Round 3, 2019 Community Innovation Grant Recipients Selected

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Community Innovation infographic

Round 3 of the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) 2019 Community Innovation Grant (CIG) program has been completed. Seventeen 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 thirty-four applications in Round 3 and selected these seventeen nonprofits to implement inclusive, collaborative and resourceful solutions that will benefit all our state’s citizens,” says Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “Round 3 resulted in $165,000 distributed among the selected grantees. We are grateful to the Bush Foundation for their past and continued investment in our state.”

The review committee chose to support the following projects financially: 


Call to Freedom (Statewide): $10,000

Call to Freedom will be a bridge connecting community youth services, schools and other resources to identify and serve youth in pilot communities (Sioux Falls, Pierre, Yankton, Watertown and Lower Brule) who are victimized by human trafficking. Funding will provide unified training and intervention strategies throughout youth programs in the pilot communities to establish a network working collaboratively with existing child response teams. State and tribal child protection agencies and court services programs serving youth will be engaged to participate in the development, implementation and outcome measurements of youth strategies.

Friends of South Dakota Public Broadcasting (Statewide): $10,000

The South Dakota Public Broadcasting Early Childhood Initiative will support Pre-K professionals and provide options to assist families at home. They have contracted with a Pre-K coordinator to analyze, plan and lead their early childhood education initiative. They will engage Pre-K professionals and parents representative of location and culture at community engagement sessions to create a detailed action plan. After analysis and outreach, they will launch activities and include on-going evaluation.

GROW South Dakota (Statewide): $10,000                                                                                                                      

GROW South Dakota plans to recruit four to five communities to participate in their First Impression Tours. In a First Impression Tour, a GROW SD coach recruits and coordinates community development leaders from South Dakota towns to tour their communities and share reactions with their hosts. Tours are conducted in a round robin approach, where all “Tourists” visit each other’s hometowns. With information gathered from the tours, community groups can identify specific areas of need and generate an action plan to prioritize next steps.

South Dakota Voices for Peace (Statewide): $10,000    

This project will make a concerted statewide effort to assure that Native Americans, children, homeless/transient, persons living in poverty, Limited English Proficient residents, the elderly and disabled are all included in the next federal Census count. The Census officially starts its count in April 2020 with 3 phases, including electronic applications, mailed applications and then door knocks by federal census workers. South Dakota Voices for Peace will generate a plan assuring that our communities are accurately counted.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

University of South Dakota (Statewide): $5,000          

The goal of palliative care is to achieve the best possible quality of life for patients at the end of life and their families. An existing network of coalition partners will implement the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO) model for palliative care. This project will support training two coalition leaders as full ECHO replication partners, which is the first step in making this project a reality.

Eastern South Dakota

Boys & Girls Club of Brookings: $10,000

Brookings County is seeing a need for programs for juvenile felons. The State’s Attorney’s office, local businesses, mental health agencies, youth and families and probation officers will partner with the Boys & Girls Club of Brookings Teen Center to develop a diversion program for juvenile felons. The Workforce Development Program and Educational Nights will be offered at the Teen Center.

Glacial Lakes Area Development (Britton): $10,000

Residents from all generations and socio-economic backgrounds will be encouraged to participate in efforts to ensure Langford remains a thriving rural community. A Dakota Resources community coaching team will facilitate a community gathering and establish initiative teams for specific projects.

Huron Housing Authority: $10,000      

The need for housing rehab activities was identified through a public event called “Huron Rising - Reimagine Our Future” sponsored by the Huron Community Foundation. As a result, an ad hoc “Housing Committee” made up of stakeholders and other passionate individuals was formed. Through a year-long collaboration, they developed five essential functions and activities that are crucial to begin addressing existing conditions in Huron’s housing market.

St. Francis House (Sioux Falls): $10,000    

After conducting a feasibility study and holding community stakeholder meetings, it became apparent that donors and agency stakeholders wanted a coordinated system of services to meet the needs of those suffering from opioid addiction. Partnering with numerous other agencies including Carroll Institute, Avera McKennan, Smart Recovery, Women of Hope and Dress for Success, St. Francis House will manage the coordinated effort for not only their guests but other individuals in need of services as well.

Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development: $10,000 

The Wessington Springs Area Chamber & Development will address the shortage of exercise opportunities for residents in Jerauld County. “Winter Park” days were organized last winter by members of the community and a plan is in place to make this activity permanently available to their town members. A senior at the area high school will be recruited to spearhead the project. Focus discussion groups will follow along with community workdays to prepare outdoor space. Volunteers will be secured to help with all required tasks.

Western South Dakota

Black Hills Special Services Cooperative (3 locations in western SD): $10,000

The Collaborative Community Art Project will focus on developing unity among individuals of diverse groups by collaboratively creating community art projects to be displayed outdoors in multiple locations in western South Dakota. Community co-sponsored meetings, education sessions focused on diversity discussions and collaborative art building events will all be provided at no cost to communities involved. Three community art pieces will be created including one from the Rapid City 21st Century Programs (includes five schools), one Reservation school district and a third location selected based on the artist’s schedule.

Black Hills Works, Inc. (Rapid City): $10,000

In an effort to promote responsible e-waste disposal, Echo Works, a division of Black Hills Works is teaming up with Western Dakota Tech to establish a physical location for an on-campus and community-accessible e-recycling facility and to develop a marketing strategy to encourage responsible recycling practices.

Fork Real Community Cafe (Rapid City): $10,000

Located in Rapid City, Fork Real uses the “pay-what-you can” café model to provide healthy food to anyone, regardless of their ability to pay. Patrons at the Fork Real Community Café have the option to not only pay for their meal, but they can also pay for another meal for a neighbor, sponsor a meal by purchasing a meal token or they can opt to volunteer with the café and serve the community. Workforce Development opportunities exist for volunteers at the Café to learn a restaurant skill.

Magpie Creative (Rapid City): $10,000      

Both Native and non-Native artists and art organizations in Rapid City have identified a need for consistent and affordable space in which to work. Meetings will be held with core stakeholders to increase awareness and buy-in for ongoing activities and to garner ideas for future space and programming. A plan including a timeline and next steps will be developed. 

makeSPACE Spearfish Partnership for Arts, Cycling and Equity, Inc. (Spearfish): $10,000                                                                                                                                                            

makeSPACE focuses on enabling marginalized people to actively engage with their community through participation in the arts and cycling. To accomplish this, they have implemented a 3-phase process. In phase 1 they identified the need, in phase 2 they implemented a solution by opening a facility in March 2019. Phase 3 focuses on continued learning. 

Red Cloud Indian School (Pine Ridge): $10,000  

A story mapping documentation project will be implemented with community youth, leaders, artists and elders that will reveal the multiple layers of Lakota connection to the land. A partnership has been formed between The Heritage Center at Red Cloud Indian School, Racing Magpie and an archivist from the Oglala Lakota College. Stories will be gathered, preserved, archived and be accessible in perpetuity. 

Winyan Wicayuonihan Oyanke – Where All Women Are Honored (Pine Ridge Indian Reservation): $10,000   

 A mission, protocols and safety responses will be developed for use throughout the region in an effort to be pro-active and address any problems that could result with the arrival of the KXL Pipeline and accompanying man camps on the Pine Ridge Reservation. A pre-planning meeting will be held including Attorneys General, Chiefs of Police and others from local counties that expect to be impacted.


A total of $400,000 will be available to nonprofits in 2020. The first of two rounds being offered for 2020 opens on January 13, 2020 and closes on February 7, 2020. 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 nearly $18 million in grants in 2019 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.