Past Grants

2020

2020 Grant Recipients

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative – Healing Together: Moving Toward Resilience

Educators are on the front lines of keeping our kids healthy, which includes the responsibility to impact social and emotional development.  Empowering staff of the Northfield Public Schools to be trauma responsive through an  evidence-based training program will foster a climate of hope and reduce the stigma of mental health in the general population.  The project goal is to embed trauma responsive practices into the classroom. This project will partner with Advanced Trauma Consulting to provide trainings on executive functioning, secondary trauma, trauma responsiveness, and the impact of COVID-19. These opportunities will reach at least 400 Northfield birth – K12 educators.

Northfield Union of Youth – A Taste of Northfield

Food has always been a simple and abundant way for volunteers to show their support to the Key.  However, during COVID-19, family style meals are not allowed which means donations have had to be limited.  This grant from Northfield Shares will provide food security in 2021 and help the Northfield Union of Youth continue to lessen the trauma of the pandemic for youth and families in Northfield.

Infants Remembered in Silence – Northfield Area Bereavement Support Packets

Advocate and Bereavement Support Packets are provided to those who have experienced the death of a child through miscarriage (any gestation), stillbirth, neonatal death, birth defects, illness, accidents, SIDS/SUID, and all other infant/early childhood death.  The goal is to provide packets to 150 mothers, thus supporting at least 1,500 people (1 Mom, 1 Dad, 4 Grandparents, 2 Siblings, 2 Friends).

Northfield Youth Choir – Finding Solutions of Unique Challenges to Singing

Northfield Youth Choirs was founded in 1986 with the belief that all children can benefit from singing together in community, regardless of background or musical training.  For over thirty years, young people from the Northfield area have participated in our programs, regardless of musical experience or ability to pay.  We ensure that the cost of participating is not a barrier for any singer who wants to participate by minimizing tuition and providing scholarships, transportation to rehearsals, and an active after school program that attracts more than 60 participants.  The fall season has begun with online rehearsals, online individual and small group voice lessons, and the production of a virtual winter  concert with vocal parts performed by singers asynchronously is in progress.  Conductors and staff have devoted a great amount of time and energy to making this shift in programming possible, and are looking to expand opportunities to increase participation in the spring and summer.

Cannon River Watershed Partnership – Downstream Community Film Festival

The ongoing pandemic has led many Northfield residents to feel isolated.  This outdoor, physically distanced film festival will help community members to see the Cannon River as a community asset that we all need to keep clean and beautiful. The goals of this program include hosting a 2-day outdoor community film festival highlighting the work of both local and international filmmakers and create a safe community arts and water event.  This event will strive to increase the feeling of community in Northfield and inspire participants to work for cleaner water and healthier communities.  During the COVID-19 pandemic outdoor spaces are especially important as wonderful places to social distance as we recreate.  The films shown will inspire more residents to take part in the annual river CleanUP as they point out how picking up litter and keeping stormwater clean keeps our river clean and beautiful.

Community Action Center of Northfield – Community Food Access

The mission of the project of increasing mobile food distributions and opening a satellite food shelf is to expand upon the Community Action Center’s efforts in alleviating food insecurity by bringing vital resources directly to the neighborhoods experiencing the greatest need.  The CAC has been overwhelmed by more than twice as many families needing access to food, housing, and other essential needs during COVID-19.  In response to this unprecedented challenge, the CAC has launched a new food access system from the Northfield Community Education Center (NCEC) (former Greenvale School).   This new center will house an easily accessible satellite food shelf for families taking part in Greenvale Community School activities, attending Adult Basic Education classes, or attending Early Childhood Family Education classes.  These food access events feature fresh produce from local growers as well as meat, culturally specific foods, hygiene, and sanitation products.  Additionally, CAC has provided bi-lingual staff support at these events to support families struggling with housing, rent, employment, health insurance, and a myriad of other challenges faced by our community.  This project will provide food access to approximately 300+ additional families per month for the next 12 months.  This is an increase from 300 families per month who have historically utilized the food shelf at the CAC to 750+ families per month needing access to food in August and September (now 450 at the food shelf and 300+ at the Northfield Community Education Center).

Project Friendship – Building Confidence through Conflict

Project Friendship is growing.  In a time when our youth are, by necessity, physically distant, there is a need to have greater social and emotional connection.  Families are reaching out looking for ways for their children to connect.  In the 2018/19 school year Project Friendship served 126 children, in the 2019/20 school year they served 154 children.  Already this fall Project Friendship is seeing a surge in parents reaching out, and they expect to serve at least 200 children this school year.  The goal is for every child in the Northfield area who wants a mentor to be matched with a well-qualified, trained mentor.  This year the Northfield Community College Collaborative (NCCC) was added to the mentor pool, along with Carleton and St. Olaf mentors.  Now more than ever, when more and more youth are battling mental illness and stress in their daily lives, Project Friendship needs to be there to support and encourage all families and be ready with well trained, kind, and empathetic mentors.

Growing Up Healthy – Parents and Policy: Voices influencing a better education system

Currently, people of color comprise 14% of Northfield’s population, including Latinx and African immigrants.  Minnesota’s opportunity gaps are worst-in-the-nation.  Growing Up Healthy is part of Minnesota’s Education Partnerships Coalition (EPC) – a group of seven cradle-to-career communities that believe a new education system is necessary and possible.  The work weaves local parent/community knowledge into state-level decision-making processes.  Minnesota’s public decision-making bodies have historically prioritized professional voices – people paid to speak on behalf of impacted populations.  Years of community organizing has created an opening for parent/caregiver leadership to be better integrated into the functioning of these public bodies.  This program is nonpartisan and is not lobbying.  Parents are their children’s best advocates in ensuring access to quality education.  GUH is committed to increasing the number of low-income, Latinx and immigrant parents/caregivers who: Engage neighbors/family/friends in discussions about ways their collective voice can influence change; Engage with local leaders about policy and system improvements; Serve on school board advisory teams/seek out formal leadership roles; Participate in state-level education advocacy.  As part of this program at least 30 parents/caregivers will participate in at least five hours/month of workshops and activities grounded in how to use personal data and stories to compel change.  The program is built to embrace new engagement ideas that emerge from the parents/caregivers themselves.  By the end of the year, parents/caregivers will drive at least three documentable changes in the local education system, and support advocacy for at least one state-level policy change benefiting students of color.

Community Action Center – Diapers for Baby Buns

The Community Action Center food shelf serves an estimated 270 children who are in need of diapers each month to supplement what their family cannot afford.  Cloth diapers add to the barriers people face when transportation or laundry is not accessible.  The expected impact is healthier children who have families that are not stretching the use of diapers on hand.  Providing this basic need allows the household to allocate dollars to other needs, and time to devote to their children.  The food shelf cannot meet all the needs of families, but strives to help them free up their budget by providing items needed.  The demand for diapers has more than doubled in the last six months and is anticipated to continue to increase.  The CAC has a Diaper Task Force of women who have devoted their time and energy to this cause.  Our food banks occasionally have diapers available at a reduced cost, but this is inconsistent.  The Task Force was developing strategies to raise funds and awareness of the need before the pandemic hit and derailed plans.

Laura Baker School – Services & Staffing

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many individuals with IDD have seen their day programs close and have experienced greater isolation due to visitor restrictions.  The importance of having adequate support staff has never been greater, yet hiring and retaining direct support staff to work has never been more challenging.  As a result, Laura Baker Services Association (LBSA) and similar organizations are having increased difficulty hiring and retaining staff.  LBSA serves 70-75 individuals with IDD through three levels of housing and support services.  Maintaining adequate staffing levels has been a challenge for IDD service providers, particularly in the last 20 years.  The COVID pandemic has exacerbated these challenges.  CARES Act funding to senior care providers has been outpacing funding to IDD service providers during the recent pandemic, causing LBSA and similar organizations to lose staff to nursing homes and other businesses because of pay rate discrepancies.  In addition, due to the closure of client’s day and work programs, LBSA has had to add 13 full time daytime positions to support clients who are not able to attend their programs.  The safety and wellbeing of our clients remains a top priority.  Due to a recent drop in LBSA staffing levels, we have temporarily consolidated our clients from five to two cottages on our Oak Street campus.  We have accomplished this because of some unfilled beds (not filled during COVID because of safety protocols), working with several family members taking residents temporarily into their own homes, and securing temporary placements for several others.  During this transition, the LBSA Administrative Team and our Board of Trustees is implementing a plan to hire and train new staff so that we can return to our normal service levels.   This plan includes raising wages of existing staff and the starting wage rate for newly hired direct support professionals.  The cost of raising staff wages is $216,000 annually.  The grant from Northfield Shares will help fund this pay increase.

Northfield Arts Guild – Arts Outreach

The Northfield Arts Guild relies on enrollment fees to offer most of our arts education programming.  In thanks for the community’s support and in response to those who cannot take part in paid classes, we created two annual programs that provide free arts instruction and engagement for people of all ages, with an emphasis on low income and growing Latinx communities.  These programs are Open Art (free drop-in arts instruction for individuals/families) and Inspiration Station (art making activities brought directly to neighborhoods throughout the city), both managed and taught by the Education Assistant & Outreach Coordinator (EAOC).  These programs have responded to COVID-19 by going online and/or providing take home art making kits.  The EAOC has transitioned these programs to offer monthly free online arts instruction videos (in English and Spanish) using materials commonly found in peoples’ homes, and has included the creation and distribution of free, bilingual, art kits, with instructions for multiple skills levels.  The NAG looks forward to returning both programs to in-person activities in summer 2021, but are prepared to continue with their current format if needed.  Regardless, the goal is to ensure free access to the arts for every interested youth and adult in our community.

Rice County Neighbors United – Necessary Conversations for a Healthy and Informed Community

The Necessary Conversation program started summer 2020, thanks to funds from Northfield Shares.  Our friends and neighbors are immigrant and refugee families who may not speak English and feel isolated.  Often, people aren’t aware of services available, or discussions and decisions by city government, city agencies and the school board which will affect their lives.  These disadvantages have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Necessary Conversations cover many areas including housing, physical health, mental health, self-advocacy, civic engagement, identity and anti-racism actions and financial education. The conversations in Spanish are moderated by experts.  The goal is to reach many members of the immigrant and refugee communities and help them connect via Zoom.  The following four conversations are ready, with future conversations in the works: Physical Health, Mental Health, Latinx Identity and Anti-racism, and Financial Literacy.

Ruth’s House Of Hope – Emergency and Transitional Shelter Program

Ruth’s House is a nonprofit Emergency and Transitional Shelter with supportive services in Rice County for women and children experiencing homelessness due to domestic violence or other traumatic life circumstances.  As of the fall of 2020, Ruth’s House is operating at full capacity.  In 2019 Ruth’s House provided safe shelter, food, basic needs, and supportive services by maintaining/developing close relationships with collaborating organizations and local service agencies for 32 women and 26 children.  This program is funded entirely by community donations and foundation grants, which have been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

Northfield Area Family YMCA – Scholarship for memberships & program participation

The YMCA scholarship program ensures that no one is turned away from YMCA services because of an inability to pay for their participation in membership, programs/services.  Programs and services include: swim lessons, youth sports, childcare/camp programming, health and wellness activities for adults and membership.  More than ever during this time of pandemic and into the future, social isolation, mental health and trauma are being experienced in our community.  Inclusion in Y programs and services help to address these concerns and provide for all the opportunity to participate in programs for youth, adults and families.  The Y programs support all populations in our community and the scholarship program will impact the lives of 1,000 people or more.  In addition, the Y will continue to work with community partners, helping to provide referral options to the YMCA to ensure barriers are addressed and scholarships are provided as quickly as possible, enabling quick participation for all who are interested and qualify for the scholarships.

Northfield Youth Soccer Association – 2020 and beyond

During this pandemic, kids need recreational opportunities that nourish their bodies and minds.  As an outdoor activity, soccer is a great choice.  For 35 years, the Northfield Soccer Association has offered programs for 500 kids ages 4–19 each year.  Prior to COVID-19, the association had a solid financial cushion.  However, when the spring and summer seasons were canceled, nearly $70,000 were refunded in registration fees.  The “Northfield Soccer Association 2020 and Beyond” project is being launched to ensure the viability of this organization, beginning by paying the outstanding staff so 2021 programs can be developed.  Goals of the Association include: working with NYSA COVID-19 Coordinator, Dr. Dave Morrell, to ensure all 2020-21 programs meet Minnesota Department of Health and Minnesota Youth Soccer Association guidelines; offering an optional winter training program for Academy and Traveling players (ages 9 and up); improving family engagement by starting a volunteer program; and ensuring that families experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic have access to scholarships.

Age Friendly Northfield – Spanish Translation of Community Resources and Services Guide (CRSG) for Older Adults and Caregivers

This project will create and print a Community Resources for Seniors Guide (CRSG) that is translated to Spanish.  The Spanish language CRSG is crucial to the inclusion of all our older adults in Northfield.  The goal is to increase the ability to reach older adults, homebound individuals, caregivers, and the Hispanic and Latino communities as well as those without online technology.  The CRSG will provide reliable and efficient information on a broad range of available support.

HealthFinders Collaborative – Medication Therapy for Opiate Addiction

HealthFinders Collaborative (HFC) combines clinical care, community engagement, patient advocacy, and wellness education to fill gaps, improve access, and drive outcomes for underserved populations in Northfield and the surrounding community.  Opiate use has been a persistent problem in Rice County, with overdoses going up; this year police have responded to at least 12 overdoses so far.  HFC has been a key partner in a countywide effort to address opiate addiction.  The project engages law enforcement, social service agencies, and providers across the county to provide coordinated support, and together they have identified the need for medication assisted therapy in Northfield.  Medication Assisted Therapy for Opiate Addiction (MAT) can transform care for people addicted to opiates.  It involves prescribing a micro-dose of Suboxone, supported by regular and careful clinical monitoring.  While the ability for providers to prescribe powerful medications is relatively easy, obtaining certification to provide MAT to support patient’s recovery is a relatively lengthy and involved process for providers.  In January, HFC’s director of clinical care and nurse practitioner became credentialed and began offering these services weekly in the Faribault location.  The program saw rapid growth and, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, continued to grow unabated.  Currently the program has supported the recovery of 25 patients through weekly monitoring and Suboxone prescription.  When the program began, there were no providers offering MAT in Northfield, however HFC hired a provider just for this purpose, and is in the process of credentialing another nurse practitioner to expand the program to Northfield.  The proposed project hopes to expand to meet the early success and growing needs.  Since 2018, HFC has expanded services locally in response to local needs, adding dental care, mental health visits, and now MAT here in Northfield.  Together, these services will establish HFC as a comprehensive medical, dental, and wellness home for the underserved population in Northfield and surrounding rural communities.

HealthFinders Collaborative – Community COVID Response

The COVID-19 work is driven by three priorities: staying on top of rapidly evolving clinical guidance, coordination with local hospitals and public health, and consistent communication to the community through translation of the website and daily social media content.  Goals: support underlying needs with virtual visits, COVID-19 testing and follow-up, and patient advocacy with insurance, social supports, and unemployment enrollment.

Northfield Retirement Community – Building Community Connections Virtually

As strict safety measures continue to be necessary, life at the Northfield Retirement Community (NRC) has significantly changed.  NRC staff continue to brainstorm new ways to make their more than 200 residents feel connected to one another and life outside of the campus.  However, due to COVID-19, the NRC is limited in what they can implement while still maintaining needed safety precautions.  This program will help connect residents through technology, including broadcasting daily uplifting content from the pastor.  The goal is to use technology to help deter depression, feelings of isolation and loneliness, and to improve resident communication, morale, energy, and connection.

Community Action Center – Feeding Our Community

The Community Action Center of Northfield (CAC) is the main provider of basic needs support throughout the Northfield area including food, shelter, (un)employment support, financial assistance, youth services, and so much more.  In 2018, the CAC serve nearly 3,200 individuals annually.  Three months into the COVID-19 pandemic that number soared to nearly 4,200 individuals.  This grant will help source culturally-relevant foods to meet the growing needs of the Northfield community.

2019

2019 Northfield Shares Grants Awarded

Northfield Shares will distribute $66,467 in grants to 10 recipients. The organizations and their respective programs receiving grants are highlighted below. A total of 17 grant applications were submitted with requests for $158,749. The 2018-19 grant awards are made possible through the Ames Fund, Bill Clifford Fund, Nutting Beautification Fund, the Marston Headley and Dorothy Stone Headley Fund, and the Street Family Fund.

Since the 2007-2008 grant cycle when the organization was called the Northfield Area Foundation, through the current 2018-19 grant cycle, Northfield Shares has provided more than $553,000 in funding to local nonprofit organizations.

Note: Grant descriptions were excerpted from grant applications.

 

Community Action Center of Northfield – Community Engaged Housing * Collaborative Leadership Grant of $25,000

Community Engaged Housing will weave together people and organizations across Northfield to build tangible solutions to Northfield’s housing crisis. The level of discourse in Northfield has reached a pinnacle with needs around youth homelessness, lack of affordable housing, chronic homelessness, and the lack of resources for individuals and families at-risk of being homeless. Northfield is a very engaged community full of volunteers and nonprofit organizations, creating a resource-rich community that can be mobilized to address pressing needs. Community Action Center of Northfield (CAC) has taken a very big step toward more supportive infrastructure around homelessness and affordable housing.  

CAC has recently signed a purchase agreement to acquire and build a multi-income community of homes, transitional housing, and emergency shelter within Northfield. This shelter/housing development will provide much needed tangible resources for homeless youth, homeless families, low-income families, and working-class families seeking affordable housing. CAC has taken a leap of faith that this investment in property acquisition will ignite a community-wide investment in volunteers and donations to work alongside contractors to build and construct a sustainable solution to Northfield’s most pressing housing needs.

Funding from Northfield Shares will build CAC’s capacity to spearhead, guide, and lead a community of volunteers in helping tackle portions of this development. Shares funding will be used to hire a project engagement coordinator to work with individuals, faith-community leaders, businesses, and organizations to focus, organize, and mobilize volunteers and resources in order to tackle a project that gets at the heart of Northfield’s housing crisis. This grant was made possible by a gift from The Ames Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

Healthy Community Initiative – On the Move: Northfield Promise’s Collaborative Efforts to Improve Transportation * $10,000

On the Move represents a series of system-improving strategies designed to change the transportation landscape for low-income Northfield kids/families and local youth development programs. By pulling together a multitude of community stakeholders, the initiative seeks to:  a) Create a transportation co-op for local youth development programs where programs can access group transportation at cost (current private busses are priced outside the realm of financial possibility for most programs) b) Develop a rural social service rideshare option that low-income individuals can use to get to appointments (or work) or kids could use it to get to programs or school  and c) Lead state public policy change in Minnesota, allowing low-income Northfield families to use the K-12 education tax credit to apply to driver’s education costs – and then creating a local program where Northfield low-income youth can receive state subsidies for 75% of this driver’s education cost.  This grant was funded by the Marston Headley & Dorothy Stone Headley Fund

Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative – Youth Sports Scholarships * $5,479

The Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative (NYSC) was founded in 2004 after local sports organizations noticed that Latino and low-income youth were participating in their programs at very low numbers. The associations joined together to form the NYSC to work collaboratively to increase this involvement. They recognized that by working together, the associations would be able to accomplish more and serve more kids than would be possible with groups working in isolation. As one of their first initiatives, they established a shared scholarship pool for low-income children offering them access to take part in sports associations. This pool has since provided more than 2,300 scholarships to local children.

Unfortunately, continually increasing demand for scholarships (coupled with declining local funds) resulted in the Collaborative needing to turn away young people for the first time last year due to lack of funding.

Expanded fundraising efforts – including generous support last year from Northfield Shares – helped reverse this situation. However, the Collaborative is still in a vulnerable position; without additional fundraising support, the current funds will only continue to support scholarships for another six months, after which point youth will again be turned away. This grant was funded collectively by: The Bill Clifford Family Legacy FundThe Street Family FundNutting Family Fund, and Marston Headley and Dorothy Stone Headley Fund.

Age Friendly Northfield Initiative *  $5,000

The Age Friendly Initiative’s goal is to meet the need for a centrally located comprehensive, coordinated information and referral system for older adult (age 50+) services. The Age Friendly Northfield (AFN) Steering Committee will use this grant for design, development, and management of a web-based information and referral system. It will house information including contacts, descriptions of the services and links to sites often accessed by older adults, their families, and caregivers when seeking help including, but not limited to, health and medical needs, city services, public library info, county health and social services, recreation, and transportationThis grant was funded by the Marston Headley & Dorothy Stone Headley Fund.

HealthFinders – HealthRise Care Coordination Project  * $5,000

In 2018, HealthFinders expanded their capacity with a strategic move to a new clinic space in Northfield, co-located with Sterling Pharmacy and a Northfield Hospital Express Care Clinic. Leveraging this new collaborative location along with the Northfield Shares grant, HealthFinders will add dental capacity, as well as expand our mental health services and teen clinic. Together, these services will establish HFC as a comprehensive medical, dental, and wellness home for the underserved population in Northfield and surrounding rural communities. This grant is funded by the Nutting Family Fund. 

Northfield Garden Club – Northfield in Bloom  *  $5,000

Beautification of Northfield is the mission and the vision is a vibrant, aesthetically pleasing community that has pride of place. The Garden Club works with volunteers from many civic organizations to enhance the city we all love in the following areas: urban forestry, floral displays/landscaping, heritage preservation, environmental efforts and overall impression. Our projects are designed to showcase Northfield to all who live, work, play, study, and visit here. Collaboration takes place with Roundtable, Age Friendly Northfield, Save the Northfield Depot, the EQC, The ACC, the Chamber of Commerce, Master Gardeners, and the Garden Club through the Beautify Northfield Coalition (BNC). This grant is funded by The Nutting Beautification Fund.

Rice County Neighbors United of Northfield – Our Great Diverse Northfield Community Mural  *  $4,988

Neighbors United, a local nonprofit advocacy organization for immigrants and other vulnerable groups in Northfield, will join stakeholders, Just Food Co-Op and the Youth Arts Board of the Union of Youth to paint a mural on the south wall of the co-op. Twelve youth, grades 6-12, will be recruited, and the project will be directed by Middle School arts teacher Rafael Estrella. Planning/recruiting/training/artistic renderings will take place during winter, spring and summer of 2019. Painting is scheduled to begin in fall 2019.

At the conclusion of the project, the mural will be unveiled to the whole community in a cultural event that includes food, music and dance. The general theme will be the cultural evolution of the city and its current rich diversity. The youth and their mentors will determine the specifics of the design in creative brainstorming sessions. This grant is funded by The Nutting Beautification Fund

Girl Scouts – Mentored Troops Program  *  $2,000

In volunteer-led Girl Scout troops, trained Girl Scout volunteers guide girls through activities and create a supportive, all-girl environment in which every girl can thrive. In Girl Scouts, girls build lifelong friendships and support networks as they complete hands-on activities designed to build key life skills such as leadership, teamwork, and problem-solving.

New this year, Girl Scouts’ Mentored Troops program will provide these same opportunities specifically for communities of color who have historically been under-served by Girl Scout programming. Our community engagement department— including our new Vice President of Community Engagement—has identified several barriers that women and girls of color experience when volunteering with or participating in Girl Scouts. Based on a current program being implemented by one of our sister councils, Girl Scouts of Greater Los Angeles, the Mentored Troops program offers a response to these barriers, providing girls and volunteers of color with the culturally-relevant training, resources, community outreach, and leadership opportunities they need to feel welcome and confident in Girl Scouts’ all-girl leadership environment.

Mentored Troops will recruit and train volunteers of color to deliver the Girl Scout curriculum to girls of color within their communities. During the troop’s first year, Mentored Troops will provide financial resources and staff support, with the goal of training each troop to operate independently of this support by their second year of operation. This sustainable program model will allow us to reach 40 girls in Northfield who otherwise may never have experienced Girl Scouts’ innovative programming.  This grant has been funded by The Bill Clifford Family Legacy Fund

Healthy Community Initiative – YouthBank  *  $2,000

Northfield YouthBank is a youth-led grant-making initiative which channels money into projects that will improve the quality of life for youth in our community. It is also a process and way of working with young grant makers that encourages and trains them as they develop essential life and job skills. YouthBanks are run by young people, for young people in their community. YouthBank is unique in that it puts money directly into the hands of young people who decide on how it will be spent.

The YouthBank team is supported by adults, but the youth make their own decisions as to what projects they choose to carry out and how the money they have is spent. YouthBank members develop many skills, including communications, strategic thinking, teamwork, responsibility and self-confidence.

Northfield YouthBank began in January of 2015 and has had seven grant rounds in which they have distributed over $84,000 into the community to youth-led projects. These grants have been used to fund 30 grant applications with approximately 265 youth involved in leading these projects. Based on a model begun in Northern Ireland, YouthBank is just becoming established in the United States and Northfield YouthBank is proud to be a leader in this movement. As the first YouthBank in the country to award grants, Northfield YouthBank is helping set the standards for all future YouthBanks in the country.  This grant has been funded by The Bill Clifford Family Legacy Fund

Project Friendship – Bridging the Mentoring Gap  * $2,000

Project Friendship seeks to increase the number of youth, specifically at-risk youth, who are connected with positive caring adults in mentoring relationships and bridge the mentoring gap between services. Project Friendship will partner with Northfield Union of Youth-The Key to expand our mentoring reach by providing training and support to their staff and volunteers. Project Friendship has a proven training and support mentoring model. NUY-The Key has the caring adults in volunteer roles and serves as the support and safe place for at-risk youth. Together we can connect youth with caring adults who are intentional about mentoring.

The target population for Project Friendship participants includes Northfield youth between 8-14 years old (2nd through 7th grades). Northfield Union of Youth-The Key youth center provides programming for youth ages 12-20. There is overlap in program services where Project Friendship ends and The Key begins, vulnerable youth should not be left without a caring adult who supports them as they transition to high school.

The collaboration between Project Friendship and NUY-The Key will specifically work to improve the number of 7-12th graders who feel good about themselves and facilitate the transition of youth from PF to NUY-The Key programming.  This grant has been funded by The Nutting Family Fund.

In addition, the Engeseth-Rinde Restoration Fund at Northfield Shares awarded its first grants in 2018 for a total of $33,617. Distributions from the Fund will be used primarily for the purpose of restoration, research, silviculture and related educational activities on the Engeseth-Rinde Unit of the Prairie Creek Wildlife Management Area. Grant recipients include the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (planting and invasive species control), and the University of Minnesota Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (balancing local adaptation and evolutionary potential).

2018

2018 Northfield Shares Grants Awarded

Northfield Shares distributed $62,300 in grants to fund 13 different projects by 12 local nonprofit organizations. A total of 29 grant applications were submitted requesting a total of $164,956.

The 2018 grant awards are made possible through the Bill Clifford Family Legacy Fund; Nutting Beautification Fund; Grace Whittier Fund, Northfield Area Foundation Fund, Nutting Family Fund, Marston Headley and Dorothy Stone Headley Fund, Street Family fund, and the Ames Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

Since the 2007-2008 grant cycle when the organization was called the Northfield Area Foundation, through the current 2017-2018 grant cycle, Northfield Shares has provided more than $487,000 in funding to local nonprofit organizations. In addition, last year Northfield Shares also enabled people to provide $231,000 in grants through their donor advised funds. Those grants not only supported the Northfield community, but organizations throughout Minnesota and across the country as well.

Note: Grant descriptions were excerpted from grant applications.

Grants funded by the Bill Clifford Family Legacy Fund:

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) —YouthBank— $5,000

  • YouthBank is an HCI-supported, innovative philanthropy program in which a team of trained grant makers—ages 14-19—awards funds to youth-led projects that improve the quality of life for youth in the community.

TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes) —Northfield Community College— $5,000, plus a$10,000 Collaborative Leadership grant funded by the Ames Fund of The Minneapolis Foundation

  • A collaboration of the Northfield TORCH program, the Northfield Area Learning Center (ALC), Northfield High School, the Northfield Union of Youth (the Key), and Dakota County Adult Basic Education, Northfield Community College is a satellite campus of Riverland Community College. This grant will help further establish and expand post-secondary opportunities for youth who have recently graduated from high school as well as those students who have been out of school for a number of years. Funding will help expand the number of classes available in Northfield, thereby increasing the number of students who can attend.

Grants funded by the Nutting Beautification Fund:

Defeat of Jesse James Days, Inc.  — Community Bleachers — $7,000

  • Grant will be used in making the new bleachers in Babcock Park ADA accessible, creating a safe venue throughout the year. The goal is to increase the usage of the venue for city functions and by other organizations in the Northfield area.

Northfield Garden Club —Northfield in Bloom (NIB)— $3,500

  • NIB was created to enhance all beautification efforts in Northfield. Highlights of NIB’s projects this year include: floral displays and landscaping maintenance; observation structure, signage and education materials for the Children’s Pollinator Garden; beautification of utility boxes in Ames Park; and a benches program.

Grants funded by the Grace Whittier Fund:

Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative —Leveraging Support for a More Sustainable— $3,400

  • Matching funds will support scholarships that provide assistance with registration fees toward local youth sports organizations.

Grants funded by Undesignated Funds (Northfield Area Foundation Fund, Nutting Family FundMarston Headley and Dorothy Stone Headley Fund, and the Street Family Fund):

Community Action Center (CAC) of Northfield —Northfield Works— $8,000

  • Funding will support a workplace diversity training program to foster cultural understanding and increase overall productivity and employee retention. This project integrates cultural understanding into our community through the additional engagement of volunteer Community Employer Liaisons.  Liaisons will serve as a bridge between Northfield Works and its clients, partner employers, service provider partners and the community at large.

Girl Scouts —ConnectZ Program — $1,000

  • Grant will support Girl Scouts ConnectZ, a dedicated, culturally-responsive leadership program that helps local girls learn, grow and build skills for a successful future. ConnectZ partners with schools and community sites, like Jefferson Square and the PLUS program at Greenvale Park Elementary School, to bring the program to girls where they are, at no cost to participants or their families.

Greenvale Park Community School  —Filling the Gaps— $10,000

  • Greenvale Park Community School expects to serve more than 500 students within the next year through after-school programming, evening programming for the entire family, mentoring, medical/dental services, access to food/nutrition, and programming during summer and winter breaks. Grant will help fill financial gaps for programming costs.

Greenvale Park Community School  —Spanish Language Library— $1,000

  • As Northfield schools strive to improve reading scores among EL (English learner) students, it seems that one of the best ways to get this demographic reading more is to help foster a love of reading at home. A love for reading cannot grow without access to books, and so this grant will enable the school to start a small, easily accessible library of Spanish-language books for adults.

HealthFinders Collaborative (HFC) —HealthRise Care Coordination & Community Healthworker Program— $3,500

  • Funding will support HFC’s HealthRise, a unique care coordination program that allows both community-based health workers and clinical staff to collaborate to provide seamless, culturally responsive care.  The care coordination project serves Northfield residents by improving disease management and prevention, reducing fragmentation across health care systems, and broadening HFC’s existing model uniting clinical and community-based health and wellness programming.

Northfield Art’s Guild —Creating Mental Wellness through Pura Vida Program— $1,500

  • Grant will fund a collaborative effort between the Guild, HealthFinders Collaborative and Greenvale Park Community School to offer arts classes under Pura Vida programming. These classes, taught in both Spanish and English, will support mental wellness through interpersonal connections and art making.

Northfield Hospital & Clinics —Advance Care Planning Initiative— $1,000

  • The Northfield Advance Care Planning Initiative is a collaborative movement to build awareness of the importance of engaging in conversation about future care preferences. Funding will help create a library of educational resources, community information materials, and help offset facilitator training costs for participating organizations with limited funds.

Project Friendship —Everyone Needs a Mentor— $1,400

  • Project Friendship’s expansion program, Everyone Needs a Mentor/I had a Mentor, sought a matching grant for Cultural Liaison and Program Director positions. The Cultural Liaison will expand communication efforts to engage Spanish-speaking families and encourage participation in the program, and then manage the additional mentoring relationships that result from the outreach.

2017

Northfield Shares distributed $68,619 in grants to 15 nonprofits in 2017, made possible by the following funds: Nutting Beautification Fund, Bill Clifford Family Legacy Fund, Grace Whittier Fund, Nutting Family Fund, Marston Headley and Dorothy Stone Headley Fund, Street Family Fund, and the Ames Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation.

Note: Grant descriptions were excerpted from grant applications.

Grants funded by Nutting Beautification Fund:

Northfield in Bloom (NIB) – Community Beautification Efforts – $6,000

  • Created to enhance all beautification efforts in Northfield. Highlights of NIB’s projects this year include floral displays for the lower Riverwalk area, pots and bridge baskets, Children’s Pollinator Garden, Ames Park, Cannon River Valley Arboretum and supporting a watering staff.

Northfield Community Resource Center (NCRC) – Landscaping and Signage – $3,000

  • The NCRC installed a sign with digital messages informing passersby about many nonprofits and their highlights. It is required by city ordinance that they add landscaping around the sign. This grant will support their landscaping needs, including soil, mulching and edging as well as three maple trees and an American elm tree.

Cannon River Watershed Partnership (CRWP) – Master Stewards Program – $2,449

  • Funds will support the first Master Stewards in Northfield, a program that certifies and supports community leaders to install pollution prevention projects that educate community members, reduce pollutants from runoff and allow more water to soak into the ground before running into storm sewers. This effort is similar to that of Master Gardeners or Master Naturalists.

Grants funded by Bill Clifford Family Legacy Fund:

TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes) – Alumni Program Support – $5,000, plus $4,220 from Undesignated Funds

  • Grant will support TORCH’s alumni by providing funding for an alumni outreach coordinator who will help TORCH graduates find success after high school. TORCH hopes to reduce obstacles for 200 recent TORCH alumni, ages 18–24.

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) – YouthBank – $5,000

  • YouthBank is an HCI-supported, innovative youth philanthropy program in which a team of trained grant-makers—ages 14–19—awards funds to youth-led projects that improve the quality of life for youth in the community.

Grants funded by Grace Whittier Fund:

Northfield Girl Scouts – ConnectZ Program – $1,750

  • Funds will support Girl Scouts ConnectZ, a dedicated, culturally-responsive leadership program that helps local girls learn, grow and build skills for a successful future. ConnectZ partners with schools and community sites, like Jefferson Square and the PLUS program at Greenvale Park Elementary School, to bring the program to girls where they are, at no cost to participants or their families.

Laura Baker Services Association – Family Support Services – $1,200

  • Funding will help support Laura Baker Services Association’s Family Support Services, which are designed to meet the needs of parents and caregivers of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The services provide a dependable system of support through monthly respite events and family networking opportunities.

Northfield Youth Sports Collaborative – Sports Scholarships – $1,000

  • Funds will support scholarships that provide assistance with registration fees toward local youth sports organizations.

Community Action Center of Northfield – Student Activity Scholarships – $1,000

  • The Community Action Center works to counteract the negative impact of poverty by supporting children in low-income households, in part through providing scholarships for students to partake in co-curricular activities, such as the arts, dance, athletics and summer camp. Grant funding will help to support these scholarships.

Northfield Booster Club – Activity Scholarships – $1,000

  • The Northfield Booster Club has made it a priority to help those families who struggle financially to pay athletic registration fees so that these youth are able to participate in the school’s athletic programs. Grant funding will help to support these scholarships.

Grants funded by Undesignated Funds (Nutting Family FundMarston Headley and Dorothy Stone Headley FundStreet Family Fund, and the Ames Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation):

Greenvale Park Community School – Co-coordinator Position – $14,000

  • Grant will help fund a second Greenvale Park Community School co-coordinator’s salary for a full year.

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) – Reading Rockets – $8,000

  • Funding will help support Reading Rockets, an initiative that provides summer literacy support for Northfield elementary youth who are behind grade level in reading. Reading Rockets will be a component of the Summer PLUS program and grant support is planned for the next two summers, allowing the project to serve 100 youth annually (200 youth total).

HealthFinders Collaborative – Community Clinic Support – $5,000

  • Funding provides matching support of the new HealthRise grant obtained by HealthFinders from the Medtronic Foundation to promote cardiovascular health, diabetes management, and disease prevention among underserved populations in Rice County. Northfield Shares’ support this year will ensure full implementation of coordinated services across partner systems, agencies and projects in Northfield.

Northfield Area Learning Center (ALC) – Backpack Food Program – $1,000

  • The Backpack Food Program was initiated by students in the ALC’s Work Experience program in 2010. Each week, ALC students fill 15–20 bags of food and deliver them to local schools, an area church and Three Links senior apartments. The food is then given to families in need, with approximately 500 bags of food distributed every year.

 Northfield Union of Youth (NUY) – The Key: Safe Food at a Safe Place – $5,000

  • Funds will help to support NUY’s project, The Key: Safe Food at a Safe Place, which aims to provide free and equitable access to healthy meals during after-school hours for Northfield’s most at-risk youth community. NUY is hiring a food-safe certified food consultant to help create and implement a safe, sustainable, and volunteer-run system of food delivery that can help build capacity, including training, coordinating and recruiting volunteers in appropriate protocols and procedures for food safety.

Project Friendship – Mentoring Program Support – $4,000

  • Project Friendship’s expansion program, Everyone Needs a Mentor/I had a Mentor, sought a matching grant for a Cultural Liaison position. The Cultural Liaison will expand communication efforts to engage Spanish-speaking families and encourage participation in the program, and then manage the additional mentoring relationships that result from the outreach.

2016

Northfield Shares distributed $39,742.00 in grants in 2016. These grants were made possible by the following funds: Nutting Beautification and Undesignated Funds, Headley Fund, Street Family Fund, Northfield Area Foundation Fund and the Grace Whittier Fund.

Note: Grant descriptions were excerpted from the actual grant applications.

  • $500 to Beautify Northfield Coalition to develop Arts Corridor linking St. Olaf and Carleton College. (Nutting Beautification Fund)
  • $3,692 to Northfield in Bloom to help support their planting, water, mulching and weeding efforts of downtown spaces planted with help from Northfield Shares.(Nutting Beautification Fund)
  • $2,000 to Cannon River Watershed Partnership to help support the creation of additional community connections leading up to their Watershed Wide Cleanup event. (Nutting Beautification Fund)
  • $16,950 to Greenvale Park Community School to help support the funding of their co-coordinator positions. (Grace Whittier Fund)
  • $2,000 to Northfield Union of Youth (NUY) to match funds for two separate grants that help support NUY’s out-of-school educational programming. (Grace Whittier Fund)
  • $5,000 to HealthFinders Collaborative to match support of their HealthRise grant obtained from the Medtronic Foundation to support cardiovascular health, diabetes management, and disease prevention among underserved populations in Rice County.
  • $2,100 to TORCH (Tackling Obstacles, Raising College Hopes) to help provide the necessary technology for students to complete their assignments at school.
  • $3,000 to Northfield YouthBank. Northfield Healthy Community Initiative (HCI) was asked by Youthprise to act as a host organization for a YouthBank in Northfield. The funding would be used in this matching campaign with Youthprise.
  • $4,500 to the Community Action Center of Northfield’s job partnership program, Northfield Works, which provides job readiness training and support to CAC clients in Northfield with income less than 200% of federal  poverty guidelines.

2015

In the 2015 grant cycle, the following was awarded for a total of $51,483:

  • $10,000 to the Friends of the Northfield Library for new outdoor spaces of the Library renovation (payable in two $5000 installments from the Nutting Beautification Fund)
  • $5,732 to the Northfield Garden Club’s Northfield in Bloom project (Nutting Beautification Fund)
  • $16,151 to Healthy Community Initiative for the Northfield’s Promise to help youth thrive from cradle to career. (Grace Whittier and Headley Funds)
  • $1,200 to support programs at the Northfield Union of Youth. (Grace Whittier Fund)
  • $300 to support Family Service Night at Prairie Creek School. (Grace Whittier Fund)
  • $2,400 to support Mentor Volunteer Training at Project Friendship. (Grace Whittier Fund)
  • $5,000 to support Money Matters Financial Education hosted by Habitat for Humanity Rice County. (Nutting Family Fund)
  • $5,000 to the Northfield Works Program at the Community Action Center. (Nutting Family Fund)
  • $2,500 to Northfield Roundtable to support website development and planning sessions. (HeadleyNutting FamilyStreet, and NAF Funds)
  • $1,900 to Healthfinders to support Dental, teen, and family health capacity building, and expansion of programing at Greenvale Park Community School. (Headley Fund)
  • $1,300 to Three Links Care Center to support inter-generational volunteer collaboration. (Grace Whittier Fund)

2014

In the 2014 grant cycle, the following was awarded for a total of $42,750: