2020 Resiliency Fund

2020 Resiliency Fund

We 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 our 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. 

In keeping with the WCI vision, grantmaking will support pandemic responses in the following 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 action.

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 who are most affected by, and active in, the work. A small group of respected peers in each of the two focus areas have been 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 application process and selected grantees will be decided with community partners as this pilot grant round proposal date is now past.  Awards will be announced by December 18, 2020. Updates will be posted on the WCI website and its social media platforms. 

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

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