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Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits, Agencies, and Schools in Eligible Locations for Projects to Benefit Local Communities

Better Communities Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
Array ( )

Geographic Focus
USA: Minnesota: The RAF catchment area of 30 miles around Rochester

Important Dates
LOI Date: 07/31/23
Deadline: 09/01/23 Save

Grant Description
Grants of up to $25,000 to Minnesota nonprofit organizations, agencies, and schools in eligible locations for projects to benefit local communities. Applicants must submit an LOI prior to submitting a full proposal. Grants are intended to focus on the environment, education, arts and culture, health and human services, community development, and capacity building. Eligible applicants are located in the RAF catchment area of 30 miles around Rochester or are applying for grant funding to serve communities within the catchment area.


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicant must:
1) Be a nonprofit organization, exempt from Federal income taxes under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or a governmental body, including schools and municipalities, or have an appropriate fiscal sponsorship agreement
2) Conduct business without discrimination on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, age, marital status, disability, or national origin
3) Be a nonprofit located in the RAF catchment area of 30 miles around Rochester, or be applying for grant funding to serve communities within the catchment area

Additional Geographic Information:

The Board maintains the Foundation’s service radius of 30 miles outside the Rochester city limits. Applications requested from organizations outside this area will only be evaluated if the project primarily serves the Foundation's catchment area.

In general, Rochester Area Foundation does not award cycle grants to the following:
- Individuals
- Endowments
- Capital Building Campaigns
- Annual campaigns
- Proposals that duplicate existing services
- Political Activities
- Religious Activities
- Projects that discriminate
- Replacement of Government Funding
- Deficit Funding

In general, RAF will not award a grant to an organization that it funded during the previous grant cycle.

Pre-Application Information
There are two Better Communities Grant cycles each year.

Fall Cycle
- July 6, 2023 – Grant Portal Opens for Letters of Intent
- July 31, 2023 – Letters of Intent Due
- September 1, 2023 – Deadline for grant applications for those invited to submit
- Mid-October TBD, 2023 – Grant Showcase for selected organizations
- October, 2023 – Final Grant Notification & Contracts

All 501(c)3 organizations who would like to apply for a Better Communities Grant need to submit a letter of intent by the stated deadline. RAF staff and the Grant Distribution Committee will review LOIs to ensure they are consistent with RAF Grantmaking priorities and inclusion criteria. If the Grant Distribution Committee approves the letter of intent for a grant, the applicant will be notified and asked to submit an application. The applicant will be sent instructions to access the application when they are notified that their application is moving forward.

Eligible nonprofits are limited to one application per grant cycle.

Information for nonprofits:

Estimated Size of Grant
Grant requests between $2,500 and $25,000 will be considered.

Term of Contract
One-year projects are generally recommended. In very limited circumstances, multi-year requests are funded. These should be discussed with RAF staff prior to applying.

Contact Information
Apply Online:

For questions or more information, contact Carrie Moscho at or 507-424-2402.

Rochester Area Foundation
12 Elton Hills Dr. NW
Rochester, MN 55901
Telephone: 507.282.0203
Fax: 507.616.7608

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