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Capacity Building Initiative

Minnesota Housing's Capacity Building Initiative is a resource to help communities across Minnesota where a lack of organizational capacity creates the risk that geographic areas and constituencies will be underserved. We want organizations in every corner of the state to successfully compete for funding for development activities and housing related services.

The application period for this year is now closed, and the next funding round is expected in fall 2018.

We will provide up to $40,000 in one-time funding for one-year projects that increase efficiencies within organizations, build the knowledge base of organizations to better meet community housing needs, create efficiencies in the cost of development or organizational operation, or that provide the necessary groundwork to add or increase services. Priority will be given to organizations that did not receive Capacity Building Initiative funds in the previous year.

Who can apply for funding?

  • Tax exempt nonprofits

  • Local units of government and political subdivisions

  • Tribal governments and tribal corporate entities

What can funds be used for?

The Capacity Building Initiative is intended to build the organizational capacity of organizations in underserved communities or to support geographic expansion of service areas to underserved communities. We want organizations and communities to use their local knowledge and creativity to develop strategies that work for them. Some examples of eligible activities include but are not limited to:

  • Education

  • Partnership development

  • Staff development

  • Consulting

Preference will be given to organizations to engage in activities for which they do not already have a regular source of funding.

What activities are not eligible for funding?

  • General operating support

  • Direct housing services including affordable gap assistance

  • Direct housing development costs

  • Organizations with missions that fall outside the housing and community development arena

  • Lobbying or other direct political activities

  • Activities for which the applicant already receives technical assistance or operating support funding from Minnesota Housing including the CHDO Capacity Building Program

What criteria will proposals be reviewed for?

  • Articulates a compelling need for increased organizational capacity in an underserved community

  • Includes credible plan to address a compelling need

  • Credible plan to complete the proposed work within one year

  • Includes plan to embed and sustain increased capacity

  • Qualified staff and organizational leadership to undertake the proposed work

  • Alignment with other organizational work and community efforts

  • Sound financial capacity

  • Clear and measurable outcomes

  • Grows or strengthens the field of affordable housing in community development in Minnesota

  • Priority will be given to organizations that did not receive Capacity Building Initiative funding in 2016.

If you have questions about the Capacity Building Initiative, please contact Ryan Baumtrog.