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MCF Kicks Off Common Grant Working Group

Starting in October 2022 and continuing through early 2023 a group of MCF members and nonprofit allies are convening to discuss the next iteration of a common grant application and report. Members of the Common Grant Working Group are listed, below.

Why This Work Is Important

For the last 30 years Minnesota foundations and nonprofits alike have relied on MCF’s common grant application and report to streamline the grantmaking and grantseeking processes. The Minnesota Common Grant Application has helped nonprofits to avoid duplication of efforts, decreased staff time spent on fundraising, and provided Minnesota’s foundations an aligned method for garnering interest from nonprofits.

The Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) is hosting a collaborative inquiry process to update and create a new common grant that will offer benefits for foundations and nonprofits, alike. The working group of nonprofit and foundation leaders will develop recommendations and future actions.

Goals of the Common Grant Working Group

  • Define objectives that a common grant will achieve
  • Define what the final product will be
  • Contribute to creating a new common grant, as defined by the working group
  • Create a model for a regional common grant which could inform other states

Background of the Common Grant in Minnesota

In the 1990s, the Minnesota Council on Foundations developed its first Minnesota Common Grant Application form. The most-recently updated version was introduced by MCF in December 2000. Minnesota grantmakers developed the form to make the grantseeking process simpler and more efficient for nonprofits. For ease of use and to eliminate unnecessary duplication of work, grantseekers were encouraged to reproduce any part of the form including the cover letter, proposal and budget. At its peak usage in the early 2000s, over 100 Minnesota grantmakers accepted the common grant form for funding proposals.

The December 2000 version of the common grant included three narrative sections including organization information (6 questions) purpose of grant (7-9 questions, depending on proposal type) and evaluation (4 questions). A cover sheet, cover letter, budget, financial statements and other documentation were also included with the common grant form.

2022 Common Grant Working Group Members

Listed alphabetically by organizational affiliation

  • Anna Bosak, Manager, Community Relations and Corporate Giving, Andersen Corporate Foundation, Bayport
  • Habon Abdulle, Executive Director, Ayada Leads, Richfield
  • Sonja Merrild, Director of Grants, Blandin Foundation, Grand Rapids
  • Katherine Mueller, Development Director, Community Action Duluth, Duluth
  • Eunice Adjei, Founder and Chair, Jugaad Leadership Program, Saint Cloud
  • Lori-Anne Williams, Senior Development Officer, Lifeworks, Richfield
  • Dee Baskin, Executive Director, Loan Repayment Assistance Program of MN, Minneapolis
  • Heather Craig, Senior Grants Specialist, Medica Foundation, Minnetonka
  • Danyelle O'Hara (co-chair), Community Relationship Officer, Mortenson Family Foundation, Minneapolis
  • Theresa Gardella (co-chair), Vice President of Programs and Strategy, Nexus Community Partners, Saint Paul
  • Michael Neusser, Vice President for Operations, Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Bemidji
  • JoAnne Peters, Foundation Co-Director, Patrick and Aimee Butler Family Foundation, Saint Paul
  • Chou Moua, Director of Programs, PFund Foundation, Minneapolis
  • Sommer Green, Program Officer, Pohlad Family Foundation, Minneapolis
  • Garrett Backes, Development Director, Propel Nonprofits, Minneapolis
  • Carrie Moscho, Community Impact Officer, Rochester Area Foundation, Rochester
  • Sharon DeMark, Program Officer, Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, Saint Paul
  • Marit Mechels, Corporate & Foundation Gift Officer, Washburn Center for Children, Minneapolis
  • Michael Bargas, Executive Director, Zorongo Flamenco Dance Theatre, Minneapolis

For more information about MCF's 2022 Common Grant Working Group, please reach out to Paul Masiarchin,


Thank You to Our Sponsor

Medica Foundation Logo




The Common Grant Working Group is generously supported by the Medica Foundation.

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