What is the Education Minnesota Foundation?
The Foundation is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that is affiliated with but acts independently from Education Minnesota. It offers grants to active, dues-paying Education Minnesota members, which includes classroom teachers, post-secondary faculty, and education support professionals; it also offers grants for members to team up with a nonprofit organization that shares our goals to create systemic change. The Foundation offers scholarships for licensed teachers obtaining National Board Certification. Finally, the Collaboration Lab supports staff and administration in working together toward common goals.
Who is eligible to apply for grants or scholarships from the Foundation?
Because the Foundation is funded primarily through Education Minnesota members, only active, dues-paying Education Minnesota members who did not request a refund of the $5 Foundation assessment fee are eligible to apply for grants or scholarships. To check your membership status or become an active member, please call the Education Minnesota membership department at 651-227-9541.
Who runs the Foundation?
The Foundation’s daily activities are overseen by the Foundation Director and the Foundation Assistant. All grant applications are reviewed by the Board of Trustees of the Foundation—teachers and support professionals who are Education Minnesota members.
How long after the application deadline will it be until I am notified about the decision? Will I be notified if I am approved or denied?
The board meets after the grant deadline to make funding decisions about a month after applications are due. Notification letters are mailed to applicants’ home addresses within one week of the board meeting. Applicants will receive a letter if they are approved or denied.
My application was denied. What can I do?
Don’t distress! The Foundation has a limited amount of funds it can provide, and often the reason for denial is due to a lack of funds. Consider reviewing the page of the application that goes over questions to ask yourself before beginning the application process to see if there are any bullets you might’ve missed. You may also contact the Foundation Director at 651-292-4834 to find out if there was a more specific reason your application wasn’t approved.
How long has the Foundation been around?
The Foundation started out as the Minnesota Education Association (MEA) Children’s Fund in 1992. To learn more about the history of the Foundation, please click here.
Should I submit my application through the online link or mail/email the PDF to the Foundationemail@example.com?
Applicants may choose whichever method of applying is easiest for them. If applying online, the local union’s president will be asked to confirm they’ve approved the application, whereas when applying via PDF, applicants must get their local president’s signature for the application to be reviewed. Both methods require applicants to speak to their local president prior to submitting their application.
The Foundation used to fund grants for nonprofit organizations (Affinity Grants). Why does the Foundation no longer offer Affinity Grants?
Over the course of the 2016-17 school year, the board went through a strategic planning process. The purpose of strategic planning was to make the Foundation more accessible and beneficial for members. During that process, the board decided to reallocate Affinity Grant funds to the other grants intended for members. This gives the board the ability to fund more projects that impact both members and students in a direct way. Nonprofits interested in receiving funding from the Foundation should consider teaming up with an active Education Minnesota member to apply for an IMPACT Grant. For more information on IMPACT Grants, please click here.
Does the Foundation offer training on grant-writing?
Yes, but the training must be requested through members’ local unions. Please contact your local union’s president for information on how to request professional development training through Education Minnesota or the Education Minnesota Foundation.
I want to apply for a Professional Development Grant, but the training/conference/seminar, etc. I want to attend takes place prior to the grant deadline. Can I still apply?
No. The Foundation does not fund retroactive projects. The date of the event for which you submit a grant application should take place at least two months after the grant deadline.
I have another question about the Foundation. Whom can I contact?
Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and someone will get back to you within two business days.