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Learn how the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation partners with nonprofit organizations to strengthen our community.

Editor’s Note: You may have heard of a community foundation — but may not know what it is, or how it differs from other foundations. In this ongoing series, we will be breaking down the many aspects of a community foundation.

Community foundations play a vital role in helping resolve community issues and problems in a determined geographic area. One of the ways these foundations strive to make a positive impact on their communities or affinity groups is by partnering with nonprofits.

The support community foundations offer may come in a variety of ways to grow nonprofit organizations, initiatives and programs. At the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, we invest in and partner with agents and agencies of change who work daily to address issues that are most pressing to their communities. This support often comes in the form of a grant, but can also include collaborative partnerships, resources and funds for the nonprofits to meet their mission and sustain their work.

Support Through Grants

Two of the most common types of grants are competitive, where nonprofits apply for funding, and donor-recommended. The Foundation offers a few different competitive grant opportunities, including our Building Community Capacity grant and Management Improvement Fund grant.

Our Building Community Capacity grants support community-identified priorities in the East Metro, while the Management Improvement Fund offers small to midsize nonprofits support for capacity building services.

Capacity Building Programs

At the Foundation we believe that investing in a nonprofit’s capacity to grow and sustain their work is essential. In addition to grants, the Foundation also funds organizations that offer programs such as Catchafire and the RaiseMN Campaign Institute at subsidized costs so that more nonprofits can take part in these learning opportunities.

Catchafire connects nonprofits with volunteers who can provide expertise on short-term projects, while RaiseMN offers fundraising coaching to small- to medium-sized nonprofits located, or doing work, in Ramsey, Dakota and Washington counties. Contact the RaiseMN team at raisemn@givemn.org to learn more and find out how you can be a part of the next cohort.

Nonprofit Endowment Funds

The Foundation also offers investment options for nonprofits. We support more than 200 nonprofits through endowments and other types of investment funds that can provide organizations with stable income, now and in the future. Our team works with nonprofits to carefully manage their funds so that they can grow over time.

A nonprofit endowment fund allows organizations the ability to funnel charitable gifts into a single fund that builds over time. It also provides organizations with a reliable source of annual income that, if carefully managed, can provide stability for generations.

Donors can support a nonprofit endowment as well. The Foundation’s endowment management team works with nonprofits to accept donor gifts. Other nonprofit fund options include provisional funds and designated funds.

If you are interested in starting a conversation about endowment funds, contact Nonprofit Strategies Manager Elizabeth McCray or Director of Gift Planning Mariah Brook.

To learn more about the Foundation’s nonprofit work, future grants, resources and funds, join our e-news mailing list.

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