Rapid City, SD at night

Bush Prize: Native Nations, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota

2024 applications closed on May 31

Contact program partners for info

About the Bush Prize

The Bush Prize celebrates organizations that are highly valued within their communities and have a track record of successful community problem solving.

We offer this program in partnership with four community grant partners that are also known and valued in their communities. Our partners include:

Each partner operates the Bush Prize using similar criteria and has the flexibility to ensure that the program is guided by community members with equity at the center. The four partners (with Bush Foundation in an advisory role) select and announce the Bush Prize winners, as well as provide any support along the way. 

Bush Prize grants are flexible and can be used to build reserves, test a big idea or for anything else that would best support the organization's ongoing good work. The grant amounts are up to 25% of an organization’s most recent fiscal year expenses, with a maximum of $500,000.

If you have questions about the Bush Prize, please use the links above to contact each community grant partner directly. 

All four Bush Prize applications are now open. Applications will remain open from April 1 through May 31. Use the above links for each partner to get more information and apply for the Prize in your area. 

2023 Bush Prize Winners

woman sitting and smiling in chair looking slightly off camera

Ministry on the Margins is committed to supporting those who fall through the cracks during times of transition through inclusive hospitality and a space of welcoming, direct service and case management, and resourceful community-based partnerships. Ministry on the Margins was selected for its track record of innovation with small and large interventions, service pipeline development, and behavioral health adaptations. Their work is driven and influenced by the needs of homeless individuals, the law enforcement community, elected leadership, service providers (including public health), and the faith community.

man sitting in a chair looking slightly off camera

The New Rockford Area Betterment Corporation (NRABC) actively promotes community and economic development by bravely tackling issues most relevant to rural and remote communities. NRABC was selected based on its track record of innovation and its exemplification of being an organization with a culture of innovation.

Visit Strengthen ND for details about the application process, criteria and more detailed timelines.

people stand around table counting produce

Dream of Wild Health (DHW) was founded in 1986. DHW’s mission is to restore health and well-being in the Native community by recovering knowledge of and access to healthy Indigenous foods, medicines and lifeways. With this Bush Prize grant, their dream is to grow the number of Indigenous farmers in the region, expand and deepen youth programming, and model a regenerative relationship with the land that adapts to and mitigates climate change.

mural of native man with headress appears on concrete wall beneath bridge with protest sign on it, reading "native lives matter"

Little Earth Resident Association (LERA) was founded in 1973. LERA’s mission is to empower residents by creating a culturally strong, supportive, healthy and unified Little Earth community. With this Bush Prize grant, their dream is to deepen mission impact by increasing Native homeownership, generational knowledge, and wealth.

Visit Good Relatives Collaborative for details about the application process, criteria and more detailed timelines.

group of people posing together

Black Hills Special Services Cooperative (BHSSC) practices innovative and collaborative processes in a number of ways in their work with schools and families across South Dakota, providing specialized educational services and resources to cater to the unique learning needs of students and families in the Black Hills region and across the state. BHSSC is a champion for community-led education, acting collaboratively as a liaison between schools and government policies.

group of people pose together holding an award

Lost&Found advocates for mental health awareness and provides resources for individuals facing mental health challenges, reducing stigma and connecting people with vital support. Lost&Found was formed by high school students and has focused their efforts on the target demographic of 15-34 years old. Lost&Found demonstrates innovation through their data-driven and collaborative work with colleges across South Dakota, which has included developing and deploying a Campus Resilience Index as a planning tool, guiding a student-to-student mentorship program, and currently developing a mobile app as a peer support tool for the digital age. In addition to internal practices that promote leadership and innovation internally, Lost&Found has already made an impact in driving messaging for mental health awareness across South Dakota.

Visit South Dakota Community Foundation for details about the application process, criteria and more detailed timelines.

two actors sit together on a stage holding hands and touching foreheads

New Native Theatre is a theater company by and for indigenous people that is decolonizing the theater ecosystem. They exemplify the values of inclusivity and resourcefulness by being deeply grounded in the skills of their community of artists. By disrupting old narratives and incorporating a holistic and human-centered approach to theater, New Native Theater is transforming theater and creating abundance and visibility for Native people.

group of women pose for photo

Ayada Leads is an organization that fosters an environment of leadership for African diaspora women in the Twin Cities. Their innovative approach builds a loving and inclusive community where African diaspora women feel a deep sense of belonging. Through innovative civic engagement strategies, leadership development, and demystification of the process of running for office, Ayada Leads is building a multi-racial democracy.

people sit in chairs with a person at the front of the room teaching a class

Our Justice is a reproductive justice organization and abortion fund that provides direct financial and logistical support for people seeking abortion care throughout Minnesota. Their innovative approach is rooted in their deep commitment to building caring relationships with abortion-seekers, working closely with healthcare clinics, and engaging in bold legal and policy advocacy. They center reproductive justice as a core value and exemplify a culture of radical care for their clients, collaborative partners, and staff.

people march together holding pickets signs for workers rights

Restaurant Opportunities Center-MN is a worker justice center that builds racial and economic justice through holistic organizing of restaurant workers. Using an innovative “snowflake model” approach, ROC is building collective power across an industry often characterized by inequities and divisions. Because of ROC-MN’s work, the Twin Cities has more dignified workplaces and more workers with the knowledge and skills to build a better world by working collectively.

Visit Headwaters Foundation for Justice for details about the 2023 winners.

Please visit the St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation website for information about the 2024 application process, criteria and timeline for Bush Prize: Minnesota.

Bush Prize through the years

Previously known as the Bush Prize for Community Innovation, the Bush Prize was introduced in 2012 to invest in extraordinary organizations that have demonstrated achievement and have amazing capacity to do more for our region.

When we upped our commitment to share more power in our grantmaking, we adapted the Bush Prize to share the design and operations of the program with community-based partners across the region. 

One of our early community grant partners, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, led implementation of the 2023 Bush Prize: Minnesota. That Minnesota program has transitioned to the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.  

Today, the heart of the program remains the same and reflects our belief in working beyond ourselves