Community Grantmaking Priorities

I. Economically Disadvantaged Middle School Youth

We seek to empower economically disadvantaged middle school youth (ages 12 -14) by supporting their families and others to inspire, nurture, educate and guide them to achieve long-term stability and well being.

We believe all young people have a collection of strengths and assets that they can use to build positive lives for themselves. However many families’ economic circumstances severely limit their access to information and the range of opportunities for their adolescents. As we review proposals we carefully look at the middle school populations being served and focus our efforts on those with significant economic challenges typically as indicated by eligibility for free or reduced lunch. We will seek programs that apply proven best practice (see links on prior page) and respectfully support these young people and their families.

We will do this by funding programs that:

  • Enable youth to be successful in middle school and well prepared for high school.
  • Provide access to resources to promote healthy lifestyle choices.
  • Assist young people to develop positive relationships with adults, life skills and positive decision making.
  • Support families’ ability to nurture and support their middle schoolers.
  • Provide direct access to quality arts and creative expression.

II. Community and Cultural Vitality

***PLEASE NOTE: OUR GUIDELINES FOR THIS PROGRAM HAVE CHANGED. Please read these guidelines carefully before submitting an application.***

Carolyn Foundation wants to fund organizations in Minneapolis whose missions are to bring actual people together to build a shared community through arts, culture and community engagement by:

  • Intentionally connecting and/or bridging diverse groups;
  • Engaging in deliberate cross cultural work
  • Supporting underrepresented, marginalized, minority, and/or immigrant groups to develop and share their culture and experiences with others

Our preference and intent is to provide general operating support to small and medium-sized organizations whose missions align with our priorities:

  • Small-sized organizations with budgets less than $1,000,000 or;
  • Medium-sized organizations with budgets between $1,000,000 – $4,000,000 and;
  • Organizations where the leadership (executive and board) and staff represent/reflect the target constituency

Our intent is to fund 3-5 organizations per funding cycle.

Types of organizations that do not fit our funding priorities:

  • Large general arts/cultural organizations
  • General arts organizations
  • Media and Journalism 
  • Business networks, economic development activity 
  • Social service/basic needs

Review our online application questions to see what types of information we will be reviewing to assess fit with our priorities.  There is a print questions option available when you log into the online application form.