People for Parks Fund Grants

Minneapolis Parks Foundation > People for Parks Fund Grants

Frequently Asked Questions (English)

What is the People for Parks Fund?

Created in 2020 with the consolidation of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation and the former People for Parks, the People for Parks Fund carries forward a 42-year legacy of grassroots support for Minneapolis parks through grants, fundraising events, and bench and paver sales. The Fund serves as the catalyst for connecting community-driven ideas and funding that nurture stewardship, community, and enjoyment of our parks.

What is the People for Parks Fund grant program?

Each year, the People for Parks Fund awards grants to advance under-supported projects and programs in Minneapolis parks. These funds are awarded to 501(c)3 organizations, 501(c)4 organizations, government entities, community groups, and others that have a fiscal agent. All projects/programs must have the approval of the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board.

What types of programs or projects are eligible for grants?

Grant funding may be used for the following purposes:

  • Capital projects or purchase of supplies or equipment
  • Ongoing established programs that advance equity in our parks
  • New programs that have established a need in the community they serve
  • One-time events that have a broader impact within the community they serve (e.g., interpreter services, topical gatherings/meetings that educate or catalyze community action)

Who is eligible for a grant?

Grant funding will be awarded to 501(c)3 organizations, 501(c)4 organizations, government entities, community groups, and others that have a fiscal agent. Only grants for projects and programs within the boundaries of the City of Minneapolis will be considered for funding.

When are grant proposals due?

Grant proposals are due on April 15 of each year.

When are decisions on grant proposals made?

Typically, grantees will be notified if they have been approved for a grant in June.

If we are awarded a grant, when will we receive the funds?

Organizations or entities approved for grants will receive the funds shortly after being notified of their project or program’s funding.

What is the grant period?

Grant terms are generally provided on a one-year cycle from the date funds are disbursed.

Who makes the decision to award grants from the People for Parks Fund?

The People for Parks Fund Advisory Committee evaluates all grant proposals. The committee reviews and makes recommendations on which projects and programs the Fund will support. The Minneapolis Parks Foundation Executive Committee then reviews the Advisory Committee’s recommendations and votes to approve or decline proposals.

What are the grant reporting requirements?

A final report is due 30 days after the grant period has expired. This report may include images, community stories, and/or written reports. “Progress” images are also encouraged and greatly appreciated throughout the grant cycle. The Advisory Committee may ask grantees to conduct one progress check-in phone call or meeting during the grant cycle.

What are the People for Parks Fund’s grant funding priorities?

As the Advisory Committee evaluates grant applications, it will do so with a focus on the Guiding Themes of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation:

  • Community health and well-being: Parks provide healthy air, water, and soil, and places to play and exercise, on both the individual and community level. Parks also provide places where we can learn about our neighbors and form new and deeper connections.
  • Equity and cultural inclusion: When all people have access to valued parks and public space, feel welcome and see themselves reflected in those spaces, a community is healthier, safer, and happier.
  • Economic vitality: Thriving parks and public spaces can attract investment and bring prosperity to the broader community.
  • Connections to the natural world: In our increasingly urbanized world, maintaining places of natural beauty, respite, and awe helps us maintain our humanity.
  • Resilience to climate change: Cities must adapt and develop new methods to protect and restore natural systems and clean water and to mitigate the economic impact of climate change.

How does the Advisory Committee evaluate grant proposals?

The Advisory Committee will evaluate grant proposals based on the following criteria:

(1) Equity & Racial Justice:

  • How does this project advance equity and/or racial justice?
  • Is the project in a neighborhood with cultural, racial, and/or economic diversity?
  • Will this project be accessible to a variety of community members?

(2) Neighborhood Involvement & Community Support:

  • Is there buy-in from the neighborhood (volunteers, matching funds, etc.)?
  • Does the group supporting the project have a commitment to its neighborhood park?
  • Does it engage the surrounding community?
  • Who will benefit from the project or program?
  • Does it advance one or more of the Minneapolis Parks Foundation’s guiding themes?
  • Is the Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board aware of this project or program?

(3) Quality of the Project:

  • Does it demonstrate environmental stewardship?
  • Does it significantly add to use and enjoyment of the parks?
  • Is there a feasible plan and financial resources to successfully implement the project?

(4) Impact of the Project:

  • What is the discernible and meaningful impact defined by the applicant? Is the project “visible?”
  • How many people/users is it likely to serve?

(5) Impact of PFP Funding:

  • What percentage of the project would PFP Funding provide?
  • Will PFP grant make a significant difference in the successful implementation of this project?

What happens if we are approved for a grant, but our project or program changes after we receive the funds?

We understand that it is sometimes necessary to make changes to a program or project after grant funds are awarded. The Advisory Committee and Minneapolis Parks Foundation staff seek to establish relationships with grantees that encourage prompt communication about any significant changes to plans and anticipate being able to respond in a timely and flexible manner.

If a grantee is unable to fulfill the funded purpose of a grant, it must seek an extension or adjustment to its proposal by contacting give@mplsparksfoundation.org. The committee may ask the grantee to submit a written revised proposal and/or meet with committee members to discuss the issue.

The committee may extend the grant term, approve a revised grant proposal, or request that grant funds be returned to the People for Parks Fund.

How can we apply for a People for Parks Fund grant?

To apply for a People for Parks Fund grant, visit the People for Parks Fund Grant Application. Paper versions of the grant application are also available. Please contact give@mplsparksfoundation.org if you would like a paper version.

We have additional questions. Is there someone with the Minneapolis Parks Foundation we can contact?

Yes! Please submit any questions you may have to give@mplsparksfoundation.org. We will follow up with you as soon as possible.

YOUR DONATION helps ensure the parks in our city remain accessible, equitable and serving everyone.