Community. For Good.

The Mankato Area Foundation connects philanthropic interests with community needs. We serve as a leader and resource to enrich the quality of life in Greater Mankato through our well-defined and effective grant making. We also serve as a resource for area nonprofit groups to help them address their primary issues.

Semi-annually, the Foundation makes grants from its Community Fund in response to applications received from the community. As part of the framework for our community granting, Mankato Area Foundation funds projects and programs that foster livability in the Mankato area. To achieve the goal of enriching the livability and vibrancy of our community, we provide philanthropic grants in four key focus areas.

In addition, the Mankato Area Foundation distributes grants from designated and donor advised funds established by donors who either wish to advise the Foundation on grants from their funds or who wish their funds to be distributed to a specific organization or purpose. In this way, donors can ensure that their personal fields of interest are supported.


Arts & Culture
Projects that enrich or strengthen infrastructure and opportunities for arts and culture offerings in Mankato area communities.

Recreational activities or visible and useful enhancements to area parks that will benefit people in the Mankato area.

Education & Community Development
Programs, projects or initiatives that educate area citizens of any age in ways that help shape the Mankato area.

Landscaping, restoration, remodeling, or other improvements to a community site that will enhance the Mankato area.

Get Started

Thank you for your interest in applying for a Community Grant at the Mankato Area Foundation! The work of area nonprofits like your own is critical to improving the livability of our community. Before applying for a grant, please review our Core Funding Areas and What We Fund to ensure that your organization’s work aligns with the goals of the Foundation. We also encourage you to talk to our Project Manager to discuss your ideas before applying. Please call us if you’d like to have a brief conversation.


As a community foundation, Mankato Area Foundation (MAF) grants bring together projects in need of financial assistance and resources provided by people who are interested in charitable giving to their community. The assets of the Mankato Area Foundation are held in many separate funds, several of which support the general Community Fund Grants that are reviewed and selected by the Foundation. Donor advised funds have specific purposes and do not usually accept unsolicited applications, although they may partner with the MAF Board to support Community Fund requests.

What Community Fund Grants will support:

  • The Mankato Area Foundation focuses its Community Fund Grants within the Independent School District #77 geographic boundaries (Mankato, North Mankato, Eagle Lake and Madison Lake).
  • Projects must fit the MAF mission and funding priorities: Education & Community Development, Arts & Culture, Recreation and Aesthetics.
  • Projects must be visible, available to a large portion of the public and have a lasting positive impact.
  • Funds can only be awarded to non-profit organizations or project committees that are tax exempt under section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS Code.

What Community Fund Grants do not support:

  • Operating/recurring expenses or advertising of special events.
  • Any project activity or event that will be completed before MAF funds are awarded (two calendar months after the deadline).
  • More than one grant per year to any given organization.
  • Organizations that practice discrimination by race, creed, gender, disability condition, sexual preference or national origin.
  • Political activities or organizations.
  • Religious organizations for sectarian purposes.
  • Fraternal, veteran or labor groups for activities serving only their membership.
  • Individuals.
  • Organizations serving populations primarily outside the Greater Mankato area.

MAF Deadlines

Community Fund Grants: April 1 and October 1

Donor Advised Funds: No unsolicited applications
Ready to apply for a grant online?
Start Here

Want to learn more about this online tool?
Download Applicant Tutorial

For more information contact:
Sarah Beiswanger
Projects or organizations receiving funding will be required to submit the MAF Final Report Form within 30 days of completion of the project or at the completion date listed on the application (whichever comes first). The final report must also provide samples of marketing materials that acknowledge the MAF contribution.

Download a MAF Final Report Form

For more information contact:
Sarah Beiswanger

Recent Grants

2016 Community Fund Grants


The Miracle League of North Mankato
Fallenstein Playground, $60,000

Kiwanis Holiday Lights
Sibley Park Red Barn Completion, $40,000

Gustavus Adolphus College
Nobel Conference High School Outreach, $10,000

Mankato Symphony Orchestra
Rockin’ Fourth of July Free Community Concert, $5,000

South Central College
Scholarships, $5,000

City Center Partnership
CityArt Flood Wall Mural, $6,000


Anthony Ford Fund
Spring Lake Park Outdoor Skating and Recreation Facility, $50,000

YWCA Mankato
Ready to Learn, $6,500

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Southern MN Regional Science and Engineering Fair, $5,000

South Central College
Beam+Robots, $3,990

Kato Public Charter School
Artist in Residence, $2,400

City Center Partnership
CityArt Walking Sculpture Tour, $2,000


2015 Community Fund Grants


Blue Earth County Parks Department
Williams Nature Park Revitalization Project, $13,194

Children’s Museum of Southern Minnesota
Robotics Lab, $5,000

City Center Partnership
Arts and Historic District Enhancement Plan, $10,000

Feeding Our Communities Partners
BackPack Food Program Assembly Area Project, $3,000

Mankato Area Community Band/Lincoln Dramatic Play Group
Blue Earth County Courthouse Lawn Party and Concert, $1,100

Mankato Symphony Orchestra
Rockin’ Fourth at Riverfront Park, $7,500

Merely Players
Community Theater Infrastructure Improvements, $5,930

Royal Family KIDS
Camp Scholarships, $5,000

YWCA Mankato
Girls Programming, $5,500


Connecting Kids
Connecting Kids Outreach, $18,000

Twin Rivers Council for the Arts
Technology Upgrades to Online Community Calendar, $7,500

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Southern MN Regional Science and Engineering Fair, $5,000

Minnesota State University, Mankato
College of Science, Engineering, and Technology, $5,000

MRCI WorkSource
Arts Programming, $5,000

VINE Faith in Action
Hearing Technology for Education, $3,500

South Central Service Cooperative
Young Writers & Artist Conference, $1,500


2014 Community Fund Grants


VINE Faith in Action
Community Patio at the VINE Adult Community Center, $15,000

Connecting Kids
Connecting Kids Outreach, $10,000

Boy in Blue
Memorial Walkway Project, $5,000

The Miracle League of North Mankato
Transportation, $4,000

City Center Partnership
CityArt on the Go, $3,000

Mankato Symphony Orchestra
Rockin' Fourth of July Free Community Concert, $3,000

Mankato West High School
Mankato VEX Robotics, $2,300

Mankato Area Community Band/Lincoln Dramatic Play Group
Special Patriotic Concerts with Dramatic Scenes, $1,140


Minnesota State University, Mankato
Scholarships, $6,000

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Southern MN Regional Science and Engineering Fair, $6,000

Leisure Education for Exceptional People (LEEP)
Technology Upgrade, $5,000

Assistive Technology for Lending Library, $5,000

Junior Achievement of Greater Mankato
Program Support, $3,500

Maritime Heritage Minnesota
Blue Earth County Dugout Canoe, $1,521.67

Minnesota State University, Mankato
Formula SAE Project, $1,500

South Central Service Cooperative
Young Writers & Artists Conference, $1,500