Target Foundation Hometown funding guidelines

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why we care about this topic

Target is proud to have called the Twin Cities our home since its founding more than 100 years ago. Our commitment to our hometown region continues to be a signature legacy of the Target Foundation.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul region is home to more than three million people. The region’s assets include the natural beauty of its parks, woods and lakes; a deep, vibrant and robust history of craft, visual arts, music and theater; numerous longstanding international anchor corporations and widespread and increasing racial, ethnic and cultural diversity.

There are many communities who continue to be at an economic disadvantage despite of our region’s thriving job market and strong economy.

Similar patterns can be found across the nation – rising income inequality and persistent gaps in health, education, employment, income and wealth preventing all people from realizing their full economic potential. As the demographics of our region continue to shift, the costs of inequality will grow.

However, the Twin Cities not only mirrors what is happening throughout the United States, but in several key areas, our hometown actually fares worse. Recent statistics on home ownership, income inequality, wages, and educational attainment all paint a picture of glaring disparities that could impact the region’s long-term success.

Equalizing economic opportunities for underserved and under-resourced communities is not just important for these families and communities but also critical to a vibrant and growing economy, which ultimately benefits all.

Compelled by this data, Target Foundation recognizes that everyone’s future depends on overcoming inequalities and has made equity the cornerstone of its Hometown Program. 

our desired outcome

In our “Hometown” program area, the Target Foundation envisions equity that enables shared prosperity and opportunity for all. To achieve this vision, the Foundation believes that our hometown region needs:

  • A strong frontline of direct service organizations that are well-resourced, connected and able to serve the most marginalized communities, lifting them out of poverty and into economic vitality.
  • Well-coordinated and well-resourced multi-sector networks, coalitions and alliances that are catalyzing economic development in the Twin Cities’ poorest neighborhoods, while displacing no one and leaving no one behind.

funding priorities

The Target Foundation strengthens non-profit organizations that address the specific systemic and structural barriers facing under-resourced and underserved communities in the Twin Cities metro area. The Foundation will concentrate its investment in capacity building grants in four priority areas:

  • Entrepreneurship: The Foundation supports entrepreneurship initiatives that address current ecosystem gaps, drive inclusive practices and create access to knowledge, services, networks and capital for entrepreneurs at all stages.
  • Workforce Development: The Foundation supports employment and technical training opportunities to ensure the workforce development system operates effectively and connects job seekers and workers with the skills they need to succeed.
  • Housing: The Foundation supports efforts that increase housing availability, stability and access—creating pathways to greater opportunity.
  • Asset Building: The Foundation supports organizations that improve the asset-building opportunities available to traditionally marginalized communities, especially those that are engaged in work to increase financial inclusion, wealth-building and overall financial health.

Organizations focused on systemic, social change must be empowered to deliver – over a prolonged period of time—meaningful, measurable and financially sustainable results for the people or missions they exist to serve.

Organizational capacity efforts can include strong, adaptive leadership; disciplined, people-focused management; well-designed and implemented programs and strategies that reflect community voice; financial health; a culture that values learning; strong monitoring and evaluation for continuous improvement and mission effectiveness.

 

key considerations

To achieve this, the Foundation will prioritize support for organizations engaged in the following kinds of efforts:

  1. Strengthen networks, coalitions and movements

Driven by the understanding that social change is complex and is not solely in the purview of the nonprofit sector or the mission of a single organization, collaborative networks of organizations within a field as well as across sectors that are aligned around a common agenda are an important condition of success.

  1. Pursue systems change through advocacy, policy and communications

Given the scale of challenges relative to any foundation’s resources, efforts to effect social change need to address policies at the local, state and federal levels that will inevitably affect the region.  This requires reliable data, effective messaging, engaged and empowered residents, and strong advocates. 

eligibility

To be considered eligible for support, applicants must be registered U.S.-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations in good standing.

Grants are made only to organizations based in Minnesota, with priority given to organizations based in the Twin Cities 7-County Metro Area.

In addition, to extend the reach of the Foundation’s work, we will prioritize organizations with annual budgets less than $5 million.

Estimated grant size will range from $25,000-$200,000.

Target Foundation does not award grants solely for general operating purposes; however, we expect organizations to build in general operating expenses (e.g. overhead costs) into the capacity building grant request.

exclusions

The Foundation does not support:

  • Grants to individuals
  • Religious organizations for religious purposes
  • Sponsorships or fundraising events
  • Direct political lobbying
  • Endowments or capital requests
  • Government entities

application process

The 2019 grant cycle is now closed.

glossary of terms

Capacity Building: An investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of a nonprofit. It strengthens a nonprofit’s ability to fulfill its mission over time, thereby enhancing the nonprofit’s ability to have a positive impact on lives and communities.

Equity: Ensuring fair treatment, equality of opportunity and fairness in access to information and resources for all.

Structural barriers: Systems, such as institutions, in which policies, institutional practices, and other norms work to reinforce and perpetuate a lack of access to equal opportunity.  

Systemic barriers: Policies, practices or procedures that result in some people lacking access to equal opportunity.

Systems Change: An approach that describes addressing the root cause of social problems, which are often intractable and embedded in networks of cause and effect. It is an intentional process designed to fundamentally alter the components and structures that cause the system to behave in a certain way.