SMIF Announces $100,000 in Grants Available

Monday, January 9, 2017

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 February 28, 2017, with awards announced in May.

"Many organizations are already doing great work and have ideas of how to do more," said SMIF President and CEO Tim Penny. "SMIF's Incentive Grants are a way to do just that: give people the incentive to carry out those ideas, especially as they support the Foundation's focus areas of early childhood and economic development in southern Minnesota. Working collaboratively to move the needle in these areas is critical to the long-term economic vitality of our region."

SMIF is looking for grant applications that encourage new asset-based approaches on issues within its focus areas of early childhood and economic development.

SMIF awarded four Incentive Grants in 2016, totaling $69,020. Examples include:

  • $20,000 to Brown County Childcare Enhancement Project to increase child care offerings to allow businesses and families to thrive, to increase employment opportunities for those interested in the child care field, to keep and retain those currently working in the field through quality training, and to maintain new child care providers with mentors and appropriate training.
  • $14,000 to Mankato Area Foundation for their Shared Spaces Entrepreneurial Collaboration Center and Meeting Space which provides resources, networking, and job opportunities for entrepreneurs starting nonprofits who will benefit from mentoring by established nonprofits.

Full guidelines and online application can be found at For more information email Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at; or call 507-455-3215.

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