West Central Initiative's grants serve to unite ideas and resources to help the people and communities of west central Minnesota create a better tomorrow.

Driven by our strategic priorities - Reimagine Regional, Invest in Local and Educate, Activate & Celebrate - and connected to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, our grants are just one of many resources we offer to work with partners in supporting our region's families, communities and businesses.

We help secure or provide funding along with offering staff expertise to improve our region's social and economic viability for the long term. For instance, we:

  • Leverage small business growth and support entrepreneurs through our economic development grants.
  • Help communities address local needs to sustain their economic and social viability with community development grants.
  • Promote philanthropy by bringing residents together around local philanthropic issues.

Perhaps the greatest value WCI provides is a way for all people to help make their community a better place to live. In many west central Minnesota communities, citizens have joined together to raise funds for local projects by creating charitable funds, called component funds, with WCI. Component funds are, by far, WCI’s largest grant stream.

It starts with a conversation.

Interested in finding out about WCI’s grants and how they may work for your organization’s project? How about a chat over coffee? Please call Wendy Merrick, director of programs, at 800 735-2239 to plant your idea and who could fly!

Learn more about:

  • Our new 2020 Community Changemakers Grant Program is now open for applicants! We are seeking impactful projects designed to create vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities in our region.

    This year we have gone paperless! Our new online application process will not only save trees, it will help streamline the process.

  • Wendy Merrick narrates a powerpoint presentation on the new 2020 Community Changemakers Grant! Selecting this option will download the powerpoint to your computer so you can view it.

  • You can download a PDF of the Changemaker grant application form for informational purposes only. The form has a watermark on it, but it can be used to guide you in developing your application narrative.

    Remember, all applications must be submitted electronically!

  • The objective of the Child Care Capacity Grant program is to help expand the capacity of nonprofit child care centers in communities with a shortage of licensed care.

  • These grants assist counties, cities and townships with planning that addresses needs, access resources or develops a sustainable plan for future development.

  • $500 to nonprofits and government entities to help with outreach to historically undercounted communities.