In the old days (pre-Gates), community foundations were often the nonprofit incubators in their neighborhoods, supporting the most creative and sometimes riskiest new things to come along. In the Jim Shannon and Tom Beech days of the Minneapolis Foundation, the organization was often the most enthusiastic supporter of groups no one had ever heard of.
Fundraising pressures and new standards in institutional philanthropy drew major funders (including community foundations) toward larger and more traditional grantees, however.
But recently, the Minneapolis Foundation announced its final round of Micro Grants intended to address community trauma and promote wellness. The first round of these small grants ($2,000 to $5,000) has gone mostly to smaller, newish, less traditional groups for creative community-making.
Great work, Chanda and all, at the Foundation. Welcome back to a golden era of community foundations, when re-engaging with tiny new organizations was a perilous, but hugely, important (and satisfying) part of your work