Announcing Round 2, 2019 Community Innovation Grant Recipients

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Round 2 of the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) 2019 Community Innovation Grant (CIG) program has been completed. Fourteen South Dakota nonprofits will receive grant awards. Offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the Community Innovation Grant program supports efforts to find breakthrough solutions to community challenges across the state.

“The South Dakota Community Foundation received twenty-nine applications in Round 2 and selected these fourteen nonprofits to implement inclusive, collaborative and resourceful solutions that will benefit all our state’s citizens,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “Round 2 resulted in over $138,000 being distributed between the selected grantees. We are grateful to the Bush Foundation for their past and continued investment in our state.”

The review committee chose to financially support the following projects: 


Helpline Center (Statewide): $10,000

The Helpline Center Social Needs Navigation program identifies and addresses the social determinants of the health of clients when visiting social service agencies. A client takes a self-survey administered on a tablet. Helpline Center team members review survey results and follow-up with individuals to provide more information and resources based on survey responses. Funds will be used to grow the capacity of this program by increasing partner agencies and staffing to make follow-up calls to clients with needs. Impact will be measured using data collected from surveys.

Lutheran Social Services of South Dakota (Statewide): $10,000

Drug possession is the most common reason for a person to be incarcerated in a South Dakota prison. In 2015, the state piloted a telehealth substance abuse treatment project in partnership with Lutheran Social Services. In 2016, the state officially made the program a permanent service open to all eligible probationers and parolees. Funds will support expansion of Lutheran Social Service’s telehealth technology loan program for participants.

South Dakota Network Against Family Violence &Sexual Assault (Statewide): $10,000                                                                                                                      

The South Dakota Network Against Family Violence & Sexual Assault has grown to 61 agency members, including victim’s service organizations, visitation centers, police departments and State’s Attorney’s offices. The grant will be used to expand the statewide Sexual Assault Task Force (SATF). The SATF utilizes statewide expertise of sexual assault and domestic violence organizations in our state and implements systemic and community-level prevention strategies.

The Lost & Found Association (Statewide): $10,000 

This project will expand a successful pilot program to assess student mental health needs at SDSU to three new South Dakota campuses that include USD, USF and DWU.  Campus wide needs assessments will focus on identifying opportunities to expand or strengthen existing services, evaluate current programming and improve mental health services to college-aged adults. Lost & Found will produce a written report outlining trends, findings and recommendations to campus leaders and students that will be readily available to the public.                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

The Shepherd’s Gift: GM 1 for HD (Statewide): $10,000   

Huntington’s Disease is a hereditary disease that breaks down an individual’s neurological abilities, robs a person of the capability to function normally and is always fatal. A specific genetic line of sheep affected with a condition known as GM 1 gangliosidosis produce 40 times the normal amount of GM 1 compared to sheep without this condition. It is these special lambs that have the potential to make a difference to Huntington’s Disease patients. The partnership between South Dakota sheep producers and medical researchers has the potential of bolstering profitability for sheep cooperators and positively impacting the lives of families living with HD and other neurological disorders.

Eastern South Dakota

Health Connect of South Dakota (Sioux Falls): $10,000

Health Connect has managed the Sioux Empire Tobacco (SET) Free Coalition with its focus on tobacco prevention and cessation work since 2007. The focus of the SET-Free Coalition has moved beyond tobacco addiction into additional addictions, such as opioids, prescription drugs, alcohol and gambling. They have added a coalition specifically for youth and young adults. Health Connect of South Dakota has completed surveys focusing on consumer opioid lack of knowledge and tobacco point of sales. They will begin strategic planning using survey information that has been collected.

Helping with Horsepower (Mitchell): $10,000    

The mission of Helping with Horsepower at Reclamation-Ranch is to assist individuals with special needs and at-risk youth in achieving their goals and full potential through interactions with horses. A program is under development that will partner girls from the Abbott House and other “at risk” individuals with those riders that have physical disabilities or special needs.  

Sioux Falls Design Center (Sioux Falls): $10,000  

The Sioux Falls Design Center is working alongside the city of Sioux Falls Public Transit Core Team to solve transit related issues using the design lens. The current public transit system in Sioux Falls is being challenged as many of the affordable housing projects and larger employers are locating towards the outskirts of the city resulting in their being miles away from any bus stops. A four-phase process will address these challenges. Funds will be used for Phase 1 of the project. “Ride the Bus Week” will engage the public for one week to encourage ridership and collect data from riders about transit-related design issues.

Spink Area Support Network (Redfield): $10,000    

The Spink Area Support Network (SASN) has been hosting meetings since the fall of 2018 to assess and identify key stakeholders in their area that need to be involved in the establishment of a comprehensive critical response protocol. The protocol will focus on agricultural mental health and well-being, natural disasters and community trauma. In addition to protocol development, they will provide training to community crisis management teams.

Central South Dakota

Michael Glynn Memorial Coalition (White River): $10,000

A survey conducted in December 2018 of White River High School students indicated that over 40% of the students had “seriously considered suicide in the past 12 months”. The Michael Glynn Memorial Coalition had previously been working on tobacco and underage alcohol use prevention. Now, their focus is shifting to suicide prevention in the form of an organization of youth leaders/role models and including them in training and recognition efforts. Michael Glynn is an accredited Prevention Services organization and holds monthly meetings to hear concerns, offer suggestions or ideas and inform the public of current data findings.

Western South Dakota

Black Hills Community Economic Development (Rapid City): $10,000

The Rushmore Region Alliance (RRA) is an economic development initiative that was created by the Black Hills Community Economic Development to stimulate business investment in the region. Working in collaboration with economic development professionals from six counties (Butte, Custer, Fall River, Lawrence, Meade and Pennington) regular meetings will be organized to determine specific areas of training and development needed for each locale. Meetings will be conducted both locally and regionally and may involve surveys for those unable to attend and voice their opinions.

Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation (Crazy Horse): $8,750

The Indian University of North America, part of the Crazy Horse Memorial Foundation, is working to provide support for Native American students both college-bound and in college. They will institute a two-day college fair for Native American high school juniors from both Indian and public schools located in western South Dakota. The fair will have a continuing component. They will begin working with College Fair students throughout their Senior year, assisting them with college prep. In addition, an academic success coaching online portal will make it easy for peers to provide support for each other throughout their post-secondary years.

Oglala Lakota Children’s Justice Center (Pine Ridge): $10,000     

Oglala Lakota Children’s Justice Center (OLCJC) seeks to address the needs of Children and Youth by using a community level process to engage community members. In a recent readiness and evaluability assessment conducted by OLCJC a myriad of issues became apparent, including identifying the lack of or non-existent resources for children who suffer from maltreatment, abuse and neglect and have a history of adverse childhood experiences. They will conduct community conversations in seven communities on the Pine Ridge Reservation over an eight-month period. These initial seven community conversations will be detailed in reports, evaluations and timelines, mapping and data summation all concluded by the end of April 2020.

Passages Women’s Transitional Living (Rapid City): $10,000   

Passages Women’s Transitional Living provides transitional housing and support for women returning from prison to the Black Hills area. Based on program data and research-based insights, three key elements surfaced as contributors to a successful reentry process. Those three elements include having a stable, safe and reliable pace to live, engaging in a structured program and committing to staying involved in the program for at least 6 months. This project will increase the percentage of women served by Passages who reach or exceed a threshold of at least six months by strengthening case management support.

A total of $400,000 will be available to nonprofits in 2019. The third round for 2019 opens on September 2, 2019 and closes on September 30, 2019. Interested organizations can visit to review the grant guidelines, deadlines and application instructions. In order to qualify, a nonprofit must be IRS Publication 78 verified or have a fiscal sponsor. Any questions regarding the program can be directed to Ginger Niemann by phone at 800.888.1842 or by email

About our Donors

The SDCF distributed more than $18.8 million in grants in 2018 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or give us a call at (605) 224-1025.

About the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.