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Management Improvement Fund

About the Fund

THE MANAGEMENT IMPROVEMENT FUND, A SPECIAL PROJECT OF THE SAINT PAUL & MINNESOTA FOUNDATION, IS DEDICATED TO STRENGTHENING NONPROFITS’ INTERNAL OPERATIONS.

Nonprofit organizations work hard to raise the funds needed to support the day-to-day operations of their programs, leaving them little time and resources to devote to essential professional and technical services.

The Management Improvement Fund supports vital capacity-building work like strategic planning, board development, fund development planning and organizational assessments. As a result, grant recipients can bolster fundraising, expand important programs and improve their services to the community.

Since 1985, the Fund has provided over $5.8 million to more than 650 nonprofit organizations.

Anchoring Nonprofits in Stability and Strength

To strengthen the internal operations of nonprofit organizations, the Management Improvement Fund provides grants to small and midsize nonprofits operating in, or serving, the Twin Cities East Metro (Ramsey, Dakota or Washington counties). Grant dollars are used to fund consultations and technical assistance to improve organizational capacity to better serve the community.

Applying for a Grant

The Management Improvement Fund has a rolling application.

All interested applicants are highly encouraged to email the Management Improvement Fund at mif@spmcf.org before applying to ensure that the Fund fits your needs.

When you are ready to apply, visit our GranteeView portal to register and complete the application.

Funding Criteria

Organizations and groups applying for a Management Improvement Fund grant are reviewed with the following criteria in mind:

  • Organization annual operating budgets of $5 million or less
  • Organizations must serve a significant number of low-income persons
  • Can document that they are in strong need of the technical assistance through consultation
  • Not likely to undertake the effort without financial assistance from the Fund
  • Motivated to undertake the consultation/technical assistance
  • Time and staff capabilities to commit to the consultation and to implement changes
  • Environment is conducive to working with a consultant, including stable leadership, board consensus on desired outcomes and the absence of imminent organizational crises

Challenges Addressed

  • The needs of nonprofit organizations vary widely due to the type, age and size of organizations as well as external factors influencing the nonprofit environment. Because of these differences, Management Improvement Fund grants offset the expenses of a variety of capacity-building activities, including organizational assessments, strategic planning, and board development.
  • Many nonprofit organizations struggle financially to raise enough revenue for their programs to serve low- income individuals and families and don’t have the financial resources to pay for much needed professional consultation and technical services. Management Improvement Fund grants to nonprofit organizations help them stay strong and healthy, paying dividends to the communities they serve.

Activities Funded

The Management Improvement Fund makes grants for technical assistance and consultation to help improve the capacity and management of nonprofit organizations. Examples of these activities include but are not limited to:

  • Organizational assessment
  • Strategic planning
  • Organizational restructuring / merger / dissolution
  • Collaboration between groups and organizations
  • Board development / governance
  • Human resources / personnel assessment
  • Marketing and Communications assessment
  • Financial planning management

Eligible Expenses

The primary use of a Management Improvement Fund grant is to pay for consultation fees. Applicants select the consultant and are encouraged to thoroughly assess their needs. Please note that Management Improvement Fund applicants must include the written proposal / bid from the prospective consultant(s).

Grant Amounts

The Management Improvement Fund will consider grants up to $10,000. If approved, please note that your grant may be right sized to the work the organization does in the East Metro and/or Greater MN.

Grant Requests Not Accepted

The Management Improvement Fund of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation will not consider grant requests for support of:

  • Sectarian religious programs or organizations
  • Organizations primarily serving the West Metro (Anoka, Hennepin, Carver and Scott counties)
Grant Resources
Grant guidelines

Find out what kinds of proposals the Management Improvement Fund will consider in our grant guidelines.


Fact sheet

Read an overview of the Management Improvement Fund's criteria and application process.


Application questions and sample budget

Take a look at the Management Improvement Fund application questions before you apply.

Evaluation

All outstanding final reports for existing grants are waived.

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