Wanetta Thompson
Bear Paws Cultural Art received a $10,000 grant to conduct art classes. Wanetta Thompson is the founder of the organization and a member of the 2024-2025 cohort of the Initiators Fellowship.

Foundation Awards Nearly $635,000 During First Quarter

Initiative Foundation Partner Funds awarded 73 grants totaling more than $458,000. Among other efforts, these grants supported scholarships for graduating seniors, a special education resource room at Braham schools, and flexible seating in Royalton. See the full list of grantees.

The Initiative Foundation also awarded 24 grants totaling $175,000. The grants supported a weekend program for food-insecure Long Prairie families, and diversity, equity and inclusion work at Someplace Safe in St. Cloud. See the full list of grantees.

“We’re proud to come alongside nonprofits to support their vital work in the region,” said Brian Voerding, Foundation president, “and we’re grateful for donors who create and contribute to Partner Funds to support the local causes they care about.”

View the summary below for first-quarter highlights. For a more comprehensive listing, visit ifound.org.

Initiative Foundation Awards

The following organizations were among those receiving Initiative Foundation grants during the months of January, February and March:

  • ConnectAbility of MN—2024 Volunteer Pilot Programs: $6,000 for a pilot program to increase volunteer engagement.
  • Walker Area Food Shelf—Marketing and Growth Strategy: $5,000 for new fundraising support utilizing new branding.
  • Bear Paws Cultural Art—Cultural Classes: $10,000 to support the organization’s mission to lead cultural classes in East Central Minnesota and the indigenous lands surrounding the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe.

See the full list of grantees.

Partner Fund Awards

The Initiative Foundation hosts a variety of Partner Funds endowed by families, businesses, nonprofits and volunteer-led groups. The following grants were among those made by our Partner Funds during the months of January, February and March:

  • Braham Area Education Foundation: $3,700 for chemistry lab equipment.
  • Royalton Education Foundation: $1,013 for flexible seating for second-graders.
  • Black Oak Getty Community Foundation: $1,000 to Crow River Trail Guards, Inc., to fund three canoe backpacks.

See the full list of grantees.

To support efforts like these, or to create your own Partner Fund, visit ifound.org/ways-to-give/start-a-fund/.