SMIF Announces $100,000 in Grants Available

Monday, February 8, 2016

As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and economic development areas. Applications for this grant round are due March 21, 2016, with awards announced in May.
"We want to focus on very specific early childhood and economic development issues that we believe are critical to the long-term economic vitality of our region," notes Tim Penny, President/CEO. "These Incentive Grants are designed to support projects that involve collaboration and achieve sustainable, measurable results."
SMIF is looking for grant applications that encourage new asset-based approaches on issues within our focus areas.
SMIF's Focus Areas
Early Childhood Development
Strengthen children's social and emotional health and school readiness
Economic Development
Strengthen and grow the local business community
SMIF awarded sixteen Incentive Grants in 2015, totaling $260,836. Examples include:
•    $20,000 to Faribault Public Schools to provide school readiness programming for children ages 3-5 and their adult caregivers at the Cannon River Mobile Home Park.
•    $20,000 to Latino Economic Development Center in Austin to provide trainings and one-on-one technical assistance for Latino agricultural entrepreneurs so they begin and grow agricultural cooperative businesses and foster an agricultural business incubation hub.

Full guidelines and online application can be found at

About Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation
Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in 20 Minnesota counties. The Foundation has provided more than $55 million in grants and loans within the region during the past 30 years. SMIF's key interests include early childhood and economic development. To learn more about our work and mission, visit