At Constellation, we believe that the best poverty-fighting solutions are those closest to the challenge, and work to identify and support the people and community partners having the biggest impacts.
How to Apply
Application & Funding Process
ISSUE AREA DRIVERS
At the early stage of our development, the Constellation Fund has identified the following four priority areas based on evidence and community-informed research.
- Early Childhood Education – Organizations that ensure kindergarten-readiness by providing or supplementing high-quality early childhood education and preschool.
- High School Graduation – Organizations that support low-income students to succeed in high school and achieve a diploma or high school equivalence.
- Higher Education – Organizations that support low-income students to access, enroll, and persist in post-secondary education or career-specific training.
Please note: The Constellation Fund is not currently reviewing applications from school districts, individual schools, or networks in the seven-county metro area, or requests for capital investments.
- Work skills and career readiness training – Organizations that train adults to be successful in long-term careers, in particular those that develop skills in high-demand industries and in partnership with employers.
- Support for women and people of color entrepreneurs – Organizations that provide financial or technical assistance to entrepreneurs from marginalized groups to create jobs in underserved communities.
- Support for people facing barriers to employment – Organizations that provide job training, placement programs, or other services for those who face employment barriers, such as displaced workers, immigrants, veterans, the formerly incarcerated, or those experiencing homelessness.
- Mental Health – Organizations that increase access to and improve the quality of mental health services for youth and adults.
- Chronic Diseases – Organizations that are working to prevent, manage, and improve health outcomes for those living with chronic diseases.
- Substance Use – Organizations providing a continuum of care to effectively address the needs of individuals affected by substance use and addiction.
- Preventive Care – Organizations that are increasing timely, equitable access to primary and preventive care for populations living below 185 percent of the federal poverty line and persons of color and Indigenous households.
- Maternal Health – Organizations providing services that improve health outcomes for populations living below 185 percent of the federal poverty line including young mothers and those experiencing high risk pregnancies.
Please note: The Constellation Fund is seeking applications from organizations and programs that address racial health disparities across our priority drivers.
- Homelessness Prevention – Organizations that provide homelessness prevention services for vulnerable populations.
- Supporting Housing Services – Supportive housing service providers working to improve participants’ housing stability and well-being.
- Cost Burdened Households – Organizations increasing rental housing opportunities for low-income cost burdened households. To be considered, rental opportunities must include some availability for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income.
- Culturally-Specific Housing – Organizations that provide culturally-specific housing where the majority of households earn less than 30 percent of area median income.
Please note: The Constellation Fund will not accept proposals from housing organizations that screen out tenants based on criminal history that does not show clear and present danger to property or tenants.
- Organizations must operate within one or more of the following counties in the seven-county Twin Cities region : Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, or Washington.
- Organizations must predominately serve those living below 185% of the federal poverty line in our community.
- A significant portion of the organization’s programs must address one or more of Constellation’s core poverty-fighting impact areas: education, housing, health, and employment.
- Constellation does not fund organizations that discriminate against people seeking either services or employment based on color, creed, national origin, marital status, familial status, public assistance status, race, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation, or physical disability.
- We do not currently fund organizations that focus on policy, advocacy, or organizing work.
- Constellation does not fund any capital projects, such as new buildings or facilities. Constellation also does not make grants to individuals or provide event sponsorships.
- For multi-service organizations with budgets over $10 million, we encourage outreach to Constellation staff to discuss proposals for programmatic or general operating funding.
- Constellation only provides one-year grants, but our intention is to build long-term relationships with our grantee partners.
- Organizations may apply only one time per year.
- Proven model that consistently leads to the stated impact on clients
- Organization guided by a clear vision and strategy
- Strategic partners in place that improve or accelerate goals/outcomes
- The board, executive director, and staff all have a shared understanding of core strategies to reach organizational goals
- Strategic plan used in daily decision making and serves as a management tool for measuring activities and outcomes
- Leadership is reflective, self-aware, and a strong external ambassador for the organization
- Leadership is able to execute on program vision and is willing to take a hard look at themselves and the organization to make changes
- Leadership is results-driven and committed to continuous improvement throughout the organization
- Team is built out to allow for appropriate use of time and expertise; staff reflects diversity of background and expertise
- Appropriately sized and diverse board with clear roles and responsibilities for board members and committees
- Board members provide sufficient oversight of financials and leadership
- Strong financial position and transparency in financial documents
- Clean, audited financial statements
- Positive annual net income
- Strong cash flow management
- Diversity of funding sources
- Will consider special circumstances for startups
To stay updated on our grantmaking, please fill out the contact form below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.