First Quarter Grants 2016

The Northwest Area Foundation approved 20 grants worth $2,032,280 in the first quarter of 2016. The quarter’s grants advance good jobs and financial capability by funding grantees whose work creates enterprise development, access to capital, workforce opportunity, and financial inclusion for low-income communities across the Foundation’s region, with a special focus on those that are Native, communities of color, or immigrant. The following is a list of the grant awards:

Grants to Support Enterprise Development

Asian Economic Development Association (AEDA) of St. Paul, Minnesota, will receive $200,000 over three years to develop, strengthen, and grow the number of Asian small businesses and microentrepreneurs in low-income neighborhoods in the Twin Cities. AEDA combines local economic development, neighborhood revitalization, creative placemaking, and business development strategies to help lift people out of poverty and achieve economic stability.
Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2018

Community Lending Works of Springfield, Oregon, will receive $200,000 over two years to support its efforts to provide consumer and small-business loans to advance financial security and economic development in low-income communities throughout rural and Native Oregon that would not otherwise have access to mainstream financial products.
Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2018

Hacienda Community Development Corporation (CDC) of Portland, Oregon, will receive $200,000 over two years to help its efforts to strengthen the Portland Mercado business incubator. Hacienda CDC strengthens families by providing affordable housing, homeownership support, economic advancement, and educational opportunities. The organization’s vision is to make asset-building services accessible to the Latino population in order to help families build stable, successful lives.
Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2018

Micro Enterprise Services of Oregon (MESO) of Portland, Oregon, will receive $200,000 over two years to support its work helping clients gain self-sufficiency through entrepreneurship. MESO provides customized and one-on-one business assistance, Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), credit building, and lending, and also conducts market research and development. The organization serves underrepresented, underserved, and low-income individuals in both urban and rural counties.
Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2018

Microenterprise Resources, Initiative & Training (MERIT) of Salem, Oregon, will receive $200,000 over two years to support its efforts to help low-income individuals increase income and build assets using self-employment. MERIT’s mission is to provide training and support to underserved groups who are launching and growing small businesses.
Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2018

Rural Community Development Resources (RCDR) of Yakima, Washington, will receive $200,000 over two years to support its efforts to build business capacity in immigrant and Latino communities in rural Washington state. RCDR provides business coaching, microloans, and business incubators to low-income, underserved immigrants seeking to start a microenterprise.
Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Jan. 31, 2018

Verde of Portland, Oregon, will receive $200,000 as a renewal grant for their Building Living Cully project, an anti-poverty model of environmental investment through two Cully neighborhood projects:  Cully Park and Living Cully Plaza. Living Cully is a formal collaboration of four Portland nonprofit organizations dedicated to increasing assets and wealth among low-income people by means of social enterprise, anti-displacement activities, and signature projects.
Grant term: Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016

Grants to Foster Financial Inclusion

Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) of Washington, D.C., will receive $500,000 over two years as a renewal grant to support its Expanding Capacity to Build Financial Capability and Wealth in the Northwest initiative. Funding will support efforts to bolster the Assets & Opportunity Network, a movement-oriented group of advocates, service providers, researchers, financial institutions, and policymakers. They implement strategies and advocate for policies that help people become financially secure. This learning network speeds up diffusion of ideas and increases impact. The grant will support organizations, network leaders, emerging leaders, and the broader field within the Native Nations and eight-state Foundation region. Grant term: Jan.  1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2017

Grants to Promote Workforce Opportunity

The Saint Paul Foundation of St. Paul, Minnesota, received $50,000 to support its work on the Minneapolis Saint Paul Regional Workforce Innovation Network (MSPWin), a philanthropic collaborative with a mission to dramatically increase the number of adults earning family-sustaining wages, specifically targeting communities of color. Key initiatives of the collaborative include: increasing the competitiveness of Minnesota’s workforce, investing in innovative workforce partnerships, and supporting research and advocacy to encourage systemic improvements in the workforce training system. Grant term: Jan. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016


All sponsorships support opportunities for grantees within our four-portfolio grantmaking strategy to participate in activities that advance their learning, build relationships, exchange ideas and resources, and collaborate in unexpected ways. We include sponsorships of $10,000 or more in the list below. For sponsorships of less than $10,000, please see our grants database.

Montana Indian Business Alliance of Great Falls, Montana, received $10,000 to attend the 2016 Indian Business Alliance conference. Grant term: May 17, 2016 – May 19, 2016

National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB) of San Antonio received $10,000 to attend the 2016 NALCAB national training in Texas. Grant term: May 23, 2016 – May 26, 2016

Saint John’s University of Collegeville, Minnesota, received $25,000 for the Hill Museum Manuscript Library’s executive director endowment. Grant term: Feb. 1, 2016 – Dec. 31, 2016