$7.6 million invested in nonprofit organizations throughout Minnesota

(December 20, 2018) The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation recently awarded more than $7.6 million to nonprofits throughout the state of Minnesota. Among the 204 grants made were investments that will increase organizational capacity within nonprofit organizations.

“Minnesota has a vibrant nonprofit sector. Whether as a client, donor, volunteer, employee or board member, it’s likely we’ve all had contact with a nonprofit organization in some form,” said Nadege Souvenir, associate vice president of Community Impact for the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations. “Investing in good means investing in the strength of our nonprofit sector and the potential of emerging nonprofits.”

Of the $2.7 million in grants made by The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, $30,000 was awarded to Denden Eritrean Youth Development Association of Minnesota (Denden). Funding will be used to hire an Executive Director for Denden - the first-ever paid staff member for the organization. Denden supports positive growth and empowerment of Eritrean American and other East African American youth through tutoring, mentorship, civic engagement, physical fitness and behavioral and mental health awareness.

F. R. Bigelow Foundation’s 77 grants included a $50,000 grant to Foster Advocates. Founded by a former foster care recipient, Foster Advocates seeks to fill a cap in organizations using policy and advocacy to improve foster care and child welfare within Minnesota’s legislature, state departments and county-level welfare agencies. Funding will support the start-up phase of Foster Advocates’ programs and allow for activities like launching and testing a leadership training model, community organizing and hiring a full-time program manager.

Of the 56 grants made by Mardag Foundation, $50,000 was awarded to the Sod House Theater, an organization that works with professional theater artists to create productions for and with communities in Greater Minnesota. Grant funding will support the hiring of a part-time Managing Director who will assist with communications activities and the creation of a sustainable financial model to build future stability for the organization.

All three foundations made grants totaling $150,000 to In Black Ink, an organization that celebrates and publishes literary works by Minnesota writers of African descent. Funding will formalize two paid leadership positions to implement the organization’s four-year development and business plan. This plan includes activities such as creating database of Black writers, editors, illustrators and other publishing professionals and archiving books, spoken word and other literary media in addition to the organization’s publishing work.

To learn more about F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation, please visit their websites.