Small grants, big impact

The United Way of Southwest Minnesota unites people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities. As part of our grant funding portfolio, UWSWMN sets aside funding each fiscal year (July 1-June 30) to provide small grants to eligible nonprofit organizations in our service area. The Small Grants Program is an outreach of the Community Impact funding process awarded through United Way of Southwest Minnesota. The intent of the Small Grants Program is to provide support for community projects, programs or initiatives in need of a small, one-time grant that aligns with UWSWMN Priorities. The available amount of grant dollars each year is subject to change.

United Way of Southwest Minnesota Small Grants can be used for projects such as: program work including planning, training and/or development; organizational capacity building including strategic planning, governance and other types of organizational planning and/or development activities; community and/or human service work that includes volunteer participation or emerging or unmet needs; and/or to support innovative solutions to local issues. Small Grant applications are reviewed and scored by a team of trained, local volunteers who make recommendations regarding funding to the United Way of Southwest Minnesota board of directors.

The following Small Grants were approved for funding in Round I:

Health: Making Space for Mindfulness Program of Greater Minnesota Family Services

This grant will help create a safe space for emotional management and refocus for students enrolled at Marshall Area Technical & Educational Center (MA-TEC). Funds will assist with supplies, mental health resources and learning materials.

Grant award: $1,500

Financial Stability: Pathways to a Healthy Life Program of Karen Organization of Minnesota

This grant will assist the Marshall Karen community in making healthy decisions surrounding financial literacy and financial stability. Topics covered will include: building credit, home ownership, savings, bank accounts, budgeting and retirement planning. Grant award: $2,600

Health: Heart2Heart Memory Café Program of the Senior Advocacy Program

This grant will support the Heart2Heart Memory Café Program which unites people facing Alzheimer’s, dementia and other memory concerns — both client and caregiver. Funds will support programming, equipment and supplies needed to facilitate program in Granite Falls. Grant award: $1,000.

Hunger: Weekend Winners Backpack Program of Child Care & Nutrition, Inc.

This grant will provide weekend food support for children in the Lincoln County schools of Lake Benton, Ivanhoe and Hendricks during the school year. Grant award: $5,000.

Hunger: Marshall Food4Kids

This grant will support costs associated with becoming an independent 501c3 organization including application fees, professional fees, software and finance personnel. Grant award: $3,800.

Hunger: Neighbors United Resource Center Food Shelf

This grant will support the purchase of an open air cooler for non-perishable food storage at the Granite Falls food shelf. Grant award: $5,000.

Safety & Well-Being: Women’s Rural Advocacy Program (WRAP)

This grant will complete the remainder of website costs to make resources for victims of domestic violence mobile friendly and to update printed resource materials in English and other applicable languages. Grant award: $2,500.

The Round II deadline is 5 p.m. Jan. 31, with $11,600 remaining in the fund. Funding guidelines, eligibility requirements and application materials can be found under the Our Impact Tab — Small Grants at Watch our website for information regarding upcoming grant workshops.