Through its grantmaking, Headwaters works to:
- Increase the power and leadership of oppressed communities.
- Strengthen progressive political and electoral impact.
- Communicate a progressive message boldly and effectively.
- Increase organizations’ capacity to raise money for progressive action.
- Create opportunities for education and debate on issues critical to a just democracy.
- Articulate a vision of and organize for economic justice. Build and support a collaborative, progressive network.
- Strengthen the internal capacity of progressive organizations.
- Expand the movement for social justice based on progressive principles.
Seeking a Grant
One difference about Headwaters is that the particular committee that reads your proposals is made up of those who are also working on the front lines of change. They understand the issues. They see the hurdles. And they want to support everyone who shares the passion. Our advice is simply this — make the case for permanent, positive change. Don’t worry that you’re just starting out, or that you’ve been around a while. And if we’re a good fit but can’t make funding work this year, keep knocking on our door.
Address the root causes of injustice and the impact is extraordinary. That is why, at Headwaters Foundation for Justice, we support organizations working to solve issues at their core, rather than treating the symptoms of injustice. Our commitment is to fund social change, not social service.
We encourage proposals from organizations representing communities historically excluded from resources and power, including people of color, American Indian, women, poor and working class people, gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, youth and people with disabilities.
Organizations and groups may apply for support through the following funds:
- Fund of Sacred Circle is directed to American Indian-led grassroots groups in Minnesota and Wisconsin that are engaged in social-change organizing.
- Social Change Fund directs support to grassroots organizations engaged in social-change organizing throughout Minnesota.
Support from Headwaters
Headwaters encourages emerging organizations at all stages and sizes to apply for funding. Groups selected for funding, however, must be legally incorporated as an organization for monies to be released.
Eligible groups can have 501(c)3 and 501(c)4 status or, if they have revenues under $25,000 and no employees, they can be incorporated as an organization. For more information about incorporation and nonprofit requirements, visit the website of Minnesota Secretary of State or Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.
No Headwaters funds can be used for partisan activities. Headwaters also does not fund: individuals; conference registration fees; memberships; direct religious activities; political organizations or candidates; telephone solicitations; courtesy advertising; financial deficits.
Grant Review Process
- Step One (eligibility)
Headwaters staff read all proposals checking to ensure that organizations are eligible for funding and that application materials are complete.
- Step Two (review)
Grant committee members review proposals to determine which organizations will be selected for site visits.
- Step Three (site visit)
Groups selected for site visits receive a series of questions before the meeting. The site visit typically consists of two committee members and one Headwaters staff member.
- Step Four (final selection)
All site visits are presented to the full committee before recommendations are made.
- Step Five (board approval)
A slate of grants recommended by the committee is presented to the Headwaters board of directors for final approval.
The grant process from application due date to board approval is about four months.