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Instructions for Nonprofits

Various funders use some or all of the Minnesota Common Grant. View the attached Minnesota Common Grant Application Sections and Questions, linked below, to learn how grantseekers can tap the power of the common application.

This tool is meant to enhance your grantseeking process. We hope it helps you feel more confident with your grant requests – and that it makes the grantseeking process more democratic for nonprofits of all sizes and types.

Every grantmaker has different guidelines, priorities, deadlines and timetables. Before using this tool – please read the tips, below.

Strategies for Successful Grantseeking
  1. Make sure your organization is a good match for each grant opportunity. Follow these grant research tips: (A) Use grantseeking resources provided by the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Association of Fundraising Professionals, or Grant Professionals Association Northstar Chapter. (B) Ask your peer network to help identify potential funders or visit
  2. Read each funder’s specific grantmaking guidelines. These may be available online or upon request by phone or email. Follow each funders’ suggestions for their preferred method of communication.
  3. If you think you’re a good fit, carefully follow the grantmaker’s application process. This may start with an Applicant Readiness Tool, a Letter of Inquiry or another form of initial contact.
  4. Do not apply without ensuring a good match. Do not send extra materials beyond those items requested by the funder. Take note that funders may use all or part of the Minnesota Common Grant. Inquire directly with the funder if you are unclear about their application process.
Download the Common Grant Now
More to Come

Over the next months, MCF will continue to update related elements of the common grant including the common grant report form and the financial templates. In the interim, please continue to use the previous version of the report form and financial templates.

Tell Us How You’re Using It

The Minnesota Common Grant will be updated on a regular basis. Let us know how you’re using it, what’s working well, and what could be improved. Comments may be submitted anonymously or you’re welcome to tell us who you are. Everyone can benefit from your comments and/or testimonials as we all learn and grow along the way.

Submit your comment now.

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


For more information about the Minnesota Common Grant, please reach out to MCF,