Funds

2020 Resiliency Fund

2020 Resiliency Fund

Thank you for considering donating to our 2020 Resiliency Fund. With your help, together we'll be able to rise to the challenges we now face as a region.

West Central Initiative launched the Resiliency Fund grant program in May 2020 to address the immediate COVID-19 needs of our region and the long-term recovery of west central Minnesota. After distributing approximately $500,000, grantmaking was paused in June to reflect upon improvements that could be made to better advance WCI’s vision of vibrant, inclusive, and sustainable communities.

More than One Crisis

Discussions with Resiliency Fund grantees and community stakeholders have made it clear that the people and places of west central Minnesota hardest hit by COVID-19 are responding not only to the pandemic, but to other inextricably intertwined issues of structural racism and barriers to growth. Resiliency Fund grantmaking has been adjusted to reflect this feedback.

Moving forward, Resiliency Fund grantmaking will retain its emphasis on pandemic response. 

However, in keeping with the WCI vision, grantmaking will support pandemic responses in these two areas, both of which tie directly to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, the heart of WCI’s strategic plan:

  • Efforts that promote an equitable region - particularly racial equity. Grants will be awarded to organizations that serve and/or are led by Black people, Indigenous people, and people of color (BIPOC);
  • Efforts of organizations leading positive change in the area of sustainable development, with an emphasis on agriculture, food systems and climate change

Nothing About Us, Without Us 

Simultaneously, the Resiliency Fund will pilot participatory grantmaking. Decision-making power will be shared with the most competent voices – the people most affected by, and active in, the work. A small group of respected peers in each of the two focus areas is being recruited to work with WCI staff to determine the shape of the grant program, identify selection criteria, broadcast the grant opportunity widely, and ultimately make funding recommendations. 

The process by which applications will be taken and grantees selected will be decided with community partners, with the understanding that awards for this pilot grant round will be announced by December 1, 2020. Updates will be posted on the WCI website and its social media platforms. 

Please contact Wendy Merrick, wendy@wcif.org, 218-998-1622 with questions, feedback or for more information.  

View the recipients of our 2020 Resiliency Fund Grants

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