Purpose of this Grant
Propel Nonprofits is seeking proposals – applications open on October 4, 2021 – that lead to meaningful improvement in an organization’s infrastructure, including technology investments, staff development, relationship building, or other opportunities to increase nonprofits’ core mission support. We anticipate making between 35 – 45 grants of up to $45,000 for a grant period of 12-18 months. Grantees will be required to receive post-award support from Propel in terms of managing the tracking and reporting requirements of this grant; they’ll also be asked to share lessons learned through mid-term and final grant reports and at a grantee convening.
The primary organization eligibility criteria are:
- Small, culturally specific organizations that primarily serve historically underserved cultural communities. This includes organizations where the majority of management or board of directors’ positions are held by members of these cultural communities and the programs are designed to serve these cultural communities.
- Nonprofit organizations, including 501(c)(3) organizations and unincorporated groups that have a fiscal sponsor.
- Organizations with current annual budgets with expenses less than $500,000.
Eligible Use of Funds
Organizational Infrastructure Improvement
Grants under this activity area can be used to improve organizational infrastructure. Eligible activities under this category include hiring staff or consultants to assist with: developing database management systems; developing financial systems; and building other administrative systems needed to increase the organization’s ability to access and sustain new funding sources and deliver on the organization’s mission. Other eligible expenses include investments in technology to improve internal infrastructure.
Organizational Workforce Development
Grants under this activity area can be used to increase workforce capacity that builds the organization’s infrastructure. Eligible activities include hiring culturally competent staff or consultants to expand programming capacity; providing training and skills development; and implementing other methods of increasing staff capacity.
Grants under this activity area can be used to create partnerships with other organizations to increase capacity. Eligible activities include the creation and expansion of partnerships with existing organizations that possess specialized expertise; and the creation of partnerships to increase the capacity of the grantee organizations to improve services for the community.
This is not an exhaustive list of activities that can be funded by this grant program. Propel Nonprofits will work with grant applicants to determine how and if their proposed activities fit within the eligible activities listed above.
Timeline for RFP Process
The RFP process will include two informational webinars to provide an overview of these grant guidelines and to answer questions organizations may have with regards to applying. Two technical assistance days will include a 30-minute session for applicants who want to receive assistance in preparing their application, but a session is not required to apply. Follow-up calls may also be scheduled and conducted only with organizations for which the selection committee feels it needs clarifying information.
|RFP announced:||September 27, 2021|
|Applications Open||October 4, 2021|
|Community RFP informational webinar:||October 11, 2021, 12-1 pm|
|Community RFP informational webinar:||October 18, 2021, 12-1 pm|
|Technical assistance session with applicants:||October 20, 2021, 9 am-4:30 pm|
|Technical assistance session with applicants:||October 25, 2021, 9 am-4:30 pm|
|Proposals due:||Monday, November 1, 2021, at 5 pm|
|Follow-up calls with applicants, if needed:||November 2021|
|Awards announced:||December 2021|
|Grant agreements signed:||Mid-December 2021|
|Grant period begins:||January 1, 2022|
Applying for a Grant
RFP and Application Questions
All grant applications must be submitted using an online form that is available here. The form will close on Monday, November 1, 2021, at 5 pm. No late applications will be accepted.
Community RFP Informational Webinars:
The informational webinars have passed. View a recording of the October 11 webinar.
We compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions from the Webinars. Download them as a PDF here.
Technical Assistance Before You Apply
There will be two technical assistance days to help applicants with their application preparation. During the previous grant round, we found that many applicants wanted support in thinking through and writing their work plan. The following two dates have been set aside for providing technical assistance during 30-minute appointments.
Technical Assistance Day 1
Technical Assistance Day 2
Information on how to sign up for either of these technical assistance days will be shared here soon.
Applicants can also call and email the grant contacts, Naima Farah and Glyn Northington, if they need technical assistance but can’t make an appointment on either of these dates.
Naima Farah, Capacity Building Program Manager
Glyn Northington, Senior Program Director
Previous NIGP Awardees
This grant program launched in the fall of 2017 and the first grantees were announced in January 2018 with another round of grantees announced in December 2019.
What past grantee’s have said about the program:
- “We invested in hardware for our staff, and replaced handwritten records at the farm with tablets. It’s a less visible change, but the new software and hardware has improved our data gathering and working efficiently from our multiple locations.” – Dream of Wild Health, Minneapolis
- “What this approach and grant has done is empower marginalized communities and people who run organizations on their behalf. We’re on the front lines and know what our communities need. It might not always be formal, because a lot of time the work we do is out of love and dedication to the kids we’re serving.” – ANEW BAM, St. Paul
- “You’ve given us the opportunity to actively and accurately recognize our weaknesses and actually solve them. You have enabled us to identify and embrace new tools, resources and ways of working that have built more efficient processes and more successful and new programming.” – Cultural Diversity Resources, Moorhead
Sign up for email updates regarding RFP announcement, informational webinars, and other relevant grant updates.
The Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program is a partnership with the Coalition of Asian American Leaders and is made possible with funding from the State of Minnesota.