Update from the Foundation

2020 Emergency Response Initiative

This spring, the Butler Family Foundation accelerated 2020 Community Grant payments and allocated an additional $5 million for pandemic response grants through 2021. Over the summer, the Foundation granted $1.4 million in Emergency Response Grants to help 50 organizations stabilize operations and respond to emerging community needs.
In early October, our Board of Trustees awarded seven additional Emergency Response Initiative grants to address direct services and basic needs for communities most impacted by the pandemic. Those grants are as follows:
  • $150,000 to Amherst H. Wilder Foundation for eviction prevention in the East Metro
  • $150,000 to Catholic Charities of Saint Paul and Minneapolis for core operations during the pandemic
  • $150,000 to CLUES: Comunidades Latinas Unidas en Servicio for critical services to Latinos during the COVID-19 Pandemic
  • $150,000 to People Serving People for pandemic emergency response
  • $150,000 to Saint Stephen’s Human Services for the Street Outreach Program
  • $100,000 to Second Harvest Heartland for the Minnesota Central Kitchen
  • $150,000 to The Link for emerging and critical needs during the pandemic

    2021 Human Services Community Grants

    The Butler Family Foundation’s 2021 Human Services Community grant round will open December 1, 2020. The application closes April 1, 2021, with funding decisions in early October. We anticipate stable funding levels for 2021 Community Grants.

    2021 Emergency Response Initiative

    To address continued impacts from the ongoing pandemic, the Foundation will continue pandemic response grantmaking in 2021 through Operations Support Grants and Emergency Response Initiative Grants.

    Operations Support Grants

    Current grantees facing ongoing expense increases and/or funding shortages due to the pandemic will have the opportunity to request up to $20,000 in additional operations funds for 2021. These funds will be awarded in the spring.
    • Human Services Community Grantees have the opportunity to request these funds through the 2021 Community Grants application process. The Community Grant reapplication deadline is April 1, 2021.
    • Arts and Environment Community Grantees can request operation support funds by submitting an early grant report by April 1, 2021. We’ll send email reminders with a link to the report form before the deadline.
    • Invited Grantees will be assessed for eligibility through their standard grant review process.

    Emergency Response Initiative Grants

    The Foundation will award an additional set of Emergency Response Initiative Grants at its spring 2021 meeting. These grants will address pressing community needs due to the pandemic in areas of key interest to the Foundation. Application will be by invitation only.

    2021 Special Projects

    The Foundation’s Special Project Grants Program will resume with one round in 2021. A letter-of-intent process for current grantees will open April 1. Trustees will select finalists to apply for project funding and award grants in fall 2021. Eligible projects fit into the categories of capital campaigns, program expansions, or systems change. 2021 Special Projects Grants will not be restricted to pandemic response activities.
    Applicants are strongly encouraged to schedule a conversation with Robert Hybben and JoAnne Peters before submitting a Special Projects letter of intent.

    Moving Forward

    As always, we look to our grantee partners to help us understand community needs. Feel free to reach out to share an update or insight you think could help guide our pandemic response grantmaking. We’re also here to answer questions about our grantmaking programs and processes. Please email JoAnne Peters or Robert Hybben with any comments.