3 survey respondents
Location: 127 S 2nd St Ste 100, Mankato, 56001 MN
Types of Grants Awarded:
For Fiscal Year
Change in Assets FY :
Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits:
Reviewer 1604 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2020
Grateful to see their quick mobilization of funds during COVID-19 relief. Application was very simple and we quickly heard back. However, in follow-up after our app submission, a foundation/UW rep challenged much of our app material, insisting that they wanted to see proof of solicitation of gov funds (which we were already doing), proof that funds go "directly to individuals" (which was the plan) and that gift cards would be most effective (which we explained would NOT be the most responsible use of funds). Multiple times I included the contact information of staff members who could speak more directly to their questions, but to my knowledge, the foundation rep didn't take the time to ask.
These email explanations went around in circles a couple times. It felt like they were trying to "nail" us on something to disqualify us. For how "flexible" their COVID-19 relief funding was supposed to be, I found it ironic how much the follow-up implied distrust in us and insisted THEIR way of using the money, which actually contradicted the increased needs we were seeing in the community.
Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Difficult to work with, Bureaucratic
Current or former grantee
Funded for amount requested
The app was very easy to complete, and we heard back right away!
Trust your grantees when they offer you a method for "direct support" that is different than your definition. Trust them when they say that gift cards, for example, are perhaps not the best way to maximize program funds. Spend more time working with the nonprofit staff to understand community needs & solutions instead of insisting on YOUR way of "direct support" to families.
Make some kind of personal connection with a staff member first!
10 to 15 hours
Reviewer 3277 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018
It felt like we had to have an insider to successfully receive funding. Without a strong advocate inside the foundation, it felt like our application received harsh analysis and inappropriately prescriptive suggestions for how to improve our work. We have decided not to pursue future funding because of this experience.
Applied and not funded
The funder was quite interested in sharing their analysis of our shortcomings. But they seemed little interested in hearing about our perspectives of the strengths of our program.
If you're getting funding, this is a great foundation. They are doing interesting work to bring together the community's agencies. But there's a clear line between insiders and outsiders.
There aren't that many nonprofits here. Be nice to us.
This funder has a great sense of making Mankato a vibrant place to live. They take this work seriously.
Reviewer 115 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016
Don't bother asking for funds from them. They asked me a lot of questions unrelated to the grant application and were supportive of my proposal. But then I was rejected without any indication of why or what I should do differently. I did not have a pleasant experience and would not go back again.
Doesn't "get" nonprofits and issues, Difficult to work with
Applied and not funded
The foundation is very accessible for people calling in. However, the advice I received from the program officer - who gave positive support for my proposal - did not help me succeed. I was confused as to why and the foundation never gave me a response. My emails were ignored when I wanted more information. I feel they want people to apply to have competitive grant numbers, but focus their efforts on self-selected projects.
If their goal is placing their name on hand-picked projects, they are doing a great job. I'm not sure how they help people in the community though.
Give some feedback to applicants who are not funded. I felt everything was going well from the conversations I had, and then my grant suddenly didn't come through.
They do not get nonprofits. All they like is putting their name on projects so people donate to them. The projects they fund do not support the nonprofit sector where our community actually needs help.
They are very responsive to phone calls and inquiries they receive on the front end of grant applications.
10 to 15 hours