SMIF Announces $100,000 in Grants Available

As part of its effort to invest in economic growth within the region, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is offering $100,000 in Incentive Grants to 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations or units/agencies of local, state, or federal government. Grants up to $20,000 are available to support collaborative projects or programs in early childhood and economic development areas. Applications for this grant round are due February 15, 2015, with awards announced in April.

"We want to focus on very specific early childhood and economic development issues that we believe are critical to the long-term economic vitality of our region," notes Tim Penny, President/CEO. "These Incentive Grants are designed to support projects that involve collaboration and achieve sustainable, measurable results."

SMIF is looking for grant applications that encourage new asset-based approaches on issues within our focus areas.

SMIF's Focus Areas:
Early Childhood Development
-Strengthen children's social and emotional health and school readiness

Economic Development
-Strengthen and grow the local business community

SMIF awarded 14 Incentive Grants in 2014, totaling $220,491. Examples include a $20,000 grant to Owatonna Community Education to align 4-year-old school readiness standards between early learning and kindergarten systems. Another $20,000 grant supported Envision Lab in Mankato, which established a creative, innovative co-working space for social entrepreneurs, community innovators, telecommuters and freelancers.

The SMIF online application can be found at www.smifoundation.org. For more information email Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, or call 507-455-3215.

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