work they do to build a more just Minnesota.
The Black Seed Fund (BSF) is Headwaters’ newest grantmaking fund. BSF makes general-operating grants to Black-led groups and supports their organizational development and capacity-building needs. The Black Seed Fund supports organizations whose work amplifies the political, cultural, and economic power of Black communities.
This year’s grantee organizations are leading work throughout Minnesota that advances Black liberation through creating access to Black land stewardship; community-led safety and care; reparative and just public policy; and increasing political power for working class, formerly institutionalized, disabled, and LGBTQ+ Black Minnesotans.
Community Innovation Grants are project-specific grants that support organizations to find more effective, equitable, and sustainable solutions to problems facing their communities. This grant – a partnership between the Bush Foundation and Headwaters – allows communities to increase collective understanding of an issue, generate ideas, and/or test and implement solutions.
The Fund of the Sacred Circle (FSC) is Headwaters' longest-standing fund. Since the early 2000s, FSC grants have provided general-operating support to Native-led organizations in Minnesota that focus on community organizing, self-determination and sovereignty, and systems change.
This year's grantee organizations are doing work that includes language and cultural revitalization; reclamation of traditional lifeways; protection of environment, waters, foodways, and land; sovereignty and treaty rights; civic participation; and narrative change.
Giving Project grants support organizations that are led by and for Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color that use a community organizing approach to address root causes of injustice. They provide general-operating support to organizations that lead grassroots organizing work across Minnesota.
Participants of Headwaters’ Giving Project program raise all grant funds through 1:1 fundraising conversations with their community. Cohort members also make all grantmaking decisions.
Headwaters makes a small number of rapid response grants throughout the year to respond to emerging community challenges and opportunities.
Headwaters designed rapid response grants to allocate resources quickly and strategically, outside of our traditional grant rounds. We raise and grant out these dollars to community and social change organizations during unexpected and critical moments.
Rapid response grants offer grantees maximum flexibility, when they need it most.
Donor Advised Funds (DAFs) are charitable accounts that allow donors to make grant recommendations to Headwaters-values-aligned nonprofit organizations. Headwaters staff offer guidance and support in directing giving.
To inquire about setting up an HFJ Donor Advised Fund at Headwaters, contact Director of Individual Giving, Mary Delorie.
Thank you to all Headwaters volunteers throughout Fiscal Year 2022, including those not listed here.
Fiscal Year 2022 Volunteer Community Grantmakers
Black Seed Fund Stewards
- Anika Bowie
- Rahhel Haile
- Kandace Montgomery
- Nance Musinguzi
- Erin Sharkey
- Hadija Steen Mills
- Yordi Solomone
Community Innovation Community Grantmakers
- Fun Fun Cheng
- Ting Ting Cheng
- Shoua Salas
- Aimee Vue
- Marsha Yang
Fund of the Sacred Circle Community Grantmakers
- Brenda BlackHawk
- Mishaila Bowman
- Hieu Nguyen
- Nikki Pieratos
- Dr. Micah Prairie Chicken
- Pamela Standing
- Sarah White
- Travis Zimmerman
Giving Project Cohort 8 Participants
- Erika Baughman
- Ibtissem Belmihoub
- Victoria Carpenter
- Cecelia Caspram
- Ashley Charwood
- Anitra Cottledge
- Lara Griffin
- Gina Kaeppe
- Thorne LaPointe
- Anju Madhok
- James Miller
- Cecilia Moulton-Pirkl
- Oluwatobi Oluwagbemi
- nouf saleh
- Taiwana Shambley
- Kate Vickery
- Shanasha Whitson
- Ann Zawistoski
Fiscal Year 2022 Committee Members
- Roula Alkatout
- Karla Arredondo-Payan
- Mia Divecha
- Graham Early
- Grace Fogland
- Jillian Gross Fortgang
- Nimisha Nagalia
- Leah Olm*
- Emma Olson
- Julie Vo McConnell
- Janiece Watts*
- Stephanie Cole
- Kong Her
- John Kostishack
- Arleta Little*
- Filiberto Nolasco Gomez*
- Leah Olm*
- AsaleSol Young*
Fiscal Year 2022 Headwaters Foundation for Justice Staff & Board of Directors
- Bilal Alkatout, Associate Director of Program and Grantmaking
- Ari Baum-Hommes, Grants Associate
- Maria De La Cruz, President
- Mary Delorié, Director of Individual Giving
- Venessa Fuentes, Director of Network and Narrative
- Kristin Gilbert, Operations Manager
- Allison Johnson Heist, Vice President of Culture and Partnerships
- Sierra Judy, Program Associate
- Wakíŋyaŋ LaPointe, Program Officer for Native Communities
- Ray Martinez, Program Manager
- Reika Yokooka Lucente, Donor Systems Associate
- Chris Olson, Grassroots Gift Officer
- Julie Remmelts, Vice President of Finance and Operations
- Veronica Rucker, Executive Assistant to the President
- Melissa Rudnick, Director of Program and Grantmaking
- Ewan Scotto, Communications Associate
- Duaba Unenra, Program Officer, Black Movement Ecosystem
- Habon Abdulle
- Bilal Alkatout
- Elizabeth Coco
- Camille Cyprian
- Alyssa Hawkins
- Eric Howard
- Arleta Little
- Filiberto Nolasco Gomez
- Leah Olm
- Janiece Watts
- AsaleSol Young
“The 20 years that I spent with Headwaters has been an incredible journey. The people are core to the foundation. I had the privilege of working with and learning from amazing individuals.
Headwaters is always leading the way in philanthropy and it feels like some foundations are just catching up."
Former Headwaters staff and Board Member
“What I appreciate about Headwaters is that it shifts away from the transactional and into relational community.
I receive so much abundance from this community. It’s what I’m trying to pay forward. My hope is that as a part of this community, I have a ripple effect on others.”
Giving Project Participant and Development Committee Member
“Giving to Headwaters made me realize that I don’t have to be a superwoman or superman. I can't fix all the problems, but with just a small donation I can help another organization do meaningful work that aligns with my values - whether it's renters’ rights, working with the LGBTQ community, or working with youth.
I know that with the work I've done helping support organizations like Headwaters, I am making a change.”
Giving Project Participant and Development Committee Member
Headwaters’ donors represent a brilliant and diverse cross-section of Minnesotans from every walk of life. Through our Donor Stories project, we introduce our community to some of Headwaters’ remarkable donors and donor-organizers.
One of those remarkable donor organizers is Janiece Watts. Janiece is a powerful environmental justice advocate and Headwaters champion. She is also a former Board Member and Development Commitee member. We invite you to get to know Janiece and learn about her journey with Headwaters by reading her story.
“I say Headwaters is my movement home because it opens space for me to do a lot of the justice work I'm already doing, but with this added layer of understanding around money – moving money and wanting to understand how money can be medicine, not just a tool of oppression and evil, which is what I always thought.
I love digging into questions about money and power, gender justice, and environmental justice. Having all that in one place is a win-win-win for me.”
Be part of the Headwaters donor community
As a community foundation, we rely on donations from individuals and institutions to make our commitment to funding movement organizers in Minnesota possible. Make a meaningful and sustainable commitment that turns your values into action by donating to Headwaters today.
To all our donors, we share our most sincere appreciation. Thank you for playing such a significant role in our work.
We honor your gift. We honor you.