WHAT WE FUND

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS

  • Must operate within one or more of the following counties: Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, Washington.
  • A significant portion of the organization’s programs must address one or more of Constellation Fund’s core poverty-fighting impact areas: education, housing, health, and employment.
  • The Constellation Fund does not fund organizations that discriminate against people seeking either services or employment based on color, creed, national origin, marital status, familial status, public assistance status, race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, or physical disability.
  • At this time, the Constellation Fund encourages multi-service organizations with budgets over $10 million to reach out to Constellation Fund staff to determine whether organizations should apply for programmatic or general operating funding.
  • The Constellation Fund does not fund any capital projects, such as new buildings or facilities. Constellation also does not make grants to individuals or provide event sponsorships.
  • The Constellation Fund provides one year grants including both general operating and programmatic.
  • In the early stages of Constellation Fund’s work, our current metrics and approach are not well suited to fund policy, organizing, or systems change work. We hope adapt our methodology for assessing this kind of work in the future.
  • If denied funding, organizations are asked to wait one year to re-apply.

ORGANIZATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Organizational Capacity

  • Proven model that consistently leads to the stated impact on clients
  • Organization guided by a clear vision and strategy
  • Strategic partners in place that improve or accelerate goals/outcomes
  • The board, executive director, and staff all have a shared understanding of core strategies to reach organizational goals
  • Strategic plan used in daily decision making and serves as a management tool for measuring activities and outcomes

Organizational Leadership

  • Leadership is reflective, self-aware, and a strong external ambassador for the organization
  • Leadership is able to execute on program vision and is willing to take a hard look at themselves and the organization to make changes
  • Leadership is results-driven and committed to continuous improvement throughout the organization
  • Team is built out to allow for appropriate use of time and expertise; staff reflects diversity of background and expertise
  • Appropriately sized and diverse board with clear roles and responsibilities for board members and committees
  • Board members provide sufficient oversight of financials and leadership

Financial Management

  • Strong financial position and transparency in financial documents
  • Clean, audited financial statements
  • Positive annual net income
  • Strong cash flow management
  • Diversity of funding sources
  • Will consider special circumstances for startups

ISSUE AREA DRIVERS

At the early stage of our development, the Constellation Fund has identified the following priorities based on evidence and community-informed research.

Education

  • Early Childhood Education – Organizations that ensure kindergarten-readiness by providing or supplementing high-quality early childhood education and preschool.
  • K-12 Education – Organizations that improve academic opportunities and outcomes for low-income students, students of color and/or Indigenous students, English Language learners, students with disabilities, and/or other marginalized groups.
  • High School Graduation – Organizations that support low-income students to succeed in high school and achieve a diploma or high school equivalence.
  • Higher Education – Organizations that support low-income students to access, enroll, and persist in post-secondary education or career-specific training.
  • Wrap-Around Services – Organizations that integrate supportive services into educational settings, including but not limited to health and housing services.

Health

  • Mental Health – Organizations that increase access to and improve the quality of mental health services for youth and adults.
  • Chronic Diseases – Organizations that are working to prevent, manage, and improve health outcomes for those living with chronic diseases.
  • Substance Abuse – Organizations providing a continuum of care to effectively address the needs of individuals affected by substance abuse and addiction.
  • Preventive Care – Organizations that are increasing timely, equitable access to primary and preventive care for populations living below 185 percent of the federal poverty line and persons of color and Indigenous households.
  • Maternal Health – Organizations providing services that improve health outcomes for populations living below 185 percent of the federal poverty line including young mothers and those experiencing high risk pregnancies.

Employment

  • Work skills and career readiness training – Organizations that train adults to be successful in long-term careers, in particular those that develop skills in high-demand industries and in partnership with employers.
  • Support for women and people of color entrepreneurs – Organizations that provide financial or technical assistance to entrepreneurs from marginalized groups to create jobs in underserved communities.
  • Support for people facing barriers to employment – Organizations that provide job training, placement programs, or other services for those who face employment barriers, such as displaced workers, immigrants, veterans, the formerly incarcerated, or homeless individuals.

Housing

  • Homelessness Prevention – Organizations that provide homelessness prevention services for vulnerable populations.
  • Homeownership – Organizations that provide pathways for successful, affordable homeownership with a focus on removing barriers for persons of color and Indigenous households.
  • Supporting Housing Services – Supportive housing service providers working to improve participants’ housing stability and well-being.
  • Cost Burdened Households – Organizations increasing rental housing opportunities for low-income cost burdened households with a focus on households earning less than 30 percent of area median income.

To find out how to apply, follow the link below.

How to Apply

To stay updated on our grantmaking, please fill out the contact form below or email us at impact@constellationfund.org.