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Building Community Capacity

Building Community Capacity Grant Guidelines

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation believes that our community should not only benefit from our work, but inform and form it as well.

Creating solutions to today’s issues requires a collaborative approach. Our work is also rooted in a commitment to racial equity. We recognize the rich cultures and multifaceted identities that make our region strong.

In times of crisis, we recognize that the ways we support our community need to be flexible and responsive. Our grant program has been redesigned with that in mind.


The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation is proud to serve and fund Saint Paul’s East Metro region, which is defined as Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties. We will consider grants from organizations based outside the East Metro that serve a significant number of individuals in these three counties, and we will direct our resources only to the East Metro aspects of the work. Capital grants are limited to projects located in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties.

Types of Grants

Our current grant opportunity includes funding for general operating and capital support. We will also consider second and third year program grants for current grantees.

General Operating Grants

These grants provide flexible funding for nonprofits and will be made for a one-year period.

Operating grant requests should not include:

  • Long term debt retirement
  • Back payroll taxes
  • Legal fees including cost of litigation or settlements
  • Directors and officers Insurance
  • Bonuses

Capital Grants

These grants are designed to support your organization’s investment in buildings, facilities and equipment. Foundation investments are typically limited to buildings owned by nonprofits or held by long-term lease agreement. These grants are generally paid over multiple years.

We will consider capital grants for projects located in Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties for:

  • Renovations/repairs
  • Land acquisition
  • Construction costs
  • Technology hardware and software
  • Equipment
  • Furniture
  • Appliances


Grants can be made to 501(c)3 organizations, education or governmental units and religious institutions. Grants can also be made to groups working through an eligible fiscal sponsor.

Current & Past Grant Status

Current grantees are eligible to apply for funding that would begin after the end of their current grant period. For this year only, nonprofits who have had three years of consecutive funding are eligible to apply for one year of general operating support. Questions? Please call your program officer.

Areas of Community Vitality

We support work that addresses at least one of six areas of community vitality. Data and our experience suggest that the following elements play key roles in community health and vitality.

Community connectedness

Creating opportunities for equity in arts, civic dialogue, community problem solving as well as supporting natural and built spaces where people live, work and play

Economic opportunity and security

Strengthening support for low-income individuals and families through community development, workforce education and training and creating sustainable employment pathways


Exploring high-quality educational opportunities for everyone, from cradle to career, and more equitable access for racial and cultural communities


Increasing health equity through quality, affordable health services, particularly for low-income, uninsured and under-insured individuals

Housing and transportation

Strengthening our region through affordable, quality housing, addressing homelessness and investing in equitable transportation options and benefits

Human services and family support

Meeting basic needs for individuals and families, helping them be safe, stable and independent

Grant Requests Not Accepted

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation will not consider grant requests for support of:

  • Sectarian religious programs or organizations
  • Work by an individual
  • Capital projects located outside Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties
  • Programs not primarily serving residents of Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties

Important Dates

Grant applications for this cycle open on June 30 and close on August 4. Applicants will be notified if they are being considered for full review by early September. The board meets to make to funding decisions in mid-to-late November.

Contact Us

Before applying, all interested applicants are encouraged to contact a program officer to ensure that your grant fits the requested need.



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