Important Announcement about Changes to Our Grantmaking in 2022

Blue sky in Northern Minnesota

At the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation, we are committed to continually improving how we partner with the community to support your critical work. In 2022, we will be transitioning to a new enterprise technology system, which will include adopting a new Grant Portal for our grantmaking. In the long term, we believe this will allow us to better serve you. In the short term, we know this may pose some disruption.

The technology will change, but the grant guidelines will not change. What we fund will stay the same; how grantees will apply will look different.

In conjunction with this system upgrade, we are modifying our 2022 grantmaking process so that we can prioritize getting critical dollars into the community.

There will still be two rounds, but they will be different from what you know today.

2022 Grant Timeline

Round 1, Transitional Grant Round

Transitioning to a new Grant Portal system requires a large testing and data migration effort, which necessitates freezing our current system for a period of time. To ensure that we can still deliver critical funds into the community during this process, we are introducing a one-time transitional grant round.

This transitional round will include grantees who received awards from 2020 (Round 1 in May or Round 2 in November) or 2021 (Round 1 in May) and that also meet specific criteria (see below). All eligible grantees will be notified in mid-December to apply for a grant between January 4-11, 2022. Grant awards will be disbursed by April 2022.

May – July 2022

Between the two rounds, our program officers and relationship managers will have additional capacity to cultivate and build relationships with organizations that are new to us while also taking time to connect with and continue building relationships with current grantees. During this time, we will also be seeking feedback on and testing the new Grant Portal.

Round 2, Open Grant Round in New System

Round 2 will open in the summer of 2022 and will use our new Grant Portal. This round will be open to all nonprofits that meet our current grant guidelines, with the exception of those who received a grant in Round 1, 2022. Grant awards will be disbursed by December 2022.

Additional Details

Round 1, Transitional Grant Round

Opens on Jan. 4, 2022, and closes at 3 p.m. on Jan 11, 2022.

Who is eligible?
Nonprofits who received grants in 2020 (Round 1 in May or Round 2 in November) or 2021 (Round 1 in May) will be eligible and may be selected to apply. Because we need to phase out of the current system within a tight timeline to transition to the new Grant Portal, we are prioritizing getting grant dollars out the door quickly in Round 1 to some existing grantees, eliminating the need for due diligence, site visits, and comprehensive review, which we would need to do if accepting new applications. This is why we determined that only the most recent grantees would be considered for Round 1. This transitional process also gives us time to gather community input to inform and test the new system before launching the new Grant Portal in late summer 2022.

What criteria will you use to select grantees from the eligible pool, since not all organizations that are eligible will be selected to apply?
Even in this transitional grant round, we are applying the same careful discernment we would in any regular grant round, since community needs always exceed funding that we have available to grant. To help us make selections for this round, the Grant Team worked with each other and with the committees and boards of the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation to determine priorities within the existing grant guidelines that best align with what we are seeing and hearing from our community partners.

Should I do anything to indicate my eligibility since I did receive a grant in 2020 or 2021?
No, we have your information. You do not need to contact a Grant Team member.

How will I know if my organization has been selected from the 2020/2021 eligibility pool?
Your organization will receive an email in mid-December indicating that you have been selected to apply.

What is required?
The email you receive will include a password that provides access to an abbreviated application form. Between Jan. 4-11, 2022, you can log into the Grant Portal and use that password to access the grant application. You will need to fill out and submit the application in order to receive funding.

What types of grants will be available and what will be the size of those grants?
We will continue to make general operating and program grants. Capital grants may be considered on a very limited basis for Round 1. Since nonprofits are looking ahead to rebuild and reimagine post-COVID, the community has suggested that we prioritize larger grants over smaller grants, although this may reduce the number of grants made.

When will funds be awarded?
All funds from Round 1 will be awarded by April 1, 2022.

What if our organization is not eligible?
If your organization is not eligible for 2022 Round 1 or was not selected to apply in 2022 Round 1, we encourage you to reach out to a member of our Grant Team in mid-January. Our Grant Team is comprised of program officers and relationship managers who have program area expertise and can help you identify grants that are the best fit for your organization. If you are new to our Foundations, take a moment to meet the Grant Team.

Round 2, Open Grant Round

Opens summer 2022; final dates will be announced in late spring 2022.

Who is eligible?
All nonprofits that meet our grant guidelines are eligible to apply.

What is required?
The grant round will be facilitated through our new Grant Portal. We will communicate all process updates ahead of opening the grant round through to-be-announced Information Sessions and email. As usual, we encourage you to please reach out to a program officer or relationship manager before applying.

We will continue to adapt our grantmaking to be flexible and responsive. If you have any questions, reach out to a member of the Grant Team.