Grants Announced in Fourth Quarter 2011
Northwest Area Foundation announced $2,259,142 in grants in the Fourth Quarter of 2011 to develop job skills, increase access to banking, build personal assets, promote leadership, and improve public policies that benefit low- and moderate-income families. The grants further the Foundation’s strategies of building assets and wealth, increasing capacity and leadership, and improving public policy. We believe that is the most effective way of moving from poverty to prosperity.
Asset- and Wealth-Building Grants
Build Wealth MN Inc. of Minneapolis, Minn., received $75,000 for the Family Stabilization Plan, a two-year financial education program that teaches household budgeting and savings. The goal is to match working families with basic financial products, services, products, and affordable housing in order to increase credit scores and move toward a more stable financial future.
Grant term: Oct. 1, 2011 – Sept. 30, 2012
CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development) of Washington, D.C. received $500,000 for the Expanding Capacity to Build Assets in the Northwest initiative. CFED will provide data, analysis, public policy training, and organizational assistance to a network of nonprofit asset-building organizations known as the Asset and Opportunity Network. The work will focus particularly on building organizational ability in Idaho, Iowa, and North Dakota as well as on Native American reservations where the networks are not as well established as in the five other states the Foundation serves (Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, Washington, and Oregon).
Grant term: Jan. 1, 2012 –Jan. 31, 2014
Iowa Caregivers Association of Des Moines, Iowa, received $215,000 to work with its national partner, PHI, to expand anti-poverty efforts among direct-care workers in Iowa. The funding will provide low-income workers with access to asset-building programs, including the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). EITC is a tax credit for low-wage workers that reduces the amount of taxes paid and may even offer a refund.
Grant term: Oct. 1, 2011 – Sept. 30, 2013
Mission Asset Fund of San Francisco, Calif., received $200,000 for the Northwest Lending Circles Capacity Building project. A service for people with too few assets to qualify for bank accounts, Lending Circles will expand its successful program into five communities within the Foundation’s region. It will help low-income workers learn to use banking services, build credit scores, increase their financial stability, and begin saving for long-term goals such as education, home ownership, citizenship, and small-business startups.
Grant term: Nov. 1, 2011 – Oct. 31, 2013
Rural Learning Center of Howard, S.D., will receive $100,000 for the Green Jobs training Project which will prepare low- and moderate-income workers for positions such as wind power turbine installers and wind energy technicians in the emerging renewable energy industry.
Grant term: Dec. 1, 2011 – Nov. 30, 2011
Spectrum Resource Program of Des Moines, Iowa, was awarded $60,000 for the Phoenix Project, which provides entry level jobs training for young adults ages 18-21. Foundation support will provide workforce development for ex-offenders, many of whom are high school dropouts.
Grant term: Oct. 1, 2011 – Aug. 31, 2012
Capacity & Leadership Grants
El Centro de la Raza of Seattle, Wash., received $40,000 for the Volunteer Coordination and Capacity Building project. The funding will support volunteer outreach and financial education to English language learners. Participants will learn fundamentals of banking and personal financial management as well as receive coaching and free tax-preparation services.
Grant term: June 1, 2011 – May 31, 2012
Headwaters Foundation for Justice of Minneapolis, Minn., received $75,000 to support the Twin Cities African American Leadership Forum. Grant dollars support efforts to engage leaders to develop a policy agenda to address issues of poverty and disparity in the African American community.
Grant term: July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2011
Indian Nonprofit Alliance of Roscoe, Mont., received $25,000 for general operating support. The grant will increase the organization’s ability to offer training, support, and networking opportunities to Native American nonprofit organizations in Montana.
Grant term: April 1, 2011 – March 31, 2012
Native Americans in Philanthropy (NAP) of Minneapolis, Minn., received $150,000 for their Visioning, Capacity Building & Leadership Development 2030 & Beyond project. The funding will support NAP’s leadership development through engagement and knowledge sharing. It will build organizational ability to create vibrant Native American communities in urban, rural and reservation areas.
Grant term: Nov. 1, 2011 – Oct. 31, 2013
TakeAction Minnesota Education Fund of St. Paul, Minn., received $50,000 for the Organizing a New Economy program, which seeks to rebuild Minnesota’s economy. Grant dollars will support grassroots community organizing efforts that build engaged leaders able to advocate for better workplace and social insurance policies that will reduce poverty.
Grant term: Sept. 1, 2011 – Aug. 31, 2012
Urban League of Portland of Portland, Ore., received $36,267 to support the Portland African American Leadership Forum. The award will expand and strengthen efforts of African American leaders to create a policy agenda and Blueprint for Action that would improve health and well being in their community.
Grant term: May 1, 2011 – May 1, 2012
Improving Public Policy Grants
Center for Rural Affairs of Lyons, Neb., received $75,000 for the Reducing Poverty through Advocacy, Organizing, and Policy Change initiative. The project will focus on advocating for better federal policies that impact small business development and on strengthening grassroots networks. Grant dollars will support a research-based report on policy recommendations for rural communities.
Grant term: Jan. 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2011
Employers for Educational Excellence of Portland, Ore., received $25,000 for the Long Term Outcome Budget and Strategic Management System initiative. The project calls for revamping the Oregon state budget system to focus on long-term needs of reducing deficits while providing better education, healthcare, public safety, and economic vitality.
Grant term: April 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2011
Montana Budget and Policy Center of Helena, Mont., received $200,000 to support the work of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI) in Montana. The SFAI provides independent research and analysis on tax and budget policies with a focus on the needs of low- and moderate-income families.
Grant term: Jan. 1, 2012 – Dec. 31, 2013
Organizing Apprenticeship Project of Minneapolis, Minn., received $30,000 for the Proactive Racial Justice Organizing project, a pilot project to advance a multi-racial/multi-issue policy agenda in Minnesota. Grant dollars will support new publications, expand racial justice leadership training, and expand convenings in communities of color.
Grant term: April 1, 2011 – December 31, 2011
Seattle Foundation of Seattle, Wash., received $60,000 for Strategies to Eliminate Poverty (STEP). STEP provides support and small sub grants to nonprofit organizations working to improve public policy. Grant dollars will enable the Seattle Foundation to continue managing the work of STEP, which began in 2006 under a previous $2.5 million grant from the Northwest Area Foundation.
Grant term: April 1, 2011 – Dec. 31, 2011
South Dakota Voices for Children of Sioux Falls, S.D., received two grants.
$25,000 was granted for the Poverty Reduction Initiative that supports two statewide coalitions that build awareness and promote public policy improvements. The Alliance for Economic Security will advocate for policies that would enable low-income families to build assets that increase financial stability. The Revenue Adequacy Group will conduct research and analysis on the ability of state revenues to support public services that would promote prosperity.
Grant term: Oct. 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
A $175,000 grant will support the work of the South Dakota Budget & Policy Project, a State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI) affiliate in South Dakota. The SFAI provides independent research and analysis on tax and budget policies with a focus on the needs of low- and moderate-income families.
Grant term: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2013
The Foundation made the following grants to support nonprofit organizations through sponsorships:
Aurora/St. Anthony Neighborhood Development Corporation - $1,500 event sponsorship
Four Bands Community Fund Inc. - $6,000 conference sponsorship
Girl Scouts of Minnesota and Wisconsin River Valleys - $3,000 event sponsorship
Headwaters Foundation for Justice - $500 event sponsorship
Main Street Project - $5,000 conference sponsorship
Minnesota Council on Foundations - $1,000 conference sponsorship
Minneapolis Foundation - $5,000 event sponsorship
Minneapolis Foundation - $10,000 retreat sponsorship
Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) -$3,000 event sponsorship
NAYA - $10,000 matching grant opportunity during an event sponsorship
Opportunity Finance Network - $15,000 conference sponsorship
Potlatch Fund - $7,500 –event sponsorship
Rural Dynamics Inc. - $5,000 conference sponsorship
Stairstep Foundation - $5,000 conference sponsorship
United Way of Jackson County - $3,000 event sponsorship
University of St. Thomas -$2,500 event sponsorship
Way to Grow - $500 event sponsorship
White Earth Reservation Tribal Council - $1,000 for an economic development summit
YWCA of Minneapolis - $5,000 event sponsorship
Minnesota Council on Foundations - $24,500
Philanthropy Northwest - $19,275
The Foundation made grants to the following organizations to participate in a Policy Panel at the May 2011 NWAF Board Retreat meeting:
Center for Community Change - $1,500
Montana Budget and Policy Center - $1,200
Montana Homeownership Network - $1,200
Rural Dynamics Inc. - $1,200
The Foundation made grants to the following organizations to participate in a panel discussion at the June 2011 Program Committee retreat:
Center for Rural Affairs - $1,500
Latino Economic Development Center - $1,500
ShoreBank Enterprise Group Pacific - $1,500