Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program

The Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program (NIGP) is aimed at supporting the missions of small, culturally led organizations by strengthening their infrastructure (aka, their Core Mission Support). We know that building the capacity of small organizations that focus on historically underserved cultural communities helps position them for greater impact in their community. We’re excited to announce that because of the success of the pilot NIGP round, we received funding for a 2019-2021 Round of the Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program. These grants will go to culturally led Minnesota nonprofits and be paired with technical assistance on financial administration. Read Kate Barr’s blog post for more background on the Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program.

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NIGP 2020-2021 Press Release

Minneapolis, Minn., December 2, 2019 – Propel Nonprofits, with a state appropriation coming through the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development that was secured in partnership with the Coalition of Asian American Leaders, has awarded $427,500 to 11 culturally led nonprofit organizations for infrastructure funding.

“As we saw in the first round of the Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program, direct investments in infrastructure for nonprofits led by and serving a range of cultural communities across Minnesota leads to measurable outcomes in our communities,” said Mario Hernandez, Strategic Services Director for Propel Nonprofits. “Propel strongly believes that investments in what we call core mission support are necessary for achieving mission success, and we feel honored to be able to administer this program.”

These infrastructure grants will be used for everything from implementing new financial and data management systems to building staff and board capacity. As in the first round of the Nonprofit Infrastructure Grant Program (2017-2019), there was once again strong demand from this kind of infrastructure support from nonprofits across Minnesota.

“These investments will support leadership and staff development, make these small but mighty organizations more efficient and effective, lead to more collaborations, and ultimately increase these amazing nonprofits’ ability to invest in their respective communities,” said Sarah Alfaham, Fiscal Sponsorship Manager at Propel Nonprofits.

In addition to grant funding, awarded organizations will also receive ongoing technical assistance from Propel Nonprofits regarding financial administration.

Awarded Organizations

See more details on how these organizations will use their infrastructure grants.

Eligible Use of Funds

Organizational Administrative Improvement
Grants under this activity area can be used to improve internal administrative 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.

Organizational Partnerships
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.

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Previous NIGP Awardees

This grant program launched in the fall of 2017 and the first grantees were announced in January 2018. See the full list of 2017-2019 NIGP grantees. Here’s what they 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

Read case studies from two 2018 grantees: ANEW BAM and Mewinzha Ondaadiziike Wiigaming.


Mario Hernandez, Strategic Services Director

Sarah Alfaham, Fiscal Sponsorship Manager

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.