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 one of the resources West Central Initiative can bring to the table as it works with partners to help families, communities and businesses in our region thrive.

WCI offers specific programs focused on improving west central Minnesota’s social and economic viability for the long term.

WCI provides or helps secure funding in order to:

  • Leverage business development and support entrepreneurs through our economic development grants.
  • Assist communities and the greater region in developing the capacities necessary to address priority needs and sustain their economic and social viability. WCI helps accomplish this through its community development grants.
  • Promote philanthropy by bringing residents together around local philanthropic issues. Perhaps the greatest value WCI provides is a way for people of all means to contribute to making their community a better place. In many west central Minnesota communities, citizens have joined together to raise funds for community 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? Please call Wendy Merrick, director of programs, at 800 735-2239 to talk about your idea.

Learn more about:

  • Child Care Capacity Grant

    We are currently evaluating the program and we are not accepting applications at this time.
    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.

  • A new robust Community Change Makers Grant Program opens for applicants at the end of 2019 with a call for projects designed to create vibrant, inclusive and sustainable communities in our region.

    WCI is putting the finishing touches on a new online application process; yes, we're saving trees! In addition, with WCI's new strategic plan, applicants will be asked to connect their proposal to a Strategic Development Goal (SDG). We are working on having more information about the SDGs on our website, but until then you can find out more about the SDGs at

    This means Changemakers is open to MORE community-based non-profits than ever before!

    The key this year is to support projects that increase the quality of life in west central Minnesota in sustainable and equitable ways.

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