Feature Image: Small Town Grant recipient, Uniting Cultures/Uniendo Culturas in St. James, is developing a strategic plan to continue working towards tolerance, acceptance and the celebration of diversity so that all feel a sense of belonging and community pride.


OWATONNA, Minn., July 1, 2019 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) is currently accepting applications for its Small Town Grants Program. Towns with populations of 5,000 or less in SMIF’s 20-county region are eligible to apply. Requests of up to $10,000 will be considered.

“The first two years of this program were an enormous success,” said Tim Penny, President and CEO of SMIF. “It is inspiring to see communities implement projects that help their towns thrive. Now moving into its third year, we are excited for more small southern Minnesota towns to take advantage of this grant.”

The Small Town Grants Program seeks to build sustainable and vibrant communities by engaging community members, enhancing existing leadership and creating opportunities for new leadership to emerge. Rather than funding one-time projects, the program seeks to build collaborative efforts and partnerships that will perpetuate collaboration for future work. Nonprofit organizations and units or agencies of local, state, and federal government are encouraged to apply.

Examples of previously awarded Small Town Grant projects include the development of community gardens, a trail system, a town brand identity, marketing approaches to attract new residents, a Makerspace program, and a multi-cultural festival.

Applications are due to SMIF by August 30, 2019 at 4:00 p.m. Awardees will be notified by October 7, 2019. For the application and guidelines, visit www.smifoundation.org or contact Jennifer Heien, Grants Coordinator, at 507-214-7040 or jenniferh@smifoundation.org.

Media Contact:

Katie Godfrey
Communications Coordinator