Bush Foundation

Location: 101 Fifth Street East, St Paul, 55101 MN

EIN: 41-6017815

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71%

29%

What was the overall relationship with the funder?

How many hours did the grant application process take?

20 hours

Median

79%

21%

How would you rate this funder's accessibility?

57%

43%

How successfully do you think the funder is accomplishing its current philanthropic goals?

Important Information

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Top descriptors for this funder

8Worth the time to pitch7Culturally sensitive7Positive leader in the field6Openminded5Risk taker4Builds relationships4Friendly4Responsive3"Gets" nonprofits and issues3Gives more than money3Insightful3Unclear objectives

Advice from a Friend

Bush Foundation

Apr 11, 2018

Reviewer 6601 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Hard to understand what they want to fund, while they say something new, not sure how they define new and initiative.

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Response from Bush Foundation

Apr 19, 2018

We're sorry you feel this way. Our staff are always available over email, on the phone or in person to answer questions. In fact,w e strongly encourage everyone to reach out to us before applying for a grant so we can save you time.

Feb 16, 2018

Did not apply

Please see other comment. If you are in a marginalized population you might want to know MN culture. MN nice is often exclusive and not nice. And passive aggressive. Equity conversations don't alway go well in MN culture.

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Culturally incompetent, Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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Response from Bush Foundation

Feb 19, 2018

I'm not sure which "rule" you're referring to, but I'm sorry you had an experience that made you feel this way. Please reach out to any staff member if you would like to discuss this further. Thank you for sharing.

Feb 09, 2018

Reviewer 9181 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Take advantage of the opportunities to gain insight on the grantmaking process as well as feedback if you don't get the grant. The webinars and opportunities to talk with individuals at the foundation are very helpful.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded

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Response from Bush Foundation

Feb 09, 2018

We're glad you found it useful! Thanks for sharing your positive feedback!

Jan 19, 2018

Reviewer 649 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Even though the guidelines state that they will fund a potential project at any stage of development - if you are past the planning stage, don't bother applying.

Cons

Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues

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Response from Bush Foundation

Feb 09, 2018

Sorry to hear you feel this way. We strongly encourage organizations to reach out to staff and set up time to talk before going through all the work it takes to fill out an application.

Jan 18, 2018

Reviewer 730 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Have applied via the Community Innovation process , as well as the smaller Community Innovation via Headwaters. Appreciate the larger amounts available, and the goals of this program. Feel like the communication around racial equity and inclusion work could be emphasized more than just the "define your project" language. A warning here that very few projects at this scale can be funded, and that even at the Headwaters level not many projects are funded compared to the number of applications.

Pros

Friendly, Responsive

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Response from Bush Foundation

Jan 19, 2018

Thank you for your feedback – we’re always working to improve how we give feedback to applicants.

Oct 11, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

We found their guidelines less than clear and despite multiple conversations with Bush personnel, we don't feel that they were interested in learning about us, the context of our proposed project, or recognizing the importance of our intended impacts. I'm sorry, but we felt under appreciated by the personnel that we talked with.

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Response from Bush Foundation

Oct 11, 2017

We're sorry you feel underappreciated. We try to be clear and open with grant-seekers about what is a fit within our funding. Sometimes we aren't clear enough that the project isn't a fit. We don't want people to waste time applying if they aren't a fit.
Thank you for leaving feedback. We'll keep working on getting better and being more clear. Feel free to contact staff at any time to get feedback on why your project wasn't a fit.

Oct 04, 2017 2

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Bush has long and good history, but in past several years they are hard to figure out. Seem to be interested in long processes to identify problems, but less so in funding programs that can solve issues.

Cons

Bureaucratic, Risk averse

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Response from Bush Foundation

Oct 05, 2017

We understand that people find our program language difficult to understand. We’re rewriting our descriptions to simplify our language and to make our messages clear. Thanks for your feedback! We want to be as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Oct 04, 2017

Reviewer 198 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2014

Always best to have a conversation with a staff person from the program you are applying in, have a list of specific questions you have in advance of this conversation. Staff very friendly and helpful.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Response from Bush Foundation

Oct 04, 2017

Thank you for the feedback and the suggestion. We do appreciate it when people talk to us before applying. Contact info for our program staff is available on our website, and some programs use a scheduling service where grant-seekers select the time they want staff to call them.

Aug 31, 2017 2

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Our organization has applied four times to this funder, and never made it past the first round. Each proposal - prep/discussion/ideation, writing, reviewing, re-writing - takes at least 25 hours, and probably more when adding other peoples' time. The staff there is very accessible, but the amount of human capital that goes into each application process, with low probability of return (although big return for a lucky few), raises many questions to me about meta cost-benefit to our sector.

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Response from Bush Foundation

Aug 31, 2017

Thanks for your feedback. We appreciate your time and will share this information with staff for consideration.

Aug 28, 2017 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

Contact staff ahead of time. They will be honest and open with you about your idea. They have not been great in my experience for ongoing support for programs or gen op, but they are pretty good about having accurate guidelines available and supporting projects that are a fit.

Pros

Culturally sensitive, Openminded, Responsive

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Response from Bush Foundation

Aug 28, 2017

Thanks for your review!

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Bush Foundation