The Minneapolis Foundation Awards Nearly $3 Million in Organizational Effectiveness Grants

Monday, February 3, 2020

The Minneapolis Foundation will award nearly $3 million in Organizational Effectiveness grants to nonprofit organizations that work to improve lives and advance equity in greater Minneapolis-Saint Paul.

117 organizations will receive anywhere from $4,500 to $50,000 to expand their capacity through strategic investments in fundraising, leadership, communication and evaluation. The average grant is just over $25,500.

“These grants will help local nonprofits invest in the kinds of business tools that are critical to any well-run organization,” said Chanda Smith Baker, the Foundation’s Senior Vice President of Impact. “Too often, these needs are underfunded, and they become an enormous barrier to impactful work in the community.”

The organizations that received grants provide a vast array of services, from hot meals for seniors to job training for members of the American Indian community. Grants applicants were given great freedom to articulate their needs and explain how an Organizational Effectiveness grant would support their mission.

As a result, these grants support a diverse array of projects: One small nonprofit will hire a fundraising consultant to train its staff on strategies to expand its donor base. Another will fund a two-month sabbatical enabling its longtime executive director to craft a succession plan that will ensure the continued health of the organization after she departs. The Down Syndrome Association of Minnesota will modernize its website, making it more accessible for all users, particularly those who use culturally specific resources or speak languages other than English. And a local boxing club that serves North Minneapolis youth will roll out new tools to measure the impact of its programs.

“Northside Boxing Club’s new evaluation strategy will not only allow us to reach and teach more youth, more effectively,” said Ryan Burnet, the organization’s founder and Executive Director. “It will also create the pipeline for a longitudinal study that will inform the long-term outcomes of Northside’s youth development, boxing, and nutrition programs.”

View a complete list of the grant recipients at

The Minneapolis Foundation administers 1,400 charitable funds and distributes an average of $70 million annually to improve lives, locally and globally.

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About The Minneapolis Foundation: For more than 100 years, The Minneapolis Foundation has connected people, resources, and ideas to improve lives in Minnesota and beyond. The Foundation manages $900 million in assets, providing customized and tax-smart giving solutions that result in the average annual distribution of $70 million in grants. The Foundation brings people together to unite behind common goals and spark positive change in our community.