Logos of headwaters Foundation, Strengthen ND and South Dakota Community Foundation

Announcing our New Grant Program Partners

January 25, 2022

Last year, we announced our goal to share more power in our grantmaking by providing more grants through community-rooted partners. We issued an open call to find organizations that could bring strong leadership and a deep understanding of their communities.
Today, we are excited to share that Headwaters Foundation for Justice, South Dakota Community Foundation and Strengthen ND will serve as our partners to design and operate community-based grant programs.

These partners will work closely with their communities to design the grant programs and to make grant decisions. Each program may be different, but each will reflect the Bush Foundation’s purpose — and the purpose of our Community Innovation program — to develop, test and spread ideas that make the region better for everyone and to inspire, equip and connect leaders to more effectively lead equitable change.
We expect these programs to open for applications from organizations later this year.
Headwaters Foundation, South Dakota Community Foundation and Strengthen ND were selected because of their deep connections to the communities and people they serve. They bring experience creating grantmaking programs and with community-based selection processes. Each one also shares our commitment to equity and to designing programs that work well for organizations led by and serving BIPOC and rural populations.
Shifting from the way we previously worked with intermediary partners to this new approach allows for more flexibility and local ownership. We believe this change will help get funding to more communities and organizations to inspire and support creative problem solving. Our new partners will offer place-based support in each state in our region, adding to the funding the Bush Foundation offers directly across the entire region.

Headwaters Foundation will serve communities in Minnesota, South Dakota Community Foundation will lead the program in its state and Strengthen ND will focus on North Dakota. Organizations in each state and the Native nations within them will be able to apply for support when the programs open later this year. Stay informed about when the programs will open for applications by signing up for our partners’ newsletters on the homepages of their websites.

A fourth partner focused on serving Native communities will be announced in the coming months, as will plans for the future of the Bush Prize.
This community-based grant program for organizations complements our recently announced community trust funds, which will distribute grants to individuals to address racial wealth gaps through programs designed by Nexus Community Partners and NDN Collective.
We look forward to partnering with all of these organizations to support the visions and dreams that individuals and organizations have for themselves, their families and their communities.


If you are looking for an open grant program, consider applying for a Community Innovation grant.