Athwin Foundation

Funding Guidelines

I. Background Information

The Athwin Foundation – A family foundation named for Atherton and Winifred Bean located in the Greater Twin Cities area of Minneapolis and St. Paul funds organizations that provide services in the areas of Arts and Humanities, Education, Human Services, Environmental Enhancement, Organizational Capacity Building and whose missions are complementary to the interests of the Trustees.

The Foundation puts a priority on funding organizations rather than specific programs within organizations. Therefore, resources are directed to funded organizations in the form of general operating support. This policy clearly takes into account the need for strong and effective programs; however, the policy also reflects the belief that strong and effective governing boards and executive directors are best positioned to determine how resources are to be utilized at the organization level.

The Foundation does not make multiple year grants; however, funding is continued on an annual basis for some organizations. This leaves limited opportunity for new funding.

The Foundation initiates communication with those organizations that it selects for potential funding. With very limited exception, this communication takes place during the first half of the calendar year. No letters of inquiry are requested.

All organizations receiving notification for potential funding will complete the application process as outlined below (see Application Process) and submit all material by the date identified by the Foundation.

With limited exceptions, funding decisions and the distribution of grants will take place late in the calendar year.

The Foundation is open to initial inquiries — email preferred — from those organizations that it has not funded in the past. A very limited number of inquiries may result in funding from the Foundation. Priority is placed on small organizations and/or organizations in Greater Minnesota.

  1. Foundation Responsibilities
    • The Foundation will respond to inquiries from organizations that meet the funding criteria.
    • The Foundation will select for review those organizations that have a strong potential for funding from the Foundation.
    • The Foundation will make funding decisions based on stated criteria and avoid conflict of interest in the decision making process.
    • The Foundation will provide timely information and feedback to all organizations requesting funds from the Foundation.
    • The Foundation will respect confidentiality with regard to organizations' information.
    • The Foundation will work in partnership with its funded organizations.
    • The Foundation will remain open to feedback that will result in better service.
  2. Organization Responsibilities
    • Organizations requesting funding are to review all information on this website.
    • Organizations selected for potential funding are to follow all guidelines and submit requested material by the date identified for the application.
    • Organizations will notify the Foundation of significant changes that have or are taking place that will have an impact on funding decisions.
    • Organizations are encouraged to ask questions when clarity is needed at any point in the process.
    • Organizations acknowledge receipt of contributions.
    • Organizations will notify the Foundation of the date and place of annual meeting.

II. Application Process

A. The Foundation takes into account a number of criteria when making funding decisions. Among the primary criteria are the following:

  • An engaged board of directors whose members demonstrate their commitment to the organization by participating in board meetings and focusing on board-appropriate tasks that enhance the mission of the organization.
  • Strong executive leadership as demonstrated by working in partnership with the board of directors to meet the organization's mission.
  • Need for and demonstrated effectiveness of its programs in meeting identified goals.
  • Geographic area in which services are delivered — primary focus on Minnesota.
  • Adherence to application guidelines established by the Foundation.
  • Quality of application materials.
  • Areas of Service provided (See Background Information).
  • Completion or planned completion of an organizational assessment process, such as the Accountability Wizard offered by the Minnesota Charities Review Council.

B. Points to be addressed by organizations selected to submit a proposal will come from the Foundation following the spring meeting.

All correspondence is to be mailed to:

Jim Storm
Athwin Foundation
5200 Willson Road, #307
Minneapolis 55424

All questions should be directed to Jim Storm, Consultant to the Foundation, or call 612-616-0256. Email is preferred.

The Athwin Foundation is a member organization of the Minnesota Council of Foundations (MCF) and is guided by the Principles for Grantmakers adopted by the MCF Board of Directors.