Community Foundation sets new granting focus

Community Foundation sets new granting focus

People in line for food at summer picnic

Larger grants in new areas will address Northland’s changing needs

DULUTH— The Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation today announced new priorities and larger grants from its Community Opportunity Fund.

This unrestricted funding creates the most powerful and flexible resource to address root causes of issues affecting the Northland.

“Our mission is to help build stronger community,” Foundation President and CEO Shaun Floerke said. “We’re focusing our efforts upstream, where we can work collectively and with more impact to create solutions.”

Community Opportunity Fund grants will now focus on these priorities:
• Opportunity: Leveraging vital resources for success
• Resilience: Building strong communities
• Belonging: Ensuring that everyone thrives
• Transformation: Collaboratively changing systems across these three areas

Opportunity, Resilience and Belonging grants will range from $25,000 to $50,000. Transformation grants will be up to five years of funding and up to $100,000 per year.

“Creating opportunity, resilience, and belonging in our region is more complex than any one organization can solve alone. We each have a role in making our communities thrive.” said Michelle Morris, Community Impact Director. “This funding brings forward a concerted effort with the partners across the region to make this a place where everyone thrives.”

In the past five years, the Community Opportunity Fund has awarded more than $2.25 million in grants serving our region. The Fund provides the foundation’s largest group of grants to nonprofits for community improvement projects throughout the Northland. Created in 1983, the unrestricted fund continues to grow thanks to many generous donors trusting the Foundation to support the evolving possibilities for our community.

Applications opened today for the new round of Community Opportunity Fund grants and will be accepted through December 22. Eligible nonprofits with project proposals can apply online where they will find full eligibility guidelines. Fiscal sponsor arrangements are accepted.

Applicants start by creating an account in the online grant portal, if they have not already established one.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

Community Opportunity projects must take place in or provide service to residents in the foundation’s service area, which covers seven counties in northeast Minnesota (Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake and St. Louis), three counties in northwest Wisconsin (Ashland, Bayfield, Douglas) and seven tribal nations: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Mashkiiziibii; Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Atisokanigamig; Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Nah-Gah-Chi-Wa-Nong; Grand Portage Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Gichi Onigaming; Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe; Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe; and Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Gaa-Miskwaabikaang.

The new grant guidelines come as the foundation prepares to celebrate 40 years of community giving in the Northland. The foundation began in 1983 to help the region as it struggled following a nationwide recession. Since then, the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation has become a trusted leader in charitable giving addressing the regions’ critical needs.

The foundation plans a 40th Anniversary Celebration on November 3 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Clyde Iron Works, 2920 W. Michigan St., Duluth. The event is free and open to the public. Attendees must RSVP in advance.