We recently realigned our grant programs to serve communities most in need.  The change reflects our values of strategic collaboration, integrity and responsibility, and to boldly make a difference.  Our hope is to build better lives here in rural Minnesota.


Child Care Grant Program

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation will provide funding for organizations working to improve child care quality or child care availability. NMF has developed three potential funding areas that applicants can use to determine if they are eligible for funding: Child Care Availability & Quality, Early Childhood Education, and High School Child Care Careers (Workforce Development).


Child Care Finance Program

The child care finance program was created to recognize and support the child care providers in northwest Minnesota.


  1. Increase child care slots in the region.
  2. Increase the number of Parent Aware rated child care providers and/or those providers who are already rated and are moving up the rating scale.
  3. Retain existing child care slots.


Children and Families Program

In early 2016 the data in the Wilder Research Risk & Reach Report motivated NMF personnel to interview stakeholders in the region who work with at-risk children and their families. NMF heard first-hand about families overwhelmed by substance abuse, children who do not have enough food to eat, and children sleeping without mattresses. Conditions and risks for the children are getting worse, not better, with higher levels of substance abuse and more people living in poverty than before.

NMF will initiate a deep dive into three (3) targeted communities with high poverty rates and disparity gaps to help strengthen children and families through improved family supports.


Communities Thrive Program

The Communities Thrive Program builds on the strength and diversity of our region.  This grant and loan program is focused on community building, place making, and showcasing the variety of amenities that make northwest Minnesota a great place to live work and play.  The program accepts applications from communities in a competitive process.

Northwest Minnesota Foundation awards grants only to organizations located and/or conducting activities in our 12-county service area (i.e. Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake, and Roseau Counties; and Red Lake Reservation and White Earth Reservation). Applicants must be public agencies, local government units, or private nonprofits with a 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status.



NMF is committed to leading and supporting collaborative efforts to add housing capacity in the region. We build better lives by ensuring that our region has sufficient housing availability and that lack of housing is no longer an obstacle to shelter and jobs. It is NMF’s goal to help add 1,500 new housing units to the region’s housing inventory by 2024.