Grantmaking Year in Review: an HFJ update

October 2020 

Beloved Community,  

The summer was full of pandemic, physical distancing, mutual aid, and righteous anger. Through it all, HFJ grantee partners continued to care for community, fight for liberation, and call out for justice across Minnesota. Sometimes with grace, sometimes with fury. Always with hope. 

With fall settling in, many of us are in back to school mode. We know it’s both familiar and different this year. As these routines become another new normal for now, everyone at Headwaters sends care to families, teachers, school staff, childcare workers, and, of course, to our students.  

We are moving forward with our fundraising and grantmaking work. We also think it’s important to pause and share a few recent wins with you, because you helped make them possible. This is why we’re connecting with you today. 

July 1st, 2019 marked a new fiscal year for Headwaters, and this past June 30th, 2020 closed it. During that time, we invested over $4.5 million in grants to 143 organizations* across Minnesota through the Giving Project GrantCommunity Innovation GrantFund of the Sacred CircleCommunities First FundThe Transformation Fund, and our donor advised funds, among others. You, our network of donors, brought this remarkable level of HFJ grantmaking to life.  

Here highlights from our latest grantmaking work (expect more detail in our formal annual report, which will be published in early 2021): 

  • The average grant amount was over $30,000—up from a previous average of $15,000  
  • The latest Giving Project cohort raised and distributed over $230,000 to 14 organizations 
  • Communities First Fund raised over $1.1 million  
  • The Transformation Fund raised over $2.5 million  

And here are just are three examples of what grantee partners have done thanks to these investments: 

  • Manidoo Ogitigaan paid stipends to community members who picked medicine, gathered food, made home deliveries, and assisted with disaster relief. They also provided PPE to essential workers in Ponemah, and supplies to border patrol workers on the Red Lake Indian reservation. 
  • South Sudanese Foundation, based in the Fargo-Moorhead area, hired a distance learning coordinator to help refugee and immigrant students and their families connect to and use distance learning. They also hired a rapid response community coordinator to translate public health information at local, state, and federal levels, and then share the information through phone trees and designated social media platforms.  
  • Hispanic Outreach of Goodhue County used HFJ grant dollars for their emergency fund, which received 8,000 requests for help with rent, utilities, food, and medical costs in the first month of the coronavirus pandemic. They are the only organization serving the Latinx community in the Red Wing, Cannon Falls, Zumbrota, and Pine Island region. 

One of our core values is trust in community. While we invested in community-generated solutions, we also saw you placing your trust in us. Your giving increased so significantly, it led to Headwaters doubling our previous year’s grantmaking work.  

Never forget how we achieved this together during a pandemic and an uprising after a Minneapolis police officer killed George Floyd. Joy Elizabeth, one of our most recent Giving Project alums, sums this season up best: “It is amazing to see how incredibly generous we are being, both with ourselves and with each other. We have abundance and know how to show up, focused, for the community right now.” 

In solidarity, 
HFJ Board Co-Chairs Avi Viswanathan and Coco 

*The 143 organizations HFJ invested in (groups with a “^” next to their name received support only from one of our donor advised funds): 

African Career and Education Resource, Inc  

Afro American Development Association  

Al Maa’uun  

All Parks Alliance for Change  


American Indian Community Housing Organization  

Ananya Dance Theatre ^  

APIA MN Film Collective  

Appetite for Change  

Asian American Organizing Project  

Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice ^  

Autism Society of Minnesota  

Awood Center  

Ayada Leads  

Bdote Learning Center  

Biodynamic Cohort ^  

Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project  

Black Table Arts  

Black Visions Collective  

BlackOUT Collective ^  

Body Wisdom ^  

Breast Cancer Action ^  

Building Dignity and Respect Standards Council ^  

BVM Capacity Building Institute ^  

Capital & Main ^  

Center for Popular Democracy ^  

Center for Third World Organizing ^  

Central Area Neighborhood Development Organization  

Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha  

Change Inc  

Chinook Fund ^  

City of Lakes Community Land Trust  


Community Stabilization Project  

Council on American Islamic Relations -CAIR-Minnesota, Inc.  

Dakota Wicohan  

Defend Glendale and Public Housing Coalition  

Division Of Indian Work  

Dream of Wild Health  

East Side Freedom Library ^  

Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc.  

Envision Community  

Exodus Lending  

Exposed Brick Theatre  

Family Tree, Inc  

For The Culture ^  

Free Black Dirt  

Free Forest School ^  

Frogtown Neighborhood Association  

Good Food Purchasing Policy Twin Cities  

Grassroots Indigenous Multimedia  

Greater Minneapolis Crisis Nursery ^  

Greater Minnesota Worker Center  

Green America ^  

Groundswell ^  

Headwaters Foundation for Justice ^  

Hispanic Outreach Program of Goodhue  

Hmong American Farmers Association  

Hnub Tshiab: Hmong Women Achieving Together  

Honor the Earth ^  

Hope Community  

Immigrant Development Center  

In the Heart of the Beast Puppet and Mask Theatre ^  

Indigenous Environmental Network ^  

Indigenous Peoples Task Force ^  

Indigenous Roots  

InquilinXs UnidXs Por Justicia   


Jewish Community Action ^  

Joyce Preschool  

Juxtaposition Arts  

Land Stewardship Project ^  

Landmark Conservancy ^  

Lao Assistance Center of MN  

Leaders of Color Collective  

Lower Phalen Creek Project ^  

Main Street Project ^  

Manidoo Ogitigaan  

Medical Students for Choice ^  

Metro Quail Forever ^  

Micro Grants ^  

Midwest Mixed  

Migizi Communications  

Minnesota Transgender Health Coalition ^  

Minnesota Voice  

Move to Amend ^  

Movement Voter Project ^  


National Black Food and Justice Alliance ^  

National Network of Abortion Funds ^  

Native American Community Development Institute  

Native Governance Center  

Navigate MN  

New Arab American Theater Works  

Niibi Center  

Nokomis East Neighborhood Association (NENA)  

OutFront Minnesota Community Services  

Penumbra Theatre  

People’s Movement Center ^  

PFund Foundation ^  

Postpartum Support International ^  

Powderhorn Park Neighborhood Association  

Pueblos de Lucha y Esperanza  

re:power fund ^  


Redeemer Center for Life  


Resident Association of Greater Englewood ^  

Resource Generation ^  

Restaurant Opportunities Center of Minnesota (ROC-MN)  

Reviving the Islamic Sisterhood for Empowerment  

Rights4Girls ^  

Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation  

Somali American Women Action Center  

South Sudanese Foundation  

Southerners On New Ground ^  

Southside Family Charter School ^  

St. David’s Center for Child and Family Development  

St. Paul Youth Services  

TakeAction MN  

The Bridge for Youth  

The Enitan Story  

The Nature Conservancy ^  

The SEAD Project  

The Shalom Center ^  

Third Wave Foundation ^  

Tiwahe Foundation ^  

Toxic Taters Coalition  

Trans Women of Color Collective ^  

Ujamaa Place ^  

Unicorn Riot  

Unite Cloud  

Upstream Arts  

Urban Homeworks  

Voices for Racial Justice   


Well Being Development  

West Broadway Business & Area Coalition  

West Side Citizens Organization  

White Earth Land Recovery Project  

Women for Political Change  

Women’s Environmental Institute ^  

Young Dance  

Young Muslim Collective ^