The Fund of the Sacred Circle is on a pause throughout 2019. The following is only intended for informational purposes. Check back for updates throughout the year.
Basic Eligibility Criteria
- Headwaters Foundation encourages emerging and established organizations at all stages of work to apply for funding.
- To be selected for funding, organizations must be a legally incorporated entity with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status. Organizations with a fiscal agent are also eligible to apply.
- Headwaters does not fund individuals.
- Organizations must carry out their work in Minnesota or Wisconsin.
- Headwaters’ support cannot be used for partisan efforts.
- Organizations must satisfy reporting requirements for all previous Headwaters Foundation grants.
Ineligible Organizations and Activities
- General operating requests from organizations that primarily provide direct services to individuals and families.
- Publications, reports, workshops, classes, conferences, media events, arts, theater productions, research, or litigation efforts unless they are part of an ongoing community organizing effort.
- Environmental work unless it is aimed at achieving social justice goals (i.e. environmental justice). For example, Headwaters Foundation generally does not fund recycling or resource conservation projects, but we do fund community organizing projects addressing environmental threats that disproportionately harm communities of color or low-income communities.
- Projects sponsored by a government agency. For example, Headwaters Foundation would not fund a project led by a public school district. However, we would fund a project led by communities of color that partners with public schools to address the academic achievement gap for students of color. The project must be community driven and led by those most directly affected by the problem.
- Individuals, endowment funds, or capital campaigns.
- Headwaters Foundation will not consider incomplete applications.
- Organization addresses the root causes or conditions of injustice through community organizing.
- Organizing strategies impact social, economic, and political institutions or systems that perpetuate injustice.
- Leadership in the organizations is constituent based, led by, and accountable to American Indian communities.
- Organization works in collaboration and/or in alliance with others.
- Organization has limited access to mainstream funding sources.
Prioritizing Community Organizing
We believe that the communities most affected by inequity already hold the knowledge of what needs to be done to upend those inequities. Headwaters makes grants to organizations that prioritize community organizing as the core strategy to engage and build power in their communities to advance equity. We recognize that there are many different approaches to community organizing and value diversity in our funding.
All of our Fund of the Sacred Circle grantee partners share the following characteristics:
- Led by the people most directly affected by the issues the organization is working on.
- Continually builds leadership from within its own membership, base, or community.
- Works to understand and address the root causes of the issues, not just the symptoms.
- Brings people together to build power they wouldn’t have individually.
- Uses that power to create institutional and structural change, which includes altering unjust power relations.
- Sees itself as part of a larger movement for social change, and works towards strengthening that movement.
Proposal Must Include
- Answers to all application questions, board and staff demographics, and financial information.
- If your organization received a grant from Headwaters Foundation's Fund of the Sacred Circle less than 12 months ago, please complete an interim progress report.
- All required attachments, see below.
If 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organization your proposal must include:
- 1 copy of IRS Letter of Determination or 1 copy of Certificate of Incorporation (only if you don’t have a Letter of Determination)
- 1 copy of your most recently completed 990 (if your organization does not complete a 990 please attach your organizations most recent 990EZ or 990-N)
If you have a fiscal agent your proposal must include:
- A letter from the fiscal agent’s Executive Director verifying your fiscal relationship, dated within the last six months;
- 1 copy of the fiscal agent’s IRS Letter of Determination or 1 copy of Certificate of Incorporation (only if you don’t have a Letter of Determination);
- The fiscal agent’s most recent audited financials (if your fiscal agent does not have audited financials please provide their most recent 990, 990EZ, or 990-N);
- Your year-end income and expense report (not your fiscal agents year-end income and expense report); and
- Your year-end balance sheet (not your fiscal agent's year-end balance sheet).
To see examples of the community organizing work Headwaters Foundation supports, including profiles of successful grantees and a list of our grants for the last several years, visit our grantee page.