School children in need of weekend food, households in need of bedroom furniture, and families facing a housing crisis are among the residents being helped by the Eden Prairie Community Foundation and its donor-advised fund holders in its latest round of local grants.
All told, the Foundation and its generous, philanthropic fund holders are allocating more than $64,000 to 17 organizations that applied for 2022 grants from the Foundation.
The grant checks awarded in February are part of the Foundation’s annual grant cycle. Twenty-two nonprofits serving Eden Prairie residents made dollar requests totaling more than $97,000 for 2022 projects addressing various Eden Prairie needs. The $97,000 is a record level of requests to the Foundation for a single year.
Projects that couldn’t be fully or partially funded by the Foundation in its annual budget were presented to its donor-advised fund holders, who agreed to fund eight additional projects.
Overall, the grants ranged from $500 to $10,000 for local projects in the areas of social services, arts, and culture.
The applications are reviewed by a volunteer, nine-member Grants Committee at the Foundation and scored using criteria such as the number of Eden Prairie residents helped by a specific project. Extra points were awarded for applications aligned with the Foundation’s strategic initiatives, including diversity, affordable housing, and unemployment.
“Discerning which applications address Eden Prairie’s greatest needs is always difficult,” said Executive Director Mark Weber, “but we’re confident that these grants will help hundreds of residents and make Eden Prairie better in many, many ways.”
Projects funded by the Foundation and its donor-advised fund holders are:
- Eden Prairie Community Band – Purchase of a portable digital piano and amplifier for use by four Eden Prairie performing-arts groups.
- Eden Prairie Local News – General operating support to transition from a nonprofit news start-up to a sustainable local news organization.
- Every Meal – Support of a weekend food program that serves Eden Prairie schoolchildren.
- Girls on the Run Minnesota – Expansion of Eden Prairie programming that uses running to provide support and tools for girls.
- Meals on Wheels – Funding for free, fresh produce in meals delivered to Eden Prairie clients.
- Mission Animal Hospital – Launch of a program in which social workers assist clients who have needs beyond pet care.
- Mothers Tutoring Academy – Mentoring and academic support of local youth, primarily Eden Prairie students from East Africa.
- Mount Olivet Rolling Acres – Renovations at two Eden Prairie group homes for people with intellectual and other disabilities.
- MoveFwd – Funding for a washer and dryer for the Drop-In Center used by young people experiencing homelessness.
- Onward Eden Prairie – Funds for grant writing as a means to increase capacity.
- PROP – Support of the nonprofit’s Emergency Housing Fund.
- Relate Counseling Center – Funding for free, on-site, mental-health services to PROP clients.
- Senior Community Services – Operating support for services to seniors and their caregivers.
- Sojourner Project – Operating support for its domestic-violence shelter and the Community Legal Advisory Program.
- The PROP Shop – Funding for bedroom dressers for families in need.
- True Friends – Support for programming and operations, including at Camp Eden Wood in Eden Prairie.
- YMCA – Support of its Neighborhood Centers program at Briarhill Apartments in Eden Prairie.
The Foundation was created in 1981 to help fill Eden Prairie needs that local government or nonprofits, on their own, cannot meet. It has given more than $2 million to more than 100 different nonprofits serving Eden Prairie.
All of its funds are raised from individuals, families, or companies through fundraising appeals and events, including the EP Gives event on May 14.
Mark Weber, quoted in this article, is a member of the Eden Prairie Local News’ board of directors.
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