CFDC Grant Guidelines

PDF Download: CFDC Grant Funding Guidelines

Since the first grant awarded in 1997, the Community Foundation of Dunn County has supported a wide variety of programs that have fulfilled civic, humanitarian, cultural, recreational, aesthetic, health, environmental, and educational needs. In setting priorities for making grants, we consider the needs of the Dunn County area, the programs of other funding agencies, and our resources.  The Community Foundation welcomes grant requests from nonprofit organizations and civic groups that serve Dunn County citizens. Eligible entities include:

  • Independent nonprofit organizations
  • Charitable organizations classified as 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Code
  • Local units of state or national organizations
  • Groups of individuals or clubs organized to sponsor a charitable project

The Foundation will not normally make grants to private non-operating foundations. Grants may also be made to units of government, including Native American tribal governments, for public purposes.
Organizations must serve residents of the Foundation’s service area. Preference will be given to applications which have the potential to impact a broad range of Dunn County area residents. Applications should detail measurable and achievable outcomes and demonstrate other sources of support, collaboration and/or cooperation. Applications should also address the sustainability of the proposed program or project for which funding is desired.

Who May Apply?

The Foundation welcomes grant requests from organized groups throughout Dunn County.  Some funds also make grants available for the communities of Glenwood City, Spring Valley, and Elmwood, and include:

  • Independent nonprofit organizations;
  • Charitable organizations classified as 501(c)(3) under the Internal Revenue Code;
  • Local units of state or national organizations;
  • Groups of individuals or clubs organized to sponsor a charitable project.

What Guidelines Should Be Considered In Your Decision To Request a Grant?

  • Are you a nonprofit organization within the Dunn County Area?
  • Are you part of a group of individuals or a club organized for a charitable purpose?
  • Does your project meet a civic, humanitarian, health, cultural, recreational, aesthetic, environmental, or educational need?
  • Have you clearly identified the purpose to be served by your project and its community impact?
  • If part of a state or national organization, are you clearly a local unit of that organization which uses the funds for local benefit?
  • If this is to be a continuing activity, do you have plans to develop resources to carry it on in the future?

What Grant Project Types does the Foundation typically fund?

Community Grants enable nonprofits and charitable groups to better serve their local communities. In setting priorities for making grants, we consider the needs of the Dunn County area, the programs of other funding agencies, and our available resources. Projects which are supported generally fall under one of the following broad categories:

Community Health & Wellness

Health and wellness are at the heart of our quality of life. That is why the Community Foundation of Dunn County invests in a spectrum of health programs and projects, mainly through the Healthy Futures Fund, which is an endowed fund formerly managed by the Menomonie Health Foundation. These funds support health-related initiatives that benefit the service area of the Red Cedar Medical Center Mayo Health System through a variety of initiatives that:

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  • Enhance the health status of the community
  • Promote health education and healthy lifestyle choices for community residents
  • Improve community-based health services that includes oral, mental, and behavioral health.
  • Conduct applied health research
  • Improve and expand healthcare delivery and integrate prevention efforts
  • Address human needs such as food security, housing, and safety
  • Improve intervention efforts and increase self-sufficiency of at-risk populations

Program Development or Expansion

Nonprofits play a vital role in providing opportunities and public services within the communities they serve. Community grant funding can help organizations offer new, innovative programs to better meet the changing needs of the community through projects or activities that:

  • Take an imaginative and innovative approach to deepen impact
  • Serve a broad and wide range of Dunn County citizens
  • Solve critical local problems or address critical local needs
  • Can be sustained without continued funding from the Community Foundation
  • Encourage collaboration and cooperation among charities and does not duplicate services
  • Have measurable impact on the community that can be evaluated and shared

Capacity Building

When used strategically, grant awards can increase an organization’s sustainability so it can better serve the community today and into the future. It is not meant to simply sustain day-to-day activity it is meant to help an organization reach a new level of operating effectiveness. Capacity building grants are broad and can support various improvement efforts to:

  • Form new partnerships or collaborations to improve services or eliminate duplication
  • Strengthen governance, leadership or staff expertise
  • Refine and improve communications and outreach
  • Improve volunteer recruitment, training and engagement
  • Acquire or improve impact measurement tools and evaluation capacity
  • Secure equipment/assets that allow the organization to operate more efficiently and effectively

Grant projects may encompass a variety of activities, but applicants should be clear about the anticipated outcomes and express them clearly. Applications with clear objectives and a method for measuring and sharing impact will be given preference.
Low priority is given to Capital Campaigns and to Units of Government (see below).

The Community Grant program is not a source of ongoing annual funding for an organization. Large, multi-year awards are not typically offered. The Foundation typically does not fund:

  • Repeat grants to the same project on an open-ended basis
  • Annual fundraising campaigns
  • Routine operating expenses
  • Religious or sectarian activities
  • Political activities
  • Existing obligations or debts/liabilities
  • Grants to individuals
  • Endowment funds
  • Travel for groups such as school classes, clubs or sports team

Units of Government (city, county, township, etc.): The Foundation does occasionally fund units of government whose proposal extends beyond the traditional governmental functions that impact the broader community or when the request for support is judged to be an effective means to address a priority issue.

Schools: The Foundation will consider funding for public, charter and private/parochial Pre-K-12 schools and post-secondary educational institutions, when the request for support is judged to be an effective means to address a priority issue, particularly when the issue addresses the needs of a substantial or underserved portion of the population.

Faith-Based Funding: Requests will be considered from individual faith-based organizations only if the program, services or initiatives do not promote that specific journey of faith or include activities such as religious worship, instruction or preaching.

Capital Campaigns: Lower priority is given to capital campaigns for which a typical community grant will have minimal impact. Capital campaigns for college campuses or medical centers are low priority unless the project will have a direct impact by hosting community-based programs or providing significant public access to meeting spaces and community services.

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