The City of Minneapolis Office of Grants & Special Projects is not a grant-making agency. However, we are available to answer City of Minneapolis grant-related questions.
Listed below are informational resources about seeking grants.
Please note: This is general information that applies primarily to foundation and corporate giving programs (vs. Federal or State applications). The grant application guidelines provided by the grant funder take precedence over any information listed here.
Overview of grantseeking process
Planning the project and grant proposal (including the logic model)
Researching grant makers
Calling potential funders
Developing a grants calendar
As you seek funding, remember that grants are only one possible source of funding. For example, a large percentage of donations are often made by individuals. According to the Minnesota Council on Foundations, "Individual charitable giving continued to comprise the highest portion of state giving, accounting for 78 percent of the total." – Minnesota Council on Foundations, Giving in Minnesota, 2006 Edition.
The Logic Model is a useful tool for project planning and for preparing to write a grant proposal. Use this method to identify what activities require funding, what resources are needed, and what will result from the funded activities.
Evaluation is an important piece of any project. Evaluation tells funders about the project's effectiveness and informs you of what worked well and what can be improved. Planning the evaluation before the project starts will help ensure that the process is practical to implement and can effectively inform your work.
- Innovation Network provides an Evaluation Plan Workbook
- Evaluation Activities in Organizations – a collection of articles and links from MAP for Nonprofits and Authenticity Consulting.
Commonly requested attachments for grant applications include the IRS determination letter, financial reports, and other documents. For further information refer to the list of attachments on the MN Common Grant Form.
When writing your needs statement in a grant proposal, it may be helpful to report data that describes who will be served and the issue to be addressed. Examples include population, age, ethnicity, and income. Below are links to sources of commonly-used data.
City of Minneapolis
- Community Planning & Economic Development – Maps, Statistics, and Neighborhood Information.
- Police Department (Crime data for Minneapolis and by neighborhood)
- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) (Buy data, maps and analytical services; view standard maps for free online)
- Property Information (Look up property information by address)
State of Minnesota
- MN Demographic Center (Reports on housing, population, education and the economy)
- MN Department of Health (Birth, death, disease and health data; some county-level data resources are available)
- United States Census - Click on American Fact Finder for data by specific community (City or zip code)
- Bureau of Economic Activity (Income and industry data nationally, by state, metropolitan area or county)
- Hennepin County Property Tax (Look up property information by address)
- Metropolitan Council (Census data for the Twin Cities metro, population, housing, building permits, other regional data)
- University of Minnesota - Institute on Race and Poverty (Reports on metro and national trends relating to public policy and social justice)
Consider a potential funder’s:
- Funding interests
- Geographic region served
- Type of support offered (such as capital, program or general operating)
Where to find information
- The Office of Grants and Special Projects provides Funding Opportunities, a regularly-updated list of grants gleaned from federal, state, regional and local government, and private sources. This list highlights grants that could be of interest to City departments and Minneapolis community organizations.
- The Hennepin County Library Foundation Center Cooperating Collection has databases from the MN Council on Foundations Minnesota Grant makers Online and The Foundation Center’s Foundation Directory that are available to use for free when you're on-site at a library branch location.
- The Minnesota Council on Foundations lists foundations alphabetically and provides updates on funding opportunities and awards.
- Federal grant opportunities are published daily at Grants.gov.
- State grant opportunities are published weekly in the Minnesota State Register. Information is also available through the Office of Grants Management – MN Grants.
If the funder welcomes a phone call, prepare for a brief conversation in which you explain the project for which you are seeking funding, highlighting how the project matches the funder’s interests.
Create a schedule so that application deadlines do not sneak up on you. Make a list of tasks to be completed. Include deadlines, person(s) responsible, and a place to include notes or comments. Monitor completion of tasks throughout the application process.
See the following sites for writing tips and examples.
- MN Council on Foundations – Writing a Successful Proposal
- Visit the Hennepin County Library for a variety of books on grant writing with sample proposals and letters.
- GrantSpace.org – Grant tools and tips
The budget is an important section of any grant proposal. Sometimes reviewers may read the budget first (before reading the narrative).
Visit the MN Council on Foundations Writing a Successful Grant Proposal for information about budgets.
After reviewing your proposal, a funder may want to visit your organization.
- The Truth About Site Visits – offers suggestions from foundation staff (MN Council on Foundations).
If approved – make sure to say thank you. Give the funder appropriate recognition. Complete all reports. Keep the funder updated.
If declined – follow up to ask why and respond appropriately. Thank the funder for the consideration.
Last updated Nov 4, 2018