Funding Priorities and Application Procedures
Twin Cities Grantmaking
The Jay and Rose Phillips Family Foundation of Minnesota concentrates its grantmaking on efforts that help people living in poverty attain economic stability. Our geographic focus is the seven-county metropolitan area including Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott and Washington Counties.
This strategic goal reinforces our founders’ core values and mission “to address the unmet human needs of individuals, families, and communities that have the least access to resources.” Our approach is four-fold: employment, housing, education, and transit.
What Poverty Means
We want to be clear what we mean when we use the word poverty. The “poverty line” is defined by the federal government to determine who receives its services. The figure reflects the minimum budget needed for a family to maintain a nutritious diet, according to standards set more than 40 years ago. It does not reflect the real costs of other basic necessities like transportation, housing, utilities, and child care.
Today, this definition is grossly inadequate and doesn’t take into account the thousands in our community who make up the working poor. Poverty is deeper, more debilitating, and more complex than any line can measure. It is the reality of making impossible choices every day. Do you buy food or take your child to the doctor? Do you pay rent or transit fees that get you to work? Understanding poverty goes beyond measuring budgets that meet basic needs. It also requires an understanding of the causes and impact of poverty—for individuals, families, and communities.
The kind of economic stability being promoted by the Foundation means more than having the resources necessary to put food on the table. It also means having a safe, affordable place to live and raise children, a support system of helpful people, the capacity to deal with life’s challenges, and the motivation and tools to strive for a better tomorrow. Economic stability brings greater choice and opportunity, more personal resilience, and brighter prospects for future prosperity.
Our Four Strategies
We know we can’t support every aspect of our four funding priorities, so we’ve selected a few targeted strategies that we believe maximize the impact of our limited resources. We’ll be looking for opportunities to leverage those resources—and to encourage systemic and policy change—to achieve even greater impact.
You will see as you visit each of the following funding priority pages that we employ a mix of opportunities for staff to intentionally engage with programs and partners that address our priority areas, as well as RFP’s and LOI’s for specific funding opportunities within each priority area. We’re always interested in finding out about projects or programs that align with our funding priorities. Feel free to contact one of our staff if you have questions or want to discuss how your work aligns with our interests.
- Employment - helping low-income individuals advance toward stable, living-wage careers.
- Housing - helping low-income individuals access quality affordable housing.
- Education - expanding access to high quality childcare for working families as well as helping high school students transition to post-secondary options.
- Transit - helping low-income individuals access affordable transportation.
for printable overview of our funding priorities.
In addition to our Twin Cities grantmaking, we make three other kinds of grants—trustee-directed grants, legacy grants, and anti-discrimination grants. All three grant programs are by invitation only.
No unsolicited proposals are accepted for these programs.
- Trustee-directed grants are made by the family board of trustees to meet the needs of their own communities here in Minnesota and in California.
- Legacy grants support a unique cluster of nonprofit organizations that have been central to our work for many years.
- Anti-discrimination grants combat discrimination in Minnesota in all its forms.