Community Giving

2018 Minnesota State Opportunity Grant

Online Application Open: December 1st, 2017
Deadline: 11:59 PM on January 31st, 2018 - Decision: See "Process" Section

Brief Description

The Minnesota State Opportunity Grant, administered through the Central Minnesota Community Foundation, aims to enhance long-term economic self-sufficiency by improving education, housing and economic outcomes for central Minnesota communities of color.

Grant Purpose and Focus Areas

To identify and support community initiatives in the St. Cloud area that enhances long-term economic self-sufficiency by improving education, housing, and economic outcomes for central Minnesota communities of color.

The project must aim to achieve outcomes in one or more of the following areas:

  • Economic Development
  • Education
  • Housing

What We Fund

The State of Minnesota requires that projects receiving funding use the funds for the following:

  • Program Costs
  • Capacity Building
  • Operating Costs:
    • Including but not limited to staff, office space, computers, software, web development and maintenance services
    • Consultants: directly related to and necessary for delivering services
  • Travel: ONLY within Minnesota

Eligible organizations: 501(c) 3 nonprofit organizations, schools, or government entities.

Geographic Area:

This grant requires that the project must serve people of color in one of the following counties:
Benton County, Stearns County, Sherburne County

Funding Amount Range:

Applicant organizations must have yearly gross revenue of over $50,000 and must be IRS 990 filers.

Grant requests under $25,000 will not be considered.

Small Organizations may apply for grants of $25,000 - $50,000

Large Organizations may apply for grant of $25,000 - $150,000


The foundation will consider applications that demonstrate:

  • They are an organization that Files a 990 or 990-EZ, unless the organization is a government agency.
  • Yearly Gross Revenue: over $50,000 and with proven financial accountability.
  • A history of successful fundraising from private sources for such services.
  • A history of successful provision of services in one of the following areas:
    • economic development, including but not limited to programs to foster entrepreneurship or small business development; improved job training, workforce development, small business support
    • education, including but not limited to programs to encourage civic engagement or provide youth after-school or recreation programs; early childhood, kindergarten through grade 12, higher education achievement
    • housing, including but not limited to, programs to prevent and respond to homelessness or to provide access to loans or grants for housing stability and affordability

What We Don’t Fund

  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Political organizations or political campaigns
  • Annual fundraising drives
  • Endowments
  • Debt retirement or deficit financing
  • Projects that have already been completed
  • Scholarships or medical research
  • Grants for travel or conferences
  • Government funding that has been reduced or eliminated


The foundation must award funds through a competitive grant process to community initiatives that will provide services, either alone or in partnership with other nonprofit organizations.

  • The Grants Committee will review all applications and will determine the recipients based on the materials presented in the application, and will score according to the criteria set forth in the Minnesota State guidelines.
  • Applicants will be informed of their status approximately 100 days after the grant deadline.

Organizations that receive funding will be required to:

  • Sign a grant agreement
  • Submit reports
    • Progress Reports: annually report on progress toward goals; full accounting of use of grant funds; and report on program statistics and demographics.
    • Final Report: report on goal outcomes/ results; full accounting of use of funds; and submit program statistics and demographics.
  • Site visit with the Grants Committee

Click Here to Preview Application

Click Here to Begin the Application Process

If you have additional questions, please email