Northwest Minnesota Foundation issues $880,000 in grants and loans during 3rd quarter

Thanks to the work of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, more than $880,000 was loaned or granted out into the region from January through March through the Northwest Minnesota Foundation.

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BEMIDJI — Thanks to the work of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, more than $880,000 was loaned or granted out into the region from January through March through the Northwest Minnesota Foundation. This three-month timeframe comprises the third quarter of NMF’s fiscal year.

Funds released by NMF included nearly $480,000 through local philanthropic activities, such as scholarships and grants from local funds; more than $327,000 through NMF’s discretionary mission-driven grant programs; and $80,000 through loans to small business owners, a release said.

These figures bring the total disbursements for the current fiscal year to more than $2.7 million.

Additionally, the Northwest Small Business Development Center, which is hosted by NMF, provided 783 hours of free business consulting hours to 154 clients throughout the region in this same timeframe.

Also appearing in this quarter are loans approved by a new NMF subsidiary, the Northwest Minnesota Community Impact Corporation. The NMCIC was formed in January with the purpose of helping communities and individuals in underserved areas by providing financing and expertise.


The NMCIC intends to build better lives by revitalizing communities, empowering individuals, and creating economic opportunities. As a community development organization, the corporation provides capital for projects that may not otherwise receive support from traditional financial institutions.

In its first quarter of operation, the NMCIC approved two loans totaling $110,941, with both businesses located in Beltrami County. These figures are in addition to the total of NMF funding pushed out into the region, as reported above.

The Northwest Minnesota region served by NMF includes Red Lake and White Earth Nations and Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Kittson, Lake of the Woods, Mahnomen, Marshall, Norman, Pennington, Polk, Red Lake and Roseau Counties.

Philanthropy, component and community funds

Through 261 local grants and scholarships approved, $479,899 was disbursed. NMF houses around 415 funds within its family of funds, including community funds, donor-advised funds, education funds, scholarship funds, and others. Each fund has its own purpose.

Grants disbursed through these funds included:

  • $275,700 through 214 scholarships.
  • $58,700 through 11 grants from donor-advised funds.
  • $57,812 through nine grants from community service funds.
  • $26,445 through three grants from environmental funds.
  • $25,042 through 10 grants from community funds
  • $20,478 through four grants from health care funds.
  • $10,887 through nine grants from education funds.
  • One grant for $4,834.64 through an economic development fund.

Discretionary grants

Through discretionary mission-driven grants, NMF approved $327,795 in grants.

Approved grants included:

  • $70,295 in training and education grants. These grants helped nonprofit organizations attend conferences, create programming, and pay consultants for a wide range of services, such as board and staff development, grant-writing, mentorship, strategic planning, language trainings and workshops on diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • $62,500 in advocacy grants to fund projects that support and promote programming around diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • $20,000 to support a Special Olympics/Unified Champions Schools Program in Bemidji.
  • $10,000 for 6- to 12-year-olds in Baudette to participate in the Sources of Strength program, a social-emotional learning program developed in partnership with Indigenous leaders from tribal nations in the Dakotas.
  • $12,500 to help build a new Inclusive Playground in Bemidji.
  • $5,000 to support a program working to advance prenatal care for Native American families in the region by providing community-centered, holistic care for Native women, children, and families. This project is based out of Bemidji.
  • $10,000 to help expand a program that brings a STEM Mobile Lab to rural, underserved areas with limited access to hands-on STEM activities. This project is based out of Crookston.
  • $10,000 to support an immersive community event in Thief River Falls to welcome the Nicaraguan families that have arrived in the community to assist Textron during a workforce shortage.
  • $75,000 through a homelessness grant to support a program in Bemidji that will provide shuttle services for families to area shelters as needed.
  • $65,000 through housing grants:
  • $50,000 to fund market research and development of a region-wide workforce study that will assess the region’s housing needs, the creation of an online open-source toolkit for housing developers and the potential creation of a regional housing development fund.
  • $15,000 to support an Emerging Developers Initiative with the goal of increasing the knowledge and skills of new housing developers in the Northwest Minnesota region in order to increase the supply of local housing and support community wealth-building.
  • $20,000 to support an agency that assists children and families in tribal nations.
  • $20,000 to continue NMF’s partnership with the Initiators Fellowship, which invests in social entrepreneurs to develop purpose-driven, for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations that have a positive social or environmental impact.
  • $15,000 through an innovation grant to help expand services at a Bemidji-based addiction management center.

Business loans and support

In this time period, NMF approved 11 loans to 10 businesses throughout the region, totaling $80,000.


These loans included:

  • Five child care loans for businesses in Beltrami, Hubbard, Pennington and Polk Counties.
  • Three loans for businesses in Clearwater, Beltrami and Marshall counties through funding intended to serve and empower economically distressed and underserved communities.
  • Three SBA microloans for businesses in Beltrami and Pennington counties.

To learn more about NMF funds or to speak with a philanthropy officer, please visit and click on “Ways to Give.”

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