Community Opportunity Fund – Belonging

Mission

The Community Foundation seeks to make the region a place where everyone can feel they belong and are respected, safe, and able to thrive as part of the community. This focus is influenced by New Pluralists, a funder collaborative fostering a culture of pluralism in America (https://newpluralists.org/approach/).

Within Belonging, DSACF seeks to support efforts that align with the following objectives:

  • Find strength in difference: design better solutions through our differences, not in spite of them
  • Widen the circle: expand our sense of who belongs and embrace our common humanity
  • Honor human dignity: listen and act from a place of mutual respect, and uphold the individual dignity, worth and potential of every person
  • Take responsibility for repair: heal and strengthen our communities through confronting past and reckoning with present
  • Strive for a greater sum: challenge the zero-sum view that one group’s gain is another’s loss, instead create win-win situations through curiosity, collaboration and creativity
  • Increase the decision-making power of historically marginalized populations, particularly to increase equity of systems
  • Amplify the perspectives of historically marginalized communities to improve quality of life throughout the community
  • Implementing evidence-based, theory-informed or promising practices to increase feelings of belonging, respect, safety and ability to thrive
  • Contributing to understanding of effective actions and approaches that increase feelings of belonging, respect, safety and ability to thrive
  • Actions that lead to greater equity and justice with marginalized community members (including but not limited to race/ethnicity, gender, ability, income, etc.), benefitting our community as a whole

 

Core values that must be centered in this work:

  • Systems change (i.e., fundamental shifts that address root causes of inequities),
  • Deep and meaningful community engagement (i.e., processes that are accessible, redistribute power, uplift local expertise, and earn trust of people with lived experience)
  • Continuous learning and improvement (i.e., delivering better outcomes by gathering and using information to assess and reflect upon success and challenges to adjust practices)
  • Centering human beings (i.e., changing narratives about Black, Indigenous and People of Color, and people with low incomes, and building understanding between people with diverse identities and experiences)
  • Collaboration (i.e., complex challenges cannot be solved by one organization alone, requiring partnerships and alignment of strengths.)

The Community Foundation anticipates using a cohort model to advance these shared goals that is grounded in these values and an abundance approach.

Eligibility

To be eligible to apply for funding, an organization must:

  • Be classified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or classified as an organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code or have a fiscal sponsor classified as a charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or an organization under Section 170(c)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Be located in or provide service to residents within: Bayfield, Douglas and Ashland Counties in northwest Wisconsin; or Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis Counties in northeast Minnesota; or the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa/Mashkiiziibii, the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa/Atisokanigamig, the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa/Nah-Gah-Chi-Wa-Nong, the Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa/Gichi Onigaming, the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe or the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa/Gaa-Miskwaabikaang 

Funding will not support endowments; religious organizations for religious activities; medical research; debt retirement; requests from re-granting organizations for funding to be used for their own grant making activities; individuals (except scholarships initiated or managed by the Community Foundation); political campaigns or lobbying; tickets for benefits; telephone solicitations; fundraising drives or activities.

Grant range

$25,000 – $50,000

Application timeline

Fall Grant Cycle

  • Application available August 1, 2024 – October 1, 2024 @ 5:00 pm
  • Project begin date: January 1, 2025, or later.
  • If awarded, funds would be available in January 2025. Notifications will be emailed at the end of December 2024.