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 primarily 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 many organizations. This leaves limited opportunity for new funding.
The Foundation strives to work in partnership with nonprofit organizations:
- Foundation Responsibilities
- The Foundation will objectively review each request for funding that meets Foundation criteria.
- 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 remain open to feedback that will result in better service.
- Organization Responsibilities
- Organizations requesting funds are to review information and guidelines on this web site prior to every submission of a Letter of Inquiry.
- Organizations requesting funds are to follow all guidelines.
- Organizations will notify the Foundation of significant changes that have or are taking place that will have an impact on funding decisions.
- Organizations requesting funds will initiate each request with a Letter of Inquiry.
- 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:
- Overall strength of the organization, including its board and executive leadership.
- Need for and demonstrated effectiveness of its programs.
- 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. Each request for funding requires a Letter of Inquiry — no longer than two pages and printed on only one side of each page — in which the applicant organization addresses the following points:
- A statement that the organization is currently a tax-exempt organization (The Foundation does not fund individuals).
- Annual operating budget.
- Amount of dollar request.
- Brief description of the focus of the funding request and how this request meets Foundation guidelines.
- Brief description of current organizational leadership.
- Description of the primary roles played by the governing board.
- A figure indicating average percent of board members in attendance at board meetings over the past 12-month period of time.
- Indication whether the organization has completed or plans to complete an organizational self-assessment and the year it was completed or is planned to be completed. (See Little Red Bus — The Check Up — for description of an organizational assessment.)
- Include contact name, email and phone number.
- Additional enclosures, such as flyers, newsletters, etc., are not to be a part of the Letter of Inquiry.
All Letters of Inquiry are to be at the Foundation office no later than 4:00 P.M.:
- March 1 for the first funding cycle. (Printed hard copy)
- October 1 for the second funding cycle. (Printed hard copy)
When a due date falls on a weekend or holiday, Letters of Inquiry are due in the Athwin Foundation office by the last business day before the due date.
All correspondence is to be mailed to:Jim Storm
5200 Willson Road, Suite 307
Minneapolis, MN 55424
- Organizations asked to complete a full proposal will receive notification with detailed information regarding the content and due date of the proposal.
- Funding decisions will be made in approximately mid-May for the first cycle and mid-December for the second cycle.
- All organizations submitting Letters of Inquiry and proposals will receive notification after funding decisions are final. Allow 2–3 weeks for response.
All questions should be directed to Jim Storm, Consultant to the Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org or call 612-379-3817.
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.