Grant Eligibility: The Basics

Our grant programs share a few basic eligibility requirements, listed in the next column over. Please refer to the guidelines of the grant program you want to apply for to review full eligibility requirements. You will find these specific guidelines on each program's web page as each application period opens. Programs currently include: Giving Project Grant, Community Innovation Grant, The Fund of the Sacred Circle

To be eligible for funding from Headwaters, an organization must:

Be a legally-incorporated entity with 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) status or have a fiscal agent.

NOTE: 501(c)(4) organizations are not eligible for a Community Innovation Grant

Be based in and carry out your work in Minnesota.

NOTE: The Fund of the Sacred Circle accepts proposals from organizations based in western Wisconsin.

Satisfy reporting requirements for all previous HFJ grants.

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Community-Led Grant Making

Why Headwaters Makes Grants 

Headwaters invests in organizations across Minnesota that use community organizing as a core strategy to make transformative change. We do this because we believe that the people who are most affected by society's injustices hold the power to heal society. 

We know that the journey toward justice, systems change, and liberation takes time and needs resources.  As you search our website to get familiar with our grant programs, please contact us: We want to hear about you, your community, and the people who lead your work.

How Headwaters Makes Grants

Headwaters does philanthropy differently. We rely on people from the community to participate in all of our grantmaking programs. Staff invite and train people how to do everything from fundraising, reviewing grant proposals, leading site visits, and making grant recommendations to our Board of Directors. 

Step One


Program staff read proposals to make sure that organizations meet basic eligibility requirements and that application materials are complete.

Step Two


Community grantmakers use program-specific criteria to review proposals and select applicants for site visits.

Step Three

Site Visit

Program staff and community grantmakers visit applicants to learn more about their work and community.

Step Four

Final Selection

Community grantmakers present what they learned during site visits. Together, they make final recommendations to our Board of Directors.

Step Five

Board Approval

Program staff present recommendations to the Board for final approval.