Program Highlights 2021-2022

The Northland Foundation staff and partners helped deliver critical resources to support people and communities throughout our region. Following are some of the highlights from July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022.

Overall Organization

  • Raised and managed $11.2 million to fund grants, business services, KIDS PLUS, special initiatives, and COVID response efforts. See a Funding Snapshot for more details.
  • Doubled investments in organizations led by and serving Black, Indigenous and other people of color, Tribal nations, and Indigenous individuals, averaging 17% of grant funding over the last three years, as a part of our commitment to advance equity in this region.
  • Administered over $4,038,830 in grants dedicated directly to COVID response efforts in northeast Minnesota, $3.9 million of which went to small businesses through the Minnesota Main Street Grants Program.

Grant Program

  • Made 564 grants totaling over $5.8 million to benefit people and communities in the region.
  • Completed the first full year of Maada’ookiing, with the Indigenous-led Board awarding 31 grants totaling $76,300 to Indigenous individuals.
  • Simplified our grant application and revisited grant priorities to focus on five core areas, adding Belonging, which specifies support for efforts that help all people be fully a part of their community with the voice and power to shape institutions and systems.
View Grants

Use the drop-down to view non-COVID related grants awarded between July 1, 2021, and June 30, 2022. COVID-19 response grants may be viewed here.

Business Services

  • Closed 17 loans to help finance 7 business expansions and 10 start-ups/ownership transitions in northeast Minnesota.
  • Managed the Northland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) with support from regional and state partners, working with a team of 16 consultants who clocked 5,764 hours serving 951 small business clients, including 46 start-ups, and helped clients earn $19.9 million in capital.
  • Provided technical assistance to 72 small businesses and awarded grants of up to $1,000 to 61 of them to assist with technology improvements, in partnership with the Arrowhead Intelligent Region initiative.
  • Raised more than $1.9 million in loan capital from state and federal funding partners to deploy to new and expanding small businesses in our rural region.
Total Loans

Business Loans

(10 Start-ups, 7 Expansions)
Dollar Total


Jobs Created/Retained

Dollars Leveraged


View Loans

Use the drop-down to view loans closed between July 1, 2021 and June 30, 2022.


  • Expanded access to high-quality child care in our region by administering $2.3 million in Early Learning Scholarships for families of young children, supporting 28 virtual trainings for 736 providers to achieve a Parent Aware Star Rating, and offering grants and technical assistance to increase the number of licensed child care openings.
  • Delivered the KIDS PLUS Youth In Philanthropy Program, a grantmaking board of five adult mentors and 15 students who awarded 25 grants totaling $16,325 to support children-and-youth-led projects across the region.
  • Provided opportunities for 29 older adults to team with college and high school students in 12 sites as AGE to age Fellows, to help lead intergenerational activities such as reading programs, local history projects, and community gardens.
  • Worked with six Community Resource Hub partners who helped over 1,600 pregnant and parenting families of young children navigate supportive services such as financial assistance, child care access, housing, and more.
  • Provided 67 virtual trainings and learning community meetings for 1,628 service providers who work with children and families, through our Thrive Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and Early Childhood Initiatives to promote culturally responsive and trauma-informed care.