Our grant applications require applicants to meet eligibility criteria.  The information below will describe eligibility and address frequently asked questions.

Who Can Apply

NMF only awards grants 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, government units, or private nonprofits with a 501(c)(3) federal tax-exempt status.

What NMF Can Fund

NMF awards grants for typical project-based expenses such as salary and fringe, consultant contracts, local travel, technology, supplies, and equipment essential to complete a project.  This is not a complete list, so please contact us if you have specific questions related to a project.

What NMF Cannot Fund

 Varies by program.  Typically grants from NMF cannot be used for capital campaigns, annual fund drives, endowments, religious activities, past operating deficits, general operating expenses, indirect costs, lobbying, publicity and direct marketing.  Grants solely for equipment or capital improvements will not be considered.  Grants for professional services (i.e. attorneys, website developers, accountants, grant writers, engineers, architects, etc.) are largely considered part of an operating expense and would not qualify.

Grant Award Amounts:  Our maximum grant award is $25,000.  The average award is $12,500.    

When to Apply

NMF grant pre-proposals will be accepted according to deadlines established by each program.  Full applications may require board approval, which is occurs on a monthly basis. Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NMF grant staff prior to submitting the pre-proposal. The grant review process can take up to 60 days after the full grant application is received depending on the program.

How to Apply

See the application process for more information.

Match Requirement

Varies by program.  Typically each application requires an equal (100%) match.  Of that amount, at least 50% of the request must be committed on a cash basis.  In-kind support can make up the remainder of the match. For example, a $25,000 NMF grant request requires at least $12,500 in cash and the remainder can come from in-kind support. Cash can be another matching grant, general operations spending toward the project, staff time toward the project only if it is a new position or additional FTE, or money as a result of fundraising. In-kind support might include volunteer time, staff time, or applicant resources other than cash.

NMF Grant Programs

NMF grant applications must fit into one of our open grant programs and priority areas.

See our Asset Building Grants page for more information.

Based on NMF’s strategic plan, grants are determined by current priorities established by the NMF Board of Directors.

For questions about NMF grant guidelines and programs, please contact us.


Nate Dorr, Senior Program Officer