Northwest Area Foundation Awards $2.04 Million to Prosperity Building Efforts
Grants will support proven approaches that build assets and wealth, strengthen capacity and leadership and improve public policy
ST. PAUL, Minn. (November 19, 2009) The Northwest Area Foundation has awarded 14 grants totaling $2.04 million to nationally-known and ethnically-diverse organizations with proven track records of success offering approaches that reduce poverty by building prosperity across its eight-state region. This is the first set of grants made under the Foundation’s new strategic plan approved by the board of directors in October 2008.
“We believe the best way to reduce poverty is to ensure fair access to meaningful opportunity,” said Kevin Walker, president and CEO of the Northwest Area Foundation. “That change begins with making sure people can build their financial assets, but it also means building on the human potential that resides in every low-income community. These grants support a diverse array of outstanding organizations that are hard at work unlocking that potential.”
The awards will further one or more of three outcomes critical to the Foundation’s mission:
Asset and wealth building - $1.565 million was awarded to nationally recognized nonprofits that can support organizations that integrate economic development with asset- and wealth-building practices and expand regional partnerships for workforce development, small business strategies and green jobs development across the Foundation’s eight-state region.
- $1.265 million was granted to a cluster of intermediary organizations that provide local community organizations with technical assistance, training, networking, leadership, and support for small grants. Grants include:
- CFED of Washington D.C. - $365,000
- National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders of San Antonio, Texas - $300,000
- Oregon Native American Business and Entrepreneurial Network of Tigard, Ore. - $200,000
- First Nations Oweesta of Rapid City, S.D. - $200,000
- First Nations Development Institute of Longmont, Colo.- $100,000
- Seattle Economic Development Association of Seattle, Wash., fiscal sponsor of Express Advantage - $100,000
- $300,000 will support partnerships among workforce and small business development initiatives in Minneapolis. Grants were awarded to Emerge Community Development and Summit Academy OIC, for training in the new green jobs industry and to increase access to jobs created through federal stimulus dollars. A grant to the Neighborhood Development Center will provide training, technical assistance and micro lending for start-up and expanding micro businesses.
Improving public policy solutions - $375,000 was awarded to the following organizations:
- Northwest Federation of Community Organizations of Seattle, Wash., - $100,000, to conduct research and increase civic engagement of low-income, immigrants and communities of color by training and engaging leaders who will build coalitions to address public policy issues that impact poverty reduction and prosperity building initiatives.
- $275,000 was awarded to assist in the expansion or start-up phase of State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI) affiliates in North Dakota, South Dakota and Montana. SFAI affiliates are nonprofit, nonpartisan organizations that conduct rigorous policy analysis in order to advocate for responsible tax and budget policies, particularly as they impact people with low- and moderate- incomes. Grants to lead these efforts were awarded to:
Strengthening capacity and leadership - $100,000 was awarded to Western Organization of Resource Councils of Billings, Mont, to develop leadership and advocacy in the small-scale renewable energy industry that will leverage federal incentives and create green jobs and businesses which benefit people with low incomes. Project examples include a micro-biodiesel pilot program and retrofitting energy-efficient schools to reduce energy costs.
The Foundation is currently accepting grant proposals only on an invitation basis. For more information about the Foundation’s grantmaking approach and the work of grantees across its eight-state region, please visit www.nwaf.org.
The Northwest Area Foundation is dedicated to supporting efforts by the people, organizations and communities in Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Oregon and Washington to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable prosperity. These states were served by the Great Northern Railway, founded by James J. Hill. In 1934, Hill’s son Louis W. Hill established the Foundation.
Sylvia Burgos Toftness
Northwest Area Foundation
(651) 225-7704 - office
(651) 269-6843 - cell