Northwest Area Foundation Awards $2.5 Million in First-Quarter Grants

The Northwest Area Foundation in St. Paul has announced grants totaling $2.5 million to nonprofit organizations working to assist low-income families across an eight-state region.

First-quarter grants were awarded to organizations and programs working to build financial security, improve public policy, and strengthen civic leadership in the region. Recipients include the National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders in San Antonio, which was awarded a two-year, $500,000 grant to expand regional partnerships in leadership development and small business strategies; the Minneapolis-based Latino Economic Development Center, which will receive $250,000 over two years for its Minnesota Rural Farming and Agricultural Latino Co-op Initiative; and the Mountain States Group in Boise, which was awarded $125,000 for an initiative to foster green enterprise development and expansion among disadvantaged entrepreneurs, women, minorities, and refugees.

Grants awarded by the foundation to improve public policy included $175,000 to Bismarck-based Consensus Council, Inc. to support a statewide coalition that advocates for policies to reduce poverty and build prosperity; $75,000 to the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to engage racial justice advocates in tax and budget analysis and to protect anti-poverty programs from state budget cuts; and $50,000 to the Oregon Center for Public Policy to build the capacity of anti-poverty groups engaged in tax policy debates. In addition, Rural Dynamics, Inc. in Great Falls, Montana, will receive $207,000 in support of its Family Economic Security Program and several other asset-building services that it offers in rural and reservation communities in Montana and the Dakotas.

"These multi-faceted strategies for building assets show great promise for making prosperity a reality for all low-income families," said Northwest Area Foundation president and CEO Kevin Walker. "We are pleased that Rural Dynamics will be sharing its successful asset-building models at the national Grassroots & Groundwork conference the foundation is hosting this June in Minneapolis."

For a complete list of first-quarter grants, visit the NWAF Web site.