Bringing Sustainable Solutions to Communities

Today’s changing community needs and complex challenges require new thinking and new approaches. That's why we've partnered with the Bush Foundation to offer a funding source for nonprofits leading the way in community innovation. With $400,000 to award in 2016, the time to apply for a Community Innovation Grant is now. Here's what you need to know.

What counts as "community innovation"?

We know that there are many creative solutions to community problems. Community Innovation Grants focus on finding these new solutions that are inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful. Community innovation should address a community need or opportunity in a more effective, equitable, or sustainable way than existing approaches.

We are not prioritizing any specific issues and projects can be at various stages of the problem-solving process. We do ask that you are a nonprofit organization. Learn more about our grantmaking guidelines and  requirements. You can also learn more by viewing the Bush Foundation's Community Innovation Process graphic (PDF).

What counts as a "community"?

You may identify and define your community in any way that makes sense. It could be a geographic region like a neighborhood, town, or state, or a community with common interests or cultural identity. The community does need to exist in South Dakota to be eligible—though communities outside of the state may still be eligible for other Bush Foundation grants.

How do the SDCF and Bush Foundation Community Innovation Grant Programs differ?

The Community Innovation Grant programs at both foundations share the same criteria, but grant decisions are made separately. We also offer different award ranges. This means you can apply to the SDCF for a Community Innovation Grant ranging from $500–$10,000, or you can apply to the Bush Foundation for larger grants ranging from $10,000–$200,000.

Basic Eligibility

  • Applicants should be a public, nonprofit organization as defined by IRS Publication 78. You can also work with a verified fiscal sponsor who can receive funds on your behalf. 
  • The SDCF does not make grants in support of political campaigns, discriminatory practices, or for personal gain. Read the full grantmaking guidelines before you apply to make sure your grant proposal fits our regulations.
  • In order to be eligible for current or future Community Innovation Grants, Final Evaluation forms must be comepleted and returned to the SDCF for all past completed CIG projects.  Please contact us with questions about past projects completed by your organization. 
  • We will favor/prioritize proposals with project budget sizes that are of appropriate scale to this $500 - $10,000 grant opportunity.

Next Steps

Thinking about applying? Read the grantmaking guidelines and criteria to see if you are a good fit for this grant. Then, find more information on our grant application or look at our list of awarded grants for inspiration.


Have Questions?

Contact us online or at 800.888.1842 with any questions. For assistance along the way, you can also contact Ginger Niemann, SDCF Program Officer.

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