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?
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?
Is the project likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future? Will the project inspire or inform others?
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
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 - $15,000 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 in the past, 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.
- Headwaters 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.
- 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.
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.
- A 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
- 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)
Applicants will request the amount needed for their Community Innovation project, within the $500-$15,000 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.