Community Grant Guidelines
The Winona Community Foundation strengthens our community through philanthropy by making grants to projects and causes that address both the needs and the opportunities present in the community.
WCF accepts community grant inquiries for projects and programs that enhance life in the Winona region in the areas of civic or education issues, health or social services, environment, arts or culture. Technical assistance will be included in all of the above areas for the general improvement of community non-profit accountability and organizational effectiveness.
- The maximum grant award will be $10,000
- A total of $79,000 will be awarded in a calendar year
- Deadlines are March 1st, June 1st, September 1st.
- Grants are reviewed the 4th Tuesday of the deadline month
- 4th quarter will be announced if funds are available.
- Applications will be accepted on an on-going basis by Foundation staff throughout the year, until the allocated granting budget has been awarded
Grant proposals from nonprofits that contain the following are sought for this competitive review process:
- Focus is open to the needs of the community.
- Result from clear assessment or identification of needs in our area.
- Engage sectors of the community in collaborative efforts to meet increased needs.
- Design a plan that has realistic sustainability options after WCF support has ended.
- Identify clear and attainable community outcomes that are measurable.
- Funding will be granted only to private and public nonprofit agencies that are under a 501(c)3 status, have an appropriate fiscal sponsor with 501(c)3 status, or a government entity. Churches and religious organizations may apply for support for activities that benefit the larger community, but not for activities that have a specific religious purpose.
- Projects or agencies that have not yet received funding from the WCF Community Grants program in the past 12 months.
- Non-profits or projects within Winona, or within a 15 mile radius of Winona into Wisconsin and or otherwise serve community needs.
- Projects that are consistent with Winona Community Foundations goals and priorities, food, shelter, health, and additional benefits to the community at large.
Not Eligible for WCF Community Grants
- Organization’s with past due or incomplete grant report forms
- Applications that have not been previously discussed with Foundation staff to verify eligibility – no cold proposals will be accepted
- Requests from individuals for support
- Loans, debt retirement or debt financing
- Political campaigns
- Fraternal organizations or orders
- Projects with a specific religious purpose
- On-going staff positions not specific to a particular grant project
- Capital development campaigns – a capital campaign which is organized to collect and accumulate substantial funds to finance major construction or renovation of buildings(* exceptions may be considered if eligible)
- Endowment campaigns
- Fund raising or event sponsorships
- Completed projects
The following criteria will be used in screening, review and evaluation of WCF applications:
Focus Area – Open to the needs of the community.
Need or Impact – Need of the community for the project or service, organizational need for assistance to be able to make the project a reality. How the funding directly and indirectly will impact the community.
Collaboration – An assessment of the overall collaborative effort of the project to pool resources with other area organizations or resources to make the program or service a reality.
Sustainability – The ability of the organization to maintain such a program after initial establishment if applicable, and/or the stability of organization, financially and organizationally, to manage and complete the project. Project budget will be used.
Each criteria will be ranked from 1-5 for each project, with 5 being the highest. All rankings are averaged and these averages are used in the committee discussion as consideration is given for a project to be recommended for funding.
WCF staff encourages questions during any stage of application process.
For more information, or to set up an appointment, please contact Jeni Arnold, Grants Coordination at 507-454-6511, [email protected] or 51 East 4th Street, Winona, MN 55987
*NOTE: WCF Donor advised, agency, field of interest, designated and scholarship funds are exceptions to any these guidelines.