Northland Foundation Grants


Grant Program Purpose Statement: To ensure all people and communities thrive and reach their full potential by supporting work that:

  • actively engages and is led by passionate and dedicated community voice, and
  • advances equity and inclusion either through promising new efforts to address gaps in services or existing work that is adaptive to emergent needs or issues.

Grant Priorities

  • Basic Needs: Food security, homeless services, affordable housing, and other human needs essential to wellbeing.
  • Early Childhood Care and Education: Early care and education quality and access, parenting education and supports.
  • Out-of-School-Time: Out-of-school-time programming and enrichment activities for children and youth.
  • Domestic and Sexual Violence: Prevention and intervention in relation to domestic and family violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
  • Belonging: Efforts to help all people be fully a part of their community with the voice and power to shape institutions and systems.

Strategic Approaches that are Encouraged

High-impact programs and projects often intentionally build in certain strategic approaches that can improve outcomes. We encourage one of more of the following approaches to be included in work considered for funding.

  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Actively working to reach and reflect the diversity of communities served, facilitate inclusion, and counter systemic inequities—the limitations to full and fair opportunity that are rooted in race/ethnicity, geography, or income.
  • Multi-Generational: Considering the needs of multiple generations when addressing an issue. For example, programs for children may include components for parents or grandparents./li>
  • Collaboration: Bringing in partners, including from other sectors and affected community members (about us, not without us), to tap their knowledge and lived experience, expand geographic or demographic reach, and strengthen results.
  • Systems Change: Promoting civic engagement – opportunities to understand, participate in, and influence decisions and policies – especially among under-represented or traditionally excluded groups.

Use of Funds

Nearly all the grants that Northland Foundation awards are for general operating support and are flexible to help grantees meet their funding needs.

However, some grants are restricted to the program uses for which they apply. For organizations that receive program-restricted grants, we allow flexibility for how funds are used within the supported program. These include grants to:

  • Organizations that also have operations, or are headquartered, outside of our geographic service area.
  • Grantees that are units of governments, such as school districts and Tribal Nations.

We also offer capacity-building grants for organizations to strengthen their strategies and systems or, sometimes, to help to start up a new nonprofit. Examples of capacity-building work include support to add a key staff position, provide staff development, or work with consultants to develop a strategic plan or improve operations. The mission or primary work of organizations that want to apply for a capacity-building grant should align closely with Northland Foundation priorities.

What We Do Not Fund

Ineligible organizations or activities include:

  • Work taking place outside our geographic service area.
  • Organizations seeking to do work within our service area but which do not have staffing or a physical location within the region.
  • Capital campaigns or projects, endowments, or support for fundraising events.
  • Individuals or businesses, except for Maada'ookiing Grants and special economic development grant initiatives that may be offered.
  • Sectarian religious programs.
  • Replacement of traditional government services or public funding that has been cut.

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