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The Minneapolis Foundation Awards $250,000 in Grants to Support Local Action on Climate Change

The Minneapolis Climate Action and Racial Equity Fund announced $250,000 in grants to six organizations that are doing innovative work to take local action on climate change.

The charitable fund, a partnership between the City of Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Foundation and the McKnight Foundation, awarded these grants:

  • $50,000 to Community Members for Environmental Justice for a project that will bring neighbors together to share knowledge and make plans about emergency preparedness and environmental justice issues and solutions in North Minneapolis.
  • $25,000 to MN Renewables Now for a program to offer rooftop solar power systems to properties on the near Northside of Minneapolis, and to flip their ownership to the property owners.
  • $50,000 to Native Sun, a native-led nonprofit that promotes energy efficiency, renewable energy, and an equitable energy transition through education, workforce training, and demonstration. This grant will fund a Fellow to support an energy infrastructure and resilience initiative that is budding in the Little Earth community of Minneapolis.
  • $50,000 to Pillsbury United Communities for an urban agriculture system that is making a positive environmental impact and producing healthy, neighborhood-grown food. Now entering its fifth season, Pillsbury United Farms and its practice of regenerative farming is rehabilitating the land in Minneapolis’ Green Zone neighborhoods, lessening the impacts of climate change on BIPOC communities, and authentically engaging the community in climate solutions.
  • $50,000 to Project Sweetie Pie for its Northside Safety N.E.T. (Neighborhoods Empowering Teens) initiative. The partners in this collaborative will develop and implement a training program for youth of color, ages 16-24, in North Minneapolis. Young people in the program will gain experience with the environmental justice movement, community service, urban farming, leadership, and more.
  • $25,000 to the Sabathani Community Center for an energy conservation and solar planning project. This project, which marks the beginning of a partnership with the Center for Energy and the Environment, will enable the South Minneapolis community center to start planning for a large-scale redesign and upgrade of its antiquated, inefficient, and expensive energy systems.

Overall, the Fund received requests for $930,000 from 26 applications in 2020. A committee comprised of six community members from the City of Minneapolis’ North and Southside Green Zones, along with members of the Minneapolis Racial Equity Community Advisory Committee, joined six representatives from the City of Minneapolis, the McKnight Foundation, and the Minneapolis Foundation to evaluate applications.

The fund offers grants for place-based, community-driven initiatives and projects that result in a demonstrable reduction in local greenhouse gas emissions. Funding supports proposals that further one or more goals of the Minneapolis Climate Action Plan, which include:

  • Increasing energy efficiency
  • Encouraging the use of renewable energy
  • Reducing vehicle miles traveled
  • Promoting efforts to recycle, reuse and otherwise reduce the community’s waste stream

Funded projects should also advance the City of Minneapolis’ Strategic Racial Equity Action Plan, a four-year plan to embed racial equity principles throughout the city’s work.

The timing of the fund’s next grant round will be determined soon. Sign up to receive email updates from the Minneapolis Foundation about grant opportunities. Businesses and members of the public can contribute to the fund by texting CLIMATEMPLS to 243725, or by going to

Previous Announcements

Topic: Diversity Equity & Inclusion, Midwest Climate & Energy

December 2020