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:

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

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

  • 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.

  • Our 2020 Community Changemakers Grant Program is currently suspended as West Central Initiative diverts resources towards the coronavirus event and recovery. We do expect that this program, or a variation of Changemakers, will open again in the future. Follow WCI on social media platforms or watch your email for announcements.