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Fundraising & Grantseeking Resources

Charitable donations are an essential part of most nonprofit's budgets and allow an organization to carry out services and its mission. It is critical that nonprofits have a wide variety of funding sources in order to be sustainable over the long term. The following resources can help organizations prepare for fundraising and learn about a variety of funding sources in Minnesota.

Foundations & Grantwriting

A nonprofit foundation is an organization that supports charitable acts for the good of the nonprofit sector and the constituencies nonprofits serve. Foundations grant nonprofit organizations funding for general or operating support, or for program development or project support.

There are three basic types of foundations: community, corporate and private foundations.

Some foundations will grant funding to a broad range of missions and causes, while others may be more limited to specific nonprofit missions or organizations located in a specific geographic location. There are three main ways that Foundations focus their grantmaking:

  1. by geography

  2. by activity area (ie. environment), and/or

  3. by constituency served (ie. youth).

In Minnesota, there are approximately 1,500 active foundations and corporate giving programs that provide grantseekers with a wide variety of funding interests from which to apply. Grantseekers are responsible for developing a persuasive proposal that can not only stand up to questions and scrutiny but effectively fits the interests and guidelines of the funder to which it is sent.


Minnesota Foundation Deadlines

Every year grantwriters help nonprofits secure hundreds of millions of grant dollars to make essential services available to Minnesota communities. The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (MCN) works to inform, promote, connect, and strengthen individual nonprofits and the nonprofit sector. Building bridges to grant funding is a crucial strategy in our work.

The MCN team has compiled a non-exhaustive list of upcoming deadlines for Minnesota-based foundations that participate in significant grantmaking. The list is updated a few times a year with information from a combination of form 990s, foundation websites, and the 2021 Minnesota Grants Directory. Deadlines and priorities change, so please confirm dates with foundation staff before applying. The list was last updated on May 5, 2021.

Grantseekers should look to other resources for additional funding opportunities such as the 2021 Minnesota Grants Directory. MCN members can also access GrantStation, a comprehensive database of thousands of foundation and government funders, for $95/year through their MCN membership. To learn more visit (please note: you must be logged into your MCN account to receive the subscription discount).

Download the MN Foundation Deadlines Resource

Want more? Check out funding opportunities from these Minnesota state agencies (links will bring you to either open opportunities and/or where you can subscribe to alerts):

For more information on state grants, please visit: