Editor’s note: this newspaper column, written by Northfield Shares Executive Director Mike Krance, originally appeared in the Sept. 11, 2019, issue of the Northfield News.
Last Sunday was a day of change for many people in Northfield. Although school is already in session, many saw it as the unofficial end of summer with the conclusion of the Defeat of Jesse James Days Celebration. Others saw it as the opening of the pro football season, with a win by our Minnesota Vikings. For Northfield Shares, after we dried off from the conclusion of our DJJD Run/Walk, we started shifting focus to our annual grants application process, which actually began on September 1.
Every year, Northfield Shares advances its mission by awarding grants to organizations working to enhance the Northfield community. Our 2019 competitive grants cycle opened online on September 1, with all applications due by October 15. We invite interested organizations to learn more and apply at northfieldshares.org/grants.
Our grants are awarded to tax-exempt institutions or agencies for projects that create long-term solutions, enhance the overall well-being of our community and generate the biggest multiplier effect. While most of our endowed funds do not restrict the types of projects or organizations that may receive a grant, others have targeted areas of focus designated by the donors. Two examples of targeted focus include: community beautification projects, and projects that support youth and young adults in the Northfield area to reach their full potential.
Our Grants Committee scores applications on whether the request: 1) Responds to a community need or opportunity; 2) Encourages coordination and cooperation between and among organizations; 3) Encourages volunteerism and includes the involvement of stakeholders in implementation; 4) Generates and/or leverages other funds and resources in the Northfield area; and 5) Provides long-term solutions to problems and/or permanent impacts on the Northfield area.
During its 2018 competitive grants cycle, Northfield Shares awarded 10 grants to nine area nonprofits. The grants, totaling $66,467, were funded by seven different endowment funds inside of the Northfield Shares organization, plus a $25,000 grant from the Ames Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation.
For example Northfield Promise received a $10,000 grant for On the Move, an initiative that represents a series of system-improving strategies designed to change the transportation landscape for low-income Northfield kids/families and local youth development programs.
Another grant recipient, Age Friendly Northfield Initiative, received a $5,000 grant to design, develop and manage a web-based information and referral system for the aging community.
As you can see, with just a little funding help, these programs can provide greater benefit to Northfield. And Northfield Shares is excited to continue enabling local nonprofit organizations to increase their community impact.
If your organization is interested in securing funding for a project or program, Northfield Shares urges you to apply. If you are interested in establishing an endowment fund to help enhance Northfield Shares’ work with the local nonprofit community through grants, please contact Mike Krance at firstname.lastname@example.org. Together, we can make Northfield an even better place to live, work and play.