Bush Foundation

Location: 101 5th St. E, Ste. 2400 St. Paul MN 55101

EIN: 41-6017815

Write a Review

Phone: (651) 227-0891

Fax: (651) 297-6485

Website: www.bushfoundation.org

70%

30%

What was the overall relationship with the funder?

How many hours did the grant application process take?

20 hours

Median

75%

25%

How would you rate this funder's accessibility?

38%

63%

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

Important Information

2017 Deadlines: Deadlines vary by program. Visit www.bushfoundation.org for details as deadlines are established. Effective September 2016, Community Innovation Grant program has no deadline - apply anytime!

Types of Grants Awarded: Project, Operating, Sponsorship, Other (Fellowships)

Geographic Focus: Minnesota Statewide, North Dakota, and South Dakota

Interests/Priorities

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dako-ta and the 23 Native nations that share the geography. The Foundation aims to inspire and support creative problem solving to make these regions better for everyone.

The Foundation implements its vision through the following programs:
• Community Innovation and Leadership: Community Innovation and Leadership programs are awarded through competitive grant and fellowship processes open to all eligible applicants in the region. Grants support innovation through community-powered problem solving that allows communities to develop and test new solutions to community challenges.
• Community Creativity, Education, Native Nation Building, and Social Business Ventures: Each of these initiatives makes a handful of large investments every year to accomplish a particular goal.
• Ecosystem: Ecosystem grants sustain organizations that create unique and significant value for Bush Founda-tion grantees, Fellows, Rebuilders and more.
• Communications and Convenings: The Foundation shares stories of the people and organizations it invests in, and supports events that inspire, equip and connect people across the region.

Key Personnel

President: Jennifer Ford Reedy

Strategy and Learning Vice President: Allison Barmann

Community Network Vice President: Duchesne Drew

Program Operations Director: Kelly Kleppe

Financial Summary

For Fiscal Year 2015

Total Assets: $895,000,000

Total Grants: $32,518,493

Change in Assets FY 2015: -3%

Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits: 72%

Sample Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits in 2015

Largest Grant: $4,000,000

Smallest Grant: $1,000

Average Grant: $163,709

Top descriptors for this funder

8Worth the time to pitch4Culturally sensitive4Positive leader in the field3Unclear objectives3Multiyear funding3Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field2Builds relationships2Openminded2Risk taker2Not worth the time to pitch1Bureaucratic1Difficult to work with

Advice from a Friend

Bush Foundation

Aug 01, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Unless your last name is Ford-Reedy, I'd suggest looking for funding somewhere else. Ultra-competitive process with very few grants awarded. Unless you can find some way to apply for "Other programs". *Wink*

Cons

Inadvertently exerts negative influence in the field, Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Difficult to work with, Bureaucratic

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Aug 01, 2017

Our President's last name is Ford-Reedy, but it would be a conflict of interested if she attempted to get funding.
We have a limited number of open grant opportunities that are very competitive, which is why we encourage potential applicants to reach out to our staff to inquire about their fit with our programs.
The "Other Programs" filter option in our Fellows and Grantees databases is having technical issues and will be fixed by the end of 2017.
Thanks for taking the time to give us feedback! We appreciate the opportunity to provide clarity.

Jul 18, 2017 1

Reviewer 625 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Bush Foundation really knows what it is doing and is VERY thorough indeed. Impressed by their understanding of non-profits and the work the Foundation does.

Pros

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

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Thank you!

Jun 23, 2017

Reviewer 827 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

The Community Innovation grant program is NOT a great way to try to secure funds for your existing work - either general operating or program. No matter how skilled you are at making your existing work look like the hottest new thing, they'll see through it. They're really looking to fund new ideas that are shared by multiple groups within a community. If you're serious about this grant opportunity, get ready to split the grant amount with at least one another nonprofit/group.

Pros

Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, Openminded

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

True, we are looking for applicants who collaborate and innovate in order to solve problems in their community. We hope grant-seekers will set up an inquiry call with our staff to find out if their program/idea is a good fit for this grant before applying. Learn more about our Community Innovation program and how to set up an inquiry call that works with your schedule on our website: https://www.bushfoundation.org/grants/community-innovation-grants

Jun 15, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied before 2014

Bush is very much into their jargon and logic-models. They play favorites and tend to be more supportive of organizations they like rather than taking a consistent view of program quality or effectiveness.

Pros

Culturally sensitive

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Thanks for your feedback.
In 2017 we set a strategic goal to simplify our language and make it accessible, relevant and consistent. This is a work-in-progress and we hope it will clarify our funding opportunities even more.
In 2016 we launched a Grantee Database to share the grants we award and the range of grantees who receive them: https://www.bushfoundation.org/grantees
We’re always trying to expand our audience and reach new potential grantees. Feel free to contact us if you’d like more information about opportunities we offer: https://www.bushfoundation.org/contact-us

Jan 24, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

They try hard to be open and accountable but in all their efforts, their decisionmaking still seems very opaque.

Pros

Reasonable character restrictions, Culturally sensitive

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Thank you for the feedback.

Jun 28, 2016 7

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

...it was really hard to navigate the process.

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

We’re sorry to hear you felt this way. Please contact us with any questions about process or if there is anything you find difficult to navigate. You’ll find contact information on the staff listing on our website, direct email addresses for each program team on the programs web page, or you can always submit a question on our contact form: https://www.bushfoundation.org/contact-us

Jun 15, 2016 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

It feels a bit overwhelming, but I like their ideology and direction. I hope they recognize the potential of smaller and newer organizations.

Pros

Worth the time to pitch

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Thanks!

Jun 15, 2016 3

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

they aren't willing to "take risks" on small community based organizations led by people of color.

Cons

Unclear objectives

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Check out b Magazine or our Grantee Database to get a better idea of the people and ideas we fund.
http://bmag.bushfoundation.org/
https://www.bushfoundation.org/grantees

Jun 15, 2016 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2013

their new funding guidelines are amazing and they are supporting really valuable projects.

Pros

Worth the time to pitch, Multiyear funding, Positive leader in the field

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Thank you!

Jun 15, 2016 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2013

The staff are incredibly responsive and available, but it can be a challenge sometimes to figure out what will resonate.

Pros

Worth the time to pitch, Multiyear funding, Positive leader in the field

More Feedback

Response from Bush Foundation

Jul 26, 2017

Thanks for your feedback.

Would you like to share your experiences about this funder?

funder logo

Bush Foundation