Brainerd Family YMCA
The Brainerd Family YMCA received a grant to support their Capital Development Project.

More Than $641,000 Awarded in Third-Quarter Grants

During the third quarter of 2021, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds awarded 101 grants with a value of $451,000. With generous support from Wells Fargo and its Open for Business Fund, the Initiative Foundation awarded an additional 19 grants with a value of $190,000. The grants were awarded to underserved business owners in St. Cloud and Stearns and Todd counties. Additional grants from the Wells Fargo award were being awarded during the fourth quarter of 2021.

Through its Innovation Fund, the Initiative Foundation awarded 21 grants totaling more than $98,000. The grants supported a community liaison for newcomers in Long Prairie; planning, design and community engagement for an expansion or relocation of the Paynesville Library; design and revitalization plans for downtown Lindstrom; and a community-needs assessment for the sovereign nation of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. See the full list of grantees.

Also in the third quarter of 2021, Initiative Foundation-hosted Partner Funds awarded 80 grants totaling more than $353,000. Grants supported a COVID-19 community safety forum in Cambridge; culturally-specific foods at the Elk River Food Shelf; and animal care at the Isanti County Humane Society. See the full list of grantees.

“The COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect local schools, businesses and nonprofits, so our grantmaking reflects a combination of ongoing relief and recovery along with our more traditional investments in community and economic vitality,” said Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation president. “Our grants are helping the Paynesville community dream about the future of its library, supporting Anishinabe Legal Services as they conduct a community-needs assessment with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and so much more.”

Find a summary of third-quarter 2021 Innovation Fund and Partner Fund grants highlighted below.

Innovation Fund Awards

The following organizations were among those that received Initiative Foundation grant funding during the months of July, August and September 2021:

  • True Friends—Identifying Project Funding Potential: $5,000 for a study to explore the feasibility of a new welcome and recreation center.
  • Bridges of Hope—Capacity-Building for Emergency Warming Shelter Development in Crow Wing County: $10,000 to support analysis, planning and staffing for an emergency warming shelter to serve those in the Brainerd Lakes Area experiencing housing insecurity.
  • City of Isle—Post-Pandemic Seminars and Training: $1,000 to support training and technical assistance to area businesses to help them recover and rebound from pandemic-associated impacts.
  • Kinship Partners, Inc.—One-On-One Career Mentoring for Students: $5,000 to support a feasibility analysis for a one-on-one career mentoring program for students ages 14-18.

See the full list of Innovation Fund grants.

Partner Fund Awards

The Initiative Foundation hosts a variety of Partner Funds for families, businesses, nonprofits and volunteer-led groups. The following grants were among those made by our Partner Funds during the months of July, August and September 2021:

  • Three Rivers Community Foundation: $5,000 for mental health support for youth experiencing homelessness.
  • Central Minnesota Builders Association Fund & Initiative: $20,803 to local schools as part of the Tools for Schools program.
  • Memorial Hospital Foundation (Serving Greater Isanti County): $2,200 to the Isanti County Commission on Aging to develop a website.
  • Bob & Marsha Bunger Family Endowment Fund: $1,000 to Quiet Oaks Hospice House for operating support.

See the full list of Partner Fund grants.

Create a Partner Fund.