Community Innovation Grant

Details

Description

Register for an informational session here.

Headwaters Foundation offers Community Innovation Grants thanks to a partnership with the Bush Foundation. Grants support communities to use problem solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable, and sustainable solutions. This grant allows communities to increase collective understanding of an issue, generate ideas, and/or test and implement solutions. 

Applicants can request grant amounts ranging from $500 to $10,000 for their Community Innovation project. The Bush Foundation offers Community Innovation Grants from $10,000 to $200,000. For details about their opportunity please visit their website.

You identify and define your community. For example, this could be a geographic community (e.g. neighborhood, town, state, or Native nation) and/or it could be a community of common interest and/or racial/cultural identity.

To view the full information packet, including application questions, click here.

We strongly encourage you to review program guidelines, criteria, application questions, and to gather required attachments before applying. The application is available in our Grant Portal starting at 9am on Tuesday, September 10th. All applications must be submitted and completed by 5pm on Tuesday, September 24th. We cannot accept late applications.

For program-related information, please contact Program Manager, Strategic Initiatives Melissa Rudnick

For questions about accessing and navigating the Grant Portal, contact Grants and Program Associate Noelle Martinez

Criteria

Selection Criteria

The proposal must be for a  new project or process
The project must be completed within one year. The project can be a one year phase of a multi-year initiative. 

Fit with Community Innovation Grant Program
Does the project use inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful processes?

  • Inclusive: meaningfully engaging key stakeholders – thoughtfully identifying those needed to create the intended change and including those directly affected by the problem
  • Collaborative: a true joint effort, with partners willing to share ownership and decision-making as they pursue an innovation together
  • Resourceful: using existing resources and assets creatively to make the most of what a community already has
  • Innovative: leads to a community innovation – breakthrough in addressing a community need or opportunity that is more effective, equitable, or sustainable than existing approaches?

Implementation
Is the project plan thoughtful and realistic, and does it address the identified community need? Does the applicant have the capacity to execute the work effectively or have a plan to meet the needed capacity?

Impact
Is the project likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future? Will the project inspire or inform others?

Portfolio
At least 50% of Community Innovation Grants will be projects that address racial and economic disparities. For the purposes of this grant program, we define this as proposals that seek to actively reduce structural and/or systemic gaps in access, outcomes, opportunities or treatment based on race/ethnicity or economic standing.

Theory of Change

    Additional Considerations
    We will seek a portfolio of Community Innovation Grantees with balance across:

    • Size of community impacted
    • Size of applicant organization
    • Size of grant request
    • Demographics of communities served
    • Organizations based in both rural and urban Minnesota
    • Type of issue addressed
    • We will favor/prioritize proposals with project budget sizes that are of appropriate scale to this $500 - $10,000 grant opportunity.

    Community Innovation Grant Eligibility

    • Organizations must be a legally incorporated entity with 501(c)(3) status. Organizations with a fiscal agent are also eligible to apply.
    • Organizations must carry out their work in Minnesota.
    • If your organization has received a grant from Headwaters Foundation for Justice in the past, to be eligible you must not have any outstanding overdue final reports. 
    • If you have received a Headwaters’ Community Innovation Grant in the last 12 months, your project must be complete and your final report submitted in order to apply again.
    • Headwaters Foundation encourages emerging organizations to apply for funding.

    Community Innovation Grant Ineligibility

    • Individuals are ineligile to apply. These grants are designed to support organizations.
    • Grants cannot be used for partisan efforts.
    • Organizations that have received funding from the Bush Foundation's Community Innovation Grant program for the same work. If you are applying to support a different project or for a different phase of the same project, you are eligible.
    • Incomplete or late applications are ineligible.
    • Organizations with outstanding reporting cannot apply for new funding.

    All Proposals Must Include:
    Answers to all application questions, detailed information about your project budget and the following attachments based on organization type. More information can be found in the information packet, a link to which can be found on the "Description" tab. 

    Required Attachments

    Groups/Organizations Applying with a Fiscal Sponsor:

    • Your most recent Organization Budget
    • Your Staff List –If you do not have paid staff, provide a list of your key volunteer leaders and/or decision-makers.
    • Your Board List –If you do not have a formal board, provide a list of your key volunteer leaders and/or decision-makers.
    • letter, dated within the last six months, from your fiscal sponsor's Executive Director verifying your fiscal relationship
    • Your fiscal sponsor's most recent audited financials (If your fiscal sponsor does not have audited financials, please provide their most recent 990.)
    • Your most recent year-end income and expense report
    • Your current balance sheet

    501(c)3 Organizations:

    • Most recent Organization Budget
    • Staff List –If you do not have paid staff, provide a list of your key volunteer leaders and/or decision makers
    • Board List
    • Your most recently completed 990 (or 990-EZ, or 990-N)

    Amount
    Applicants will request the amount needed for their Community Innovation project, within the $500-$10,000 range.

    The Bush Foundation’s Community Innovation Grants
    An organization can apply for and receive funding if selected for both a Headwaters Community Innovation Grant and a Bush Community Innovation Grant, as long as the funding is for different projects or a different phase of the same project. 

    The Bush Foundation offers Community Innovation Grants from $10,000 to $200,000. For details about the Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant opportunity please visit their website here.

    Deadlines

    The application is available in our Grant Portal starting at 9am on Tuesday, September 10th. All applications must be submitted and completed by 5pm on Tuesday, September 24th.  Late or incomplete applications will not be accepted. 

     

    How to Apply

    Headwaters accepts applications through our Grant Portal. 

    The application is available in our Grant Portal starting at 9am on Tuesday, September 10th. All applications must be submitted and completed by 5pm on Tuesday, September 24th.

    FAQ

    The Community Innovation Grant is offered three times a year.

    The application is available in our Grant Portal starting at 9am on Tuesday, September 10th. All applications must be submitted and completed by 5pm on Tuesday, September 24th. 

    Applicants can request the amount needed for their Community Innovation project, within the $500 to $10,000 range. 

    No, Headwaters Foundation does not use the Minnesota Common Grant Application. You must use Headwaters' Community Innovation Grant online application.

     

    We believe that the people most affected have the highest vested interest and are best able to make decisions that impact their lives.  Therefore, a community-led grantmaking committee make our funding decisions for the Community Innovation Grant program.

    If you would like to be involved with the Community Innovation Grants as a committee member responsible for grantee selection, please contact Senior Program Officer Melissa Rudnick

    Headwaters will notify applicants approximately four months after the application deadline. 

    Current Headwaters’ Community Innovation Grantees must submit all reports prior to re-applying for a new round.

    Current Giving Project Grant, or Fund of the Sacred Circle grantees are eligible to apply for the Community Innovation Grants.

    All proposals and attachments must be submitted through Headwaters online through our Grant Portal.

    Note to past and current grantees: If your organization has received a grant from Headwaters Foundation in the past, you must fulfill all reporting requirements in order to be eligible for additional funds.

    Groups/Organizations Applying with a Fiscal Sponsor:

    • Answers to all application questions
    • Your group/organization’s most recent Organization Budget
    • Your group/organization’s Project Budget
    • Your group/organization’s Staff List – If you do not have paid staff, provide a list of your key volunteer leaders and/or decision-makers.
    • Your group/organization’s Board List – If you do not have a formal board, provide a list of your key volunteer leaders and/or decision-makers.
    • letter, dated within the last six months, from your fiscal sponsor's Executive Director verifying your fiscal relationship
    • Your fiscal sponsor's most recent audited financials (If your fiscal sponsor does not have audited financials, please provide their most recent 990.)
    • Your group/organization’s year-end income and expense report
    • Your group/organization’s current balance sheet

    501(c)3 Organizations:

    • Answers to all application questions
    • Most recent Organization Budget
    • Project Budget 
    • Staff List – If you do not have paid staff, provide a list of your key volunteer leaders and/or decision makers
    • Board List

     

      Headwaters does not provide Community Innovation Grants over $10,000.

      The Bush Foundation provides Community Innovation Grants of $10,000 to $200,000. 

      Click here to be connected to the Bush Foundation.