Initiative Foundation announces more than $437,000 in grants


The Initiative Foundation and its partner funds announced 113 grants totaling more than $437,000 were awarded during the fourth quarter of 2019.

"We feel so privileged to work in this great region and for all the organizations with which we get to partner," stated Matt Varilek, Initiative Foundation president, in a news release. "During the fourth quarter of 2019, we were proud to support organizations planning for the future, helping youth gain valuable training, supporting Central Minnesota entrepreneurs and so much more."

The following area organizations received Innovation Fund grants from the Initiative Foundation:

  • Cuyuna Range Youth Center โ€” $5,000 for youth internship program to develop workforce skills.

  • The National Loon Center Foundation-Northern Lakes Initiative โ€” $5,000 to partner with University of Minnesota Extension Partnership program to hire a 2020 spring graduate student to recommend exhibits, demonstrations and hands-on activities for the Northern Lakes Initiative at the National Loon Center.

  • Sprout LLC โ€” $5,000 to support a deep and inclusive community listening process to discern and articulate a community vision and road map to help Little Falls navigate the future through the Our Town 56345 visioning process.

  • LEAP Inc. โ€” $2,500 to support education regarding the role of personal hygiene in a professional workplace and improve access to hygiene supplies for students who have barriers as part of โ€œSisters with Sass: Project Take Care of You.โ€

  • Confidence Learning Center โ€” $5,000 to provide a challenge match to surface new donors in support of the Feb. 13-14 Winter Special Olympics event.

  • Bridges of Hope โ€” $10,000 to build innovation and collaboration across local social service organizations in Crow Wing County.

  • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance โ€” $7,500 to advance planning, strategy, board and organizational development.

  • Anishinabe Legal Services Inc. โ€” $5,000 for organizational growth and training related to fund development to increase financial resilience.

  • Boys & Girls Club of the Leech Lake Areaโ€” $5,000 for organizational and board development training.

  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Reservation Business Committee โ€” $5,000 to support Leech Lake YouthBuild, which provides hands-on construction training and credentialing for disconnected youth with a goal of improving employment and/or post-secondary enrollment skills.

There were also a large number of grants awarded from partner funds hosted by the Initiative Foundation. Highlighted by the organization was a $2,500 grant from the Pillager Education Foundation to the Pillager School District for its interdisciplinary trail loop, observation platforms, dock and canoe launch materials.
Find the rest of the fourth quarter 2019 grant highlights at .

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