Foundations Announce $11.6 Million in 2023 Community Grants

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (the Foundation), F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation together and independently, have awarded more than $11 million to Minnesota nonprofits in our second round of 2023 grantmaking, following more than $9 million in grants provided earlier this year.  

Grants will provide funding resources for community organizations that provide critical resources to Minnesotans across the state. Many of the grants support arts as a tool for healing, organizations addressing a variety of economic concerns including housing and childcare, and services for older adults, especially those facing social isolation. 

“We are proud to come together in support of these incredible nonprofit organizations that play a critical role in addressing some of the most challenging issues facing our community members in the East Metro and across Minnesota,” said Director of Community Impact Tiffany Kong. “These grants will allow for new and continued resources across all ages and needs during a challenging economic environment for the nonprofit sector.”

The Following Organizations Were Among the Recipients:

  • Comunidades Latinas Unidas En Servicio Inc (CLUES) was awarded $150,000 by the Foundation and $100,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation to support the development of a pilot Daycare Business Incubator that propels wealth building and socio-economic opportunities for Latina women. As Minnesota’s largest Latino-led nonprofit organization, CLUES serves over 30,000 people annually through a holistic two-generation service model recognized as a promising approach to decreasing generational poverty and increasing socio-economic mobility and family wellbeing.
  • TaikoArts Midwest was awarded $30,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation to support staff to activate and navigate the transition into its new space and continue to grow programming in a new community. TaikoArts Midwest was formed to provide our community with high quality taiko performances, to support taiko artists, and to use taiko as a way to strengthen and build communities.
  • Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library was awarded $150,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation and $150,000 by the Foundation to support its campaign for major renovations for the Hayden Heights and Riverview Library branches, a new library in the Hamline-Midway neighborhood, play and learn spaces, technology advancements and a new endowment fund for children, youth, and family programs and services.
  • Listen Up Youth Radio was awarded $30,000 by the Foundation to support their work to provide Twin Cities youth with access to radio and digital media, tools to build community through media justice, and opportunities to amplify voice and leadership.  
  • Raíces Sagradas Community Mental Health was awarded $30,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation and $30,000 by the Foundation to support Hispanic community members — who have experienced unimaginable pain and trauma — as they move toward healing by providing clinical therapy to individuals, couples and families. They aim to create a safe and inclusive space where uninsured individuals can access quality mental health support.
  • Ain Dah Yung Center was awarded $30,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation and $30,000 by the Foundation to support its work to move families, youth and young adults beyond crisis-oriented services through culturally specific programs and interventions all while advocating for and on behalf of ending youth homelessness. Funding will allow for continued housing services for youth and young adults.
  • Douglas County Car Care Program was awarded $25,000 by Mardag Foundation in support of the organization’s ongoing work to provide hope for individuals and families facing transportation challenges in rural regions. Car Care operates with a holistic approach, addressing the multifaceted issue of transportation by not only repairing vehicles but also providing preventative education and, crucially, gifting vehicles to those in need.
  • Saint Paul Promise was awarded $60,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation, $60,000 by the Foundation and $50,000 by Mardag Foundation to support its work across the Promise Neighborhood, representing one of the most diverse areas of the state. Saint Paul Promise facilitates a long-term, cradle-to-career initiative that spans a child’s life and their family in meaningful and measurable ways. Through a two-generation approach that engages the same children and families over multiple years, Saint Paul Promise’s goal is for families to use the organization’s programs and supports as a pathway to self-determination rooted in economic stability and educational success.
  • Family Values for Life was awarded $20,000 by Mardag Foundation, $30,000 by the Foundation and $40,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation to support its continued efforts to fortify the four pillars of wellbeing — spiritual empowerment/emotional health, mental alertness, physical fitness, and financial stability. Family Values for Life stands as a vital resource for and in the communities of Payne-Phalen and Dayton’s Bluff on Saint Paul’s East Side, where 23% of households struggle with basic needs, education and health challenges.
  • Merrick Community Services was awarded $30,000 by F. R. Bigelow Foundation, $10,000 by Mardag Foundation and $30,000 by the Foundation to provide continued support for individuals and families through life transitions, seeking stability, and striving for independence. Their core service areas include nutrition and senior services, family and community services, and employment and career services.