The Northwest Minnesota Foundation grant application process is simple and effective. The information below details how grants are developed, reviewed, and evaluated.  Please feel free to contact us if you have questions on your grant application at anytime.

Project Development

This is the idea phase of your grant application. Applicants begin by identifying a need or problem, building relationships, scouting matching funds, and thinking of ways to remedy a problem or need.  Before submitting a pre-proposal, applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NMF grant program staff to discuss their potential project.

Pre-Proposal Submission

Applicants officially enter the NMF grant process by completing the online pre-proposal form.

This requires a brief summary of the population to be served, geographic focus, the challenge to overcome, the grant premise, and basic applicant information.  No deadline for submissions.  Applicants may submit this form by mail, but are encouraged to contact NMF staff first to receive assistance with online submission.

See Grant Guidelines page for more information on eligibility. 

Pre-Proposal Review

Once the official pre-proposal is received, NMF staff will review the information for eligibility and how the application fits NMF priorities.  NMF staff may also contact the applicant to seek more information.  This process typically takes up to two weeks.  To view more information about our Asset Building Grants click here.

A Full Grant Invite

A grant is invited once the pre-proposal review is successful.  The applicant will receive an email, phone call, or formal letter inviting a full application.  This correspondence will include the full grant application and grant application guidelines.  If a grant pre-proposal is denied, a letter is sent to the applicant.

Grant Writing & Submission

The applicant should now have matching funds identified or committed, partners offering letters of support, and a program or project established to address their need. NMF staff may be involved to answer questions or suggest options. Submissions are accepted online any time after a full grant is invited.

Grant Review

NMF staff will discuss the proposal with the applicant once it is received.  The goal is to assess how the grant fits into NMF programs, if the expenses are eligible, and if the grant proposal is reasonable.  Applicants are contacted to answer questions not explicitly stated in the application.  This information gathering is used for recommendations to our internal grant review committee and the NMF board.

Grant Determination

NMF staff and board review all information gathered regarding the grant application.  This can take up to five weeks if the grant is over $10,000, often shorter if less than that amount.  Board decisions and internal staff review are final.

Grant Agreement & Reporting

After the decision is made, the grantee will be contacted by NMF staff, and a grant award package is mailed.  The grantee will meet with NMF staff to review the grant award, reporting forms, and payment schedules.  Reporting requirements are part of the agreement and must be completed as scheduled.  Failure to comply with the grant agreement, reporting requirements, or misuse of funds will lead to loss of grant funding.

Impacts & Outcomes

Grantees can expect follow-up visits beyond the grant period to assess grant impacts.  Our mission is to “make the region a better place to live and work”.  NMF strives to make the following impacts:

  • Better conservation and promotion of natural resources
  • More vital communities
  • Greater education opportunity
  • Better healthcare and healthier lifestyles
  • Improved community infrastructure
  • More effective individuals, communities, and organizations
  • Better services to children, families, and the aging
  • Stronger network of individuals and organizations
  • More resilient and diversified communities.

For questions about NMF grant programs, please contact us.

Nate Dorr, Program Officer for Grants