A total of 19 nonprofit organizations will begin their capacity-building work as the second of two Strengthening Communities Initiative (SCI) cohorts. The new group of nonprofits was selected by an independent panel from among over 30 applicants from throughout northeastern Minnesota. The first cohort is made up of 18 nonprofits that came on board this past June.
“All 37 organizations do great work that, through this initiative, we hope to make even better,” said Erik Torch, Northland Foundation Grant Program Manager and SCI Project Manager.
Individualized technical assistance is being given to each organization to help improve its effectiveness and ability to provide social and human services to the region for the long term.
Additionally, the nonprofits can benefit by group trainings and the chance to apply for a cash grant to support their capacity building efforts. The first opportunity to apply for a competitive financial award resulted in 14 grants totaling $233,117. The Northland Foundation plans to offer two more rounds of financial awards.
Among the second cohort is KOOTASCA Community Action which works with people in Itasca and Koochiching Counties.
“For KOOTASCA, the technical assistance offered through the Strengthening Communities Initiative comes at a really opportune time,” explained Jim Woehrle, Director of Community Engagement at the Koochiching and Itasca County human services agency.
“With the loss of traditional funding streams, our organization needs to identify new strategic direction and collaborations; SCI will help us focus on those goals,” added Woehrle.
SCI is funded primarily through a federal American Reinvestment and
Recovery Act grant, along with Northland Foundation resources, to enhance nonprofits’ ability to help lower-income people find and keep jobs, earn
higher wages, and/or access State and Federal benefits as the country
and region work to recover from the recession.