Community Giving

WACF Community Impact Grant Round

Online Application Open: November 15th, 2022
Deadline: January 15 at 11:59pm - Decisions Made Within 100 Days of Deadline

Brief Description

The Willmar Area Community Foundation (WACF) supports specific community initiatives through a variety of grants. WACF seeks to make smaller grants for general operations and programs to address changing community needs. WACF also seeks to make significant grants that will be the "Difference Maker” in bringing about community-wide, lasting, and positive changes in the Willmar area. WACF is looking to provide leadership and financial support that goes beyond the grant in order to advance the project or initiative that needs a large dollar amount to get started or completed.


  • Small grants: General operations and project/program support
  • “Difference Maker” Grant: Capital and other strategic investments that support community-wide, lasting, and positive changes (By invitation only)

Eligible organizations: 501(c) 3 nonprofit organizations, schools or government entities.

Geographic Area: Kandiyohi County in Minnesota


Small Grant: $5,000 to $20,000 (focused on single organization, issue or program)
"Difference Maker" Grant: $25,000 to $50,000 *By invitation only* (wider focused on a larger segment of the community, that creates new partnerships or could be a catalytic action for change)


  • Addressing the Achievement Gap for our Youth
    • Projects that address access to quality early childhood programming and address barriers to access.
    • Projects that improve access to enrichment activities for low income and underserved children.
    • Projects that provide ‘on ramps’ for skills, training and experiences beyond a four year college prep focus including apprenticeships, skills training, innovative programming, etc.
    • Projects are preferred that help build foundational, technical and soft skills that prepare young people for our future workforce and that help students with challenges to become productive members of our community.
  • Increasing Community Connections and Welcoming Diverse Populations
    • Projects that welcome newcomers to our community, that create social connections, create an open/welcoming community, address aesthetics and improve the quality of life through art and active recreational opportunities.
    • Leadership development projects for emerging leaders of varied ages and backgrounds.
    • Newcomer Programs that are community led and culturally relevant or that connect New Americans to education and civic systems.
  • Supporting Productive Aging
    • Projects that provide basic needs for low income seniors or enrich the quality of life for seniors across the spectrum.
    • Activities that deploy multigenerational approaches to connect seniors and youth or projects that meaningfully engage seniors as a volunteer force to address an unmet community need.


  • Are likely to make a clear difference in the quality of life for a substantial number of people.
  • Propose practical approaches to resolve current community problems.
  • Address diversity and positive change in a constructive manner.(Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Policy)
  • Help nonprofit organizations manage themselves and their finances more effectively.
  • Encourage cooperation and eliminate duplication of services.
  • Stimulate others to participate in problem-solving.
  • Promote leverage for generating additional funds.
  • Sustainability.


  • Individuals
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes (Funding for Faith-Based Organizations Policy)
  • Political organizations or political campaigns.
  • Annual fundraising drives
  • Endowments
  • Debt retirement or deficit financing
  • Projects or portions of projects that have already been completed
  • Scholarships or medical research
  • Grants for travel or conferences


  • Submit application online using the CommunityGiving Grant Management System. If interested in applying for a Difference Maker Grant, contact Sara Carlson (see below).
  • The Grant Advisory Committee will recommend applications for funding to the Board of Directors. Site Visits will be required for all Difference Maker applications.
  • The Board of Directors will make final funding decisions.

Organizations may only submit one grant application per year per grant round.

All notification about this grant will be through emails.

Payout of Grants: Upon recipient of electronically signed Grant Agreement.

Grantee Required Documents: Grant Agreement, Progress Report, and Final Report. Required follow up documents will be submitted through the CommunityGiving Grant Management System.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact Sara Carlson at to see about programmatic fit with current WACF priorities.

For questions about the online Grant Management System, please call Sherri at (320) 257-9715.

Click here to begin the Application Process