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Northland Foundation Grants

Northland Foundation

About the Grant Program

Through innovative programs designed to meet social, economic, and human needs, dedicated nonprofit organizations throughout northeastern Minnesota strive to strengthen the very fiber of their communities. The Northland Foundation is a willing partner in that work.

The Grant Program provides financial and technical resources to 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofits, schools, and other public entities serving Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, and St. Louis Counties. Support is directed toward three priorities areas: Children, Youth, and Families; Opportunities for Self-Reliance; and Aging with Independence.

The first step in securing a grant is to speak with Grant Program staff to determine if the project is a promising candidate for Northland Foundation funding. For more information, please email Erik Torch, Director of Grantmaking, or call him at (218) 723-4040 or 1-800-433-4045.


Rural Aging Initiative Phase II 2017-2019

RAI logoThe second 3-year phase of the Northland Foundation’ Rural Aging Initiative will take a building block approach to continue strengthening the capacity of nonprofit and community based organizations working to meet the diverse needs of older adults.  It will also deepen the work of the Foundation’s AGE to age initiative which taps  the talents of older adults to help children and youth thrive.  Finally, it will help spur innovation to address the growing needs of the aging population in northeastern Minnesota.

Community-based Nonprofit Capacity Building

One facet of Phase II will be a continuation of capacity-building work with organizations serving a large percentage of older adults and their family caregivers within the seven-county area. Capacity building will include expert training, peer group learning, and the opportunity to apply for up to $25,000 in funding to further efforts to improve or expand services and service delivery. Please see the link, below, for more information and details for the Request to Participate letter.

pdf Capacity-building Request to Participate

Innovation and Collaboration

Another facet of the Initiative will include opportunities for funding to support innovative approaches and collaborations. The Northland Foundation will also host a number of information sessions in the region, in relation to the innovation funding opportunity. Watch for more information to come in the spring of 2017.

Intergenerational Programming through AGE to age communities

The 16 AGE to age: bringing generations together sites in the seven-county region will be offered opportunities to expand their work connecting children and youth with older adults, including providing paid summer internships to local college students to support intergenerational programming and community organizing.


Social Enterprise Initiative:
supporting entrepreneurial strategies to reduce poverty

The Northland Foundation is pleased to announce a new initiative designed to strengthen and create social enterprises in northeastern Minnesota. Specifically the Northland Foundation is seeking to partner with organizations focused on reducing poverty and pursuing a social enterprise as a means to help people with low incomes develop career pathways and build financial assets. With support from the Northwest Area Foundation, the Northland Foundation will be working with social enterprises to provide them with training, peer learning, tailored technical assistance and grant funding to support and strengthen their work. Technical assistance partners include MAP for Nonprofits and the UMD Center for Economic Development.

Participating Organizations

Organizations that have a mission to serve people in poverty and currently operate or seek to create a social enterprise in the seven county area of northeast Minnesota were invited to apply for the Social Enterprise Initiative. The following organizations were selected to participate in this 18-month initiative.

  • American Indian Community Housing Organization, Duluth
  • Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency, Virginia
  • Community Action Duluth, Duluth
  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Cloquet
  • Itasca County Habitat for Humanity, Grand Rapids
  • Life House, Duluth
  • One Roof Community Housing, Duluth
  • Something Cool, Inc./McGregor KIDS PLUS, McGregor
  • Western Lake Superior Habitat for Humanity, Duluth

If you have questions, please email Erik Torch, Director of Grantmaking, or call him at (218) 723-4040.