Minneapolis Foundation

Location: 80 South Eight Street, Minneapolis, 55402 MN

EIN: 41-6029402

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12 hours

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80%

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Important Information

2017 Deadlines:

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Key Personnel

Financial Summary

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Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits:

Sample Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits in

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Top descriptors for this funder

4Friendly4Responsive4Worth the time to pitch4Builds relationships3"Gets" nonprofits and issues3Positive leader in the field3Culturally sensitive2Openminded1Insightful1Likes site visits1Not worth the time to pitch1Funding received later than promised

Advice from a Friend

Minneapolis Foundation

Aug 29, 2017

Reviewer 742 - Did not apply

Call before you apply. It saved us a lot of time to have them tell us not to bother applying.

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

We encourage all intended applicants to read the grant guidelines before they call one of the Directors of Impact Strategy. The Director will provide feedback on how well your organization, program, or idea aligns with one of our three focus areas.

Aug 02, 2017 1

Reviewer 942 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Minneapolis Foundation has a large range of different funding options and partnerships, but what the funds directly administered by Foundation staff have in common in transparency. While it can be challenging to connect to individual and family funds, the Community Grants and other small grants run by Foundation staff all have an RFP process that is public and visible. The staff responsible for each area are open to questions and willing to advise you. The guidelines and goals are typically pretty clear, so if you look at the guidelines and think, "Well, I am kind of close, but not exactly on target" I would suggest talking to the staff and thinking carefully before you apply. Every time I have had that feeling. I have been turned down, whereas most of the time when I have felt like, "This is a great fit!" my request has been successful.

The only issue I have encountered is with the online system. In the past I have had issues with variances between the application questions as distributed by the foundation and the actual questions in the application. This has improved over time, but I have learned to be very careful. I have also had issues with inadvertently choosing the wrong application. if more than one RFP is open at the same time. When you decide to apply, open the online application RIGHT AWAY and carefully check the questions to be sure you have the right application and the right question set. Also check for character count limitations; those are usually (but not always) noted on the questions the foundation distributes. Nothing is worse than frantically re-writing your application at the last minute because of a disconnect between the question you carefully crafted a response to and the actual question on the online form.

Pros

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

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for your feedback on the Foundation's efforts to provide transparency across our funding opportunities. To learn more about those opportunities, you can sign up to receive grant cycle updates at http://www.minneapolisfoundation.org/grants/overview/.

We encourage all intended applicants to read the grant guidelines before they call one of the Directors of Impact Strategy. The Director will provide feedback on how well your organization, program, or idea aligns with one of our three focus areas. This will help save time and help you decide whether you wish to proceed with an application.

Thank you for expressing concerns about our online system. We encourage this feedback so that we can continue to improve the system for its functionality.

The word documents have been posted well in advance of the actual access to the online application. Changes may have been made to the online questions not reflected in the word document. We will make every effort to ensure the consistency of the word documents and online documents. Character count limitations will be visible on all text questions.

Finally, there are times when multiple applications are open for different purposes. We are continuing to address this through instructions and working with our developer for other options.

Aug 01, 2017 2

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Great to work with, responsive, willing to talk through your pitch with you. But prepare yourself for the Byzantine process of applying. You have to be ready to explain how your program addresses their Frameworks, "Shifts", and "Key Drivers". Because they know whats best for the community.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Friendly, Builds relationships, Responsive

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for this feedback. Our Strategic Framework and Five Shifts of Social Change are intended to provide further insight on how we are defining our work for social, economic, and racial equity.

Our Focus Areas narrow this further to identify goals and what we will fund. We do believe that achieving equity is best for the community, and through these strategies, we are confident in achieving the intended Key Results that lead toward social, economic, and racial equity.

Jul 18, 2017 1

Reviewer 515 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

The Foundation has a specific strategic/equity framework applicants must address. It is important to read through their website and materials to ensure you fit. Also, could connect with the program officer, who is very helpful and accessible. Attending their annual community information meetings is also helpful. Application is online.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for your feedback. We encourage all intended applicants to read the grant guidelines before they call one of the Directors of Impact Strategy. The Director will provide feedback on how well your organization, program, or idea aligns with one of our three focus areas.

Attending the community information meetings or watching an overview of the grantmaking process online is also encouraged. The advantage of attending the community information meeting is having an opportunity to connect with others and benefit from the Director's points of view regarding their individual portfolios and how performance is being measured.

Jul 12, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

The program officers I've interacted with are good communicators, they gave us a good sense of where we stood with them and clear next steps.

Pros

Friendly, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for your feedback. Our Directors of Impact Strategy strive to be available and responsive to all questions.

Jun 20, 2017 2

Reviewer 438 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

The Minneapolis Foundation is well-known as having an obtuse and difficult application (and reports), rife with jargon and inside-the-Foundation-speak. Be patient and attend informational meetings to help understand what they want.

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for your feedback regarding the use of jargon and inside-the-Foundation-speak. We are aware of this challenge and appreciate the need to communicate our Strategic Framework and Guidelines more clearly and thereby improving the application and reporting requirements. We also understand the complexity across all three focus areas and different applications for each Key Driver. We will continue our effort to simplify where possible, but the challenges we are addressing are complex and need depth in its review.

Jan 24, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2014

Great meeting with the program officer
of the Minneapolis Foundation

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for the positive feedback! The Directors of Impact Strategy are available to meet face to face with potential applicants, but this is not always necessary. The Directors are available for telephone or other electronic communication. If the situation warrants it, a site visit may also take place.

Jun 15, 2016

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

Keep you grant application clear and succinct and make sure you have all of your financial paperwork in a "go-to" folder - this will make reporting and applying for another grant much easier in the future!

Pros

Worth the time to pitch


Cons

Funding received later than promised

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for this recommendation to potential applicants. We encourage all applicants to give themselves enough time to fill out the online application and use a "working file" for all documents so they will be handy when you are ready to submit.

Funding that is received later than promised is usually a matter of when the Terms of Grant are signed and returned by the grantee. Terms of Grant go out after January 1st and when they are returned, are paid out within the next week. If there are questions or concerns about the Terms of Grant, please contact your Director of Impact Strategy immediately.

Jun 15, 2016 2

Grant Applicant - applied in 2015

Read the instructions several more times than you usually do. Read the recommended strategy articles several times. Watch the word/space count.

Pros

Worth the time to pitch

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for the recommendations to potential applicants. We also encourage all intended applicants to call one of the Directors of Impact Strategy if they have questions regarding the application. The Director will provide feedback on how well your organization, program, or idea aligns with one of our three focus areas.

Jun 15, 2016 1

Grant Applicant - applied in 2014

If you are aren't doing EXACTLY what is prescribed don't apply

Cons

Not worth the time to pitch

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Response from Minneapolis Foundation

Dec 27, 2017

Thank you for this response. The Minneapolis Foundation's Strategic Framework and Grant Guidelines are intended to be specific. The Fundable Activities and Key Results indicate where investments will be made. If there are questions about how well your organization, program, or idea aligns with three focus areas, please contact a Director of Impact Strategy before applying.

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Minneapolis Foundation