Halstad

The community of Halstad is currently participating in the Communities Thrive program. Halstad is a 125-year-old community that is home to about 570 residents. Innovative founders worked together to grow the community from its roots. By tilling land, starting businesses to serve the citizens, and working together to form cooperatives that have stood the test of time, Halstad has been a strong pillar of Norman County for generations. That hard-working spirit continues today as a group of leaders has come together to build the small-but-mighty community’s future. Situated along US 75 and MN Hwy 200, Halstad offers its residents key amenities such as Sanford Clinic, senior living communities, a bright and welcoming recreation center, a nine-hole disc golf course, and a number of city parks and outdoor recreation opportunities.

Residents of Halstad have the opportunity to apply for grant or loan funding.

 

Halstad Loan Program

The Halstad Communities Thrive Loan Program will provide funding to businesses located in the city of Halstad.

Objectives:

  • Promote downtown development and preserve Halstad’s downtown
  • Promote housing development and preserve existing housing stock
  • Promote businesses that provide essential community services
  • Promote economic development in the city
  • Cooperate with other funding sources to increase total capital inflows into Halstad

Download the full loan program description and terms here

Download the loan application here

 

Halstad Grant Program

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is accepting grant proposals from eligible 501c3 nonprofit organizations and public agencies (city, school district, county, township, higher education, et al.) serving the Halstad community through its Communities Thrive Program.  The program is meant to support quality of life amenities that benefit area residents living and working in the Halstad community.

Proposals must serve the Halstad community, generally defined as Halstad and surrounding townships, and must serve one or more of the following priorities:

  • School Building Preservation and Reuse
    • Projects should provide services, learning opportunities, or otherwise promote the use of the historic school building
  • Community Beautification
    • Projects should improve the look and feel or overall community experience
  • Arts and Culture
    • Projects should showcase unique local talents, landmarks, and history
  • Lifestyle and Healthy Living
    • Projects may focus on diet, exercise, access, education, events, facilities, etc.
  • Strengthening Supports for Small Businesses
    • Projects may support business growth and retention, start-ups, technology, learning opportunities, etc.
  • Outdoor Recreation
    • Projects should focus on waterways, trails, parks, wayfinding maps and signage, events, planning, and similar efforts
  • Housing
    • Projects may focus on community planning, direct services for individuals, or similar efforts to increase the number and quality of housing
  • Childcare
    • Projects should grow the number and quality of childcare availability.

Download the full grant program description and terms here

Click here to fill out the online grant preproposal form

Warroad

The community of Warroad has been selected for the inaugural Communities Thrive program round.

Warroad has a number of recreational opportunities because of their location on popular Lake of the Woods, and the community is surrounded by thousands of acres of state parks and forests. Area businesses work together to provide quality in both products and services. Warroad’s school district offers vast scholarship options and provides an array of educational opportunities through school programs and community education classes. The community hosts annual cultural and community events to provide fun and entertainment for all ages. Home to Marvin Windows and Doors and numerous other small businesses thriving under the leadership of local entrepreneurs, Warroad’s economy is uniquely suited to take on a concerted effort to build on its existing assets.

Residents of Warroad have the opportunity to apply for grant or loan funding.

 

Warroad Loan Program

The objectives of the Warroad Communities Thrive Loan Program are applied toward projects within the Warroad area, defined as the geographic boundaries of the Warroad School District (ISD #690).   Priority areas include:

  • Community Beautification and Presentation – Projects that will improve the look, feel and overall community experiences.
  • Arts, Culture and Heritage – Projects should showcase unique arts & craftsmanship, landmarks and history.
  • Lifestyle and Healthy Living – Projects to focus on facilities, renovations, rural transportation solutions for use of the general public.
  • Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem – Project to support business retention and growth, including start-ups, technology and learning.
  • Outdoor Recreation – Projects to focus on waterways, trails, parks, signage and similar efforts.

Download the full loan program description and terms here

Download the loan application here

 

Warroad Grant Program

The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is accepting grant proposals from eligible 501c3 nonprofit organizations and public agencies (city, school district, county, township, higher education, et al.) serving the Warroad community through its Communities Thrive Program.  The program is meant to support quality of life amenities that benefit residents living and working in the Warroad community.

Proposals must serve the Warroad community, generally defined by the Warroad School District geography, and must serve one or more of the following priorities:

  • Community Beautification and Presentation
    • Projects should improve the look and feel or overall community experience
  • Arts, Culture, and Heritage
    • Projects should showcase unique local talents, landmarks, and history
  • Lifestyle and Healthy Living
    • Projects may focus on diet, exercise, access, education, events, facilities, etc.
  • Strengthening the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
    • Projects may support business growth and retention, start-ups, technology, learning opportunities, etc.
  • Outdoor Recreation
    • Projects should focus on waterways, trails, parks, wayfinding maps and signage, events, planning, and similar efforts.

Download the full grant program description and terms

Click here to fill out the online grant preproposal form

Program Motivation and Description

The Communities Thrive Program is a “deep dive” in a small number of communities to help them capitalize on the current “Brain Gain” trend in the ways that best fit their unique community, ultimately building on the strengths and diversity within our region.  This program uses place making and planning approaches to support community vitality. NMF works with one (1) to two (2) targeted communities at a time to help identify the communities’ needs and provide a mix of tools and resources, including flexible lending and grant products, to help the communities meet those needs. Whether it is downtown revitalization, an industrial park with tenants, a new senior living facility, a community wellness center, or improved parks and recreation (as examples), we help with capital needs to make the community’s vision a reality.

Better lives are built because of our investments into our region’s communities. We know each community is unique—tourism might provide rich cultural experiences in one place, while other communities rely on business and industry—and the Communities Thrive program is designed to be flexible to capitalize on your community’s unique assets.

Contact

Nate Dorr, Senior Program Officer                     Robert Maher, Program Officer – Economic Development

218-759-2057                                                                   218-759-2057

nated@nwmf.org                                                             robertm@nwmf.org

Frequently Asked Questions

The Communities Thrive Program is intended to serve a focused geography.  Non-geographic focused communities (e.g. specific populations of people, LGBTQ, refugees, mental health sufferers, abuse survivors) may be considered a layer of a certain geography as an issue area.  The strongest proposals will show a coherent community identity as defined by community members.  If working across geographic areas, the proposal must show a collaborative effort with a shared focus and commitment to carry out the project.  Geographic-based communities may be defined as a city, school district, a workforce commuter pattern, or neighboring communities with a common barrier, and a shared interesting in improving conditions for community members.

Letters of interest must be submitted according to the timeline in the Communities Thrive project description.  Once letters are received, projects will be assessed based on the community’s readiness to engage in collaborative work.  A site visit will be more important in ranking the community proposal.  This approach will give community stewards a chance to explain the issues they are looking to improve and how they plan to implement strategies.  Further expectations of the site visit will be released by the end of September prior to site visits being scheduled.  A strong application will have cross-sector partnerships, a readiness to engage in planning and implementation, and a commitment to long-term processes.

Grant funding will not be contingent on matching funds.  Matching funds may be considered as part of an overall funding package to ensure long term sustainability of the proposed project.

Grants can only be made to public agencies (schools, counties, cities, tribes, and others) or 501c3 nonprofit organizations.  Grants may fund new or existing programs, projects, studies, planning, collaborative work, capital projects, training, and similar work.  Grants cannot fund political activities, religious propagation, discriminatory practices, past operating debts, or similar activities.  Grants are meant to make a long term impact in the community.  Proposals that identify a public need and the public benefit of grant funding will be considered as prioritized by the community, versus grants to benefit only a single organization.  Collaborative efforts are encouraged.

Rates and terms will vary depending on the type of loan and project.  Loan funding is open to private businesses, nonprofit organizations, and public agencies.

We believe community projects are most successful when community members are invested using their time, unique talents, and treasure.  Commitment of time in the planning and implementation of the local project relies on community members showing up over the long term.  Each person involved might contribute their talents to advance efforts that improve quality of life options in their community.  Fundraising and donations are a vital part of taking ownership of the long term functionality of a program or maintenance of a capital project.  NMF staff are skilled in and will assist with establishing funds, tax-deductible donations, establishing policies around local grant making and fundraising, and guide community members in reaching fundraising goals.  Projects will not be rated on a community’s ability to raise the most amount of funds or pledges, but rather their willingness to engage with the whole community in holding events and fundraising to further their overall mission.  Local funds raised will be under the control of a local fund advisory committee to ensure all funds are directed to specific projects identified within the Communities Thrive Program.

No.  We recognize some larger communities might have the ability to hire grant writers and gain a competitive advantage because of their size.  Our approach is to consider the unique needs of each community, the fit with the program, and hearing folks in the community speaking with one voice.  Some of the work might be developing local capacity (skills, knowledge, time, tools, funding, etc.) that might benefit smaller communities.  Also consider that we are looking for multiple partners to engage in the program, so consider reaching out to neighboring, regional, or statewide organizations if needed.  The goal is to level the playing field and ensure fair access to the program regardless of size.

The team reviewing letters and conducting site visits represents a cross section of Northwest Minnesota Foundation staff.  Because the program relies on leveraging grants, loans, fundraising, and community leadership, we are engaging staff with specialties in these areas.

It’s at least a long term trend if not an age old phenomenon.  The idea of providing amenities and showcasing community assets to attract workers and raise families is not new.  Skilled workers know have the ability to choose where they want to live, send their kids to school, open a business, and spend their resources.  We want communities to showcase the many reasons why people should live, work, and play in northwest Minnesota.

The next grant round will be contingent on available funding, but is expected to reopen to applications in May 2020.  It is possible a selected community may achieve its intended targets ahead of schedule and could exit the program before the two to three year time frame.  Then new communities could be brought in through another competitive process.