Small Grants

United Way of Southwest Minnesota (UWSWMN) unites people and resources to improve lives and strengthen communities in southwest Minnesota. As part of our grant funding portfolio, UWSWMN has set aside $20,000 for use during the 2020-21 fiscal year (July 1 through June 30) to provide small grants to eligible nonprofit organizations in our service area.  The intent of the Small Grant Program is to provide a small, one-time grant to support a NEW community project, program or initiative that aligns with the UWSWMN Community Impact Priorities.

The Small Grants Program is an outreach of the Community Impact funding process. One-time grants, up to $5,000 can be awarded to requests that align with at least one of the UWSWMN priority areas and meet all funding guidelines. Deadlines to submit applications during this fiscal year will be 4:00 p.m. on Friday, January 29, 2021.

UWSWMN Small Grant Program can be used for new projects such as:

  • Program work including planning, training and/or development.
  • Organizational capacity building including strategic planning, governance and other types of organizational planning and/or development activities.
  • Community and/or human service work that includes volunteer participation.
  • Emerging or unmet needs and/or to support innovative solutions to local issues.

CLICK HERE for examples of programs awarded Small Grant funding in the past couple years.

GRANT WORKSHOPS ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED for new applicants interested in applying for a Small Grant.  The workshop will review the application requirements and process, etc.  Workshop(s) will be held virtually.  If you plan to attend, RSVP is required via email (  Log-in details for the workshop will be sent to all registered email addresses.  The next workshop is scheduled as follows:


Small Grant applications will be reviewed by a team of trained, local volunteers who will make recommendations regarding funding to the UWSWMN Board of Directors.  


As indicated above, programs/organizations applying for a Small Grant must meet specific guidelines, eligibility requirements, operating guidelines, etc. in order to be considered for funding.  It is strongly recommended that anyone considering applying for a Small Grant review the following information in detail prior to starting their grant application to ensure that they qualify and meet all requirements.

1.  SMALL GRANT GUIDELINES.  This includes:  statement of purpose; allowable uses of funding; funding guidelines; eligibility requirements; and operating guidelines.
2.  SERVICE AREA.  Funds awarded by UWSWMN can only be used to fund programs that serve individuals living in our service area.
3.  COMMUNITY IMPACT PRIORITIES.  Funds awarded by UWSWMN can only be used to fund programs that fit within at least one of the UWSWMN Community Impact Priority areas.
4.  SCORING MATRIX.  A panel of volunteers will review each submitted application that meets all guidelines and will score it based on the areas noted in this matrix.
5.  SAMPLE PARTNERSHIP AGREEMENT.  Any program that is awarded funding will be required to sign this agreement and adhere to its contents.   Note: The details of this agreement are subject to change. 

CLICK HERE to access the application.