The Grinnell College Community Mini-Grant Program provides catalyst funding for small- to mid-scale off-campus projects to help Grinnell become a more attractive place to live, work, and study. Grants enhance the quality of life in our community by addressing issues of importance to the campus community and the community at large.

Grant Guidelines

Support Areas

Support focuses on promising initiatives that enhance the social and economic vitality of our community including cultural, recreational, and educational projects, those addressing human needs, and those enhancing the safety and beauty of our surroundings.

Preference will be given to proposals that:

  • leverage additional funding,
  • demonstrate collaborative partnerships in the community,
  • projects or organizations that have connections to the community of Grinnell,
  • build organizational and financial capacity,
  • improve over what has been done in the past,
  • show commitment that the desired results will be achieved, and
  • have promise of making long-term impact.

Grant Amounts

The Grinnell College Mini-Grant Program supports requests ranging from $1,000-$7,500. Smaller requests for support are considered throughout the year on a case-by-case basis through the Micro-Grant Program.


Generally, the mini-grant program does not support the following:

  • individuals
  • business ventures
  • non-governmental organizations without IRS 501(c)(3) tax exempt status
  • organizations that limit membership or services based on race, religion, color, creed, sex, sexual orientation, age, or national origin
  • requests for loans or debt retirements
  • reimbursement for projects that have already taken place or been completed
  • operating expenses or endowment funds for organizations
  • civic/labor/sorority/fraternal groups
  • political organizations
  • high school athletic programs that, due to NCAA regulations, Grinnell College is prohibited from funding — directly or through paid advertisements
  • projects or organizations with no connection to the community of Grinnell
  • projects that already have financial backing from Grinnell College
  • projects or organizations that might in any way pose a conflict with the mission, goals, or programs of Grinnell College

Review Committee

Applications will be reviewed by the Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement in conjunction with an advisory committee composed of faculty, staff, local Grinnell area students, and members of the broader Grinnell community.

2019–20 Mini-Grant Review Committee Members

  • Sarah Smith, Coordinator – Community Enhancement & Engagement
  • Donnette Ellis, Coordinator – Community Enhancement & Engagement
  • Taylor Brandt – Customer Relations Manager, Wes Finch Auto Plaza
  • Sarah Fischer – Director of Admission
  • Christopher Jones – Assistant Professor, Library; Special Collections Librarian and Archivist of the College
  • Shawn McKay – Vice President, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company
  • Jonathan Rebelsky ’20 and Grinnell High School ’16 – Student
  • Steve Sieck - Associate Professor of Chemistry
  • Robbie Shore ’22 and Grinnell High School ’18 – Student
  • Vrinda Varia – Intercultural Student Support Advisor, Student Affairs

Past Awards

Mini-Grant History Through 2019

To Apply

  1. The 2019–20 Mini-Grant Application process is open. Download the application to apply.

    To request a paper application, contact: Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement, Grinnell College, Goodnow Hall, 1118 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112, 641-269-3900

  2. Complete and sign your application.

    Applications need not be submitted on the application form itself, but if typed separately, you must answer all application questions and should not exceed one page (front and back). In addition to the written application, applications must include a project budget (not to exceed one page).

  3. Return completed application to:

    Mini-Grant Review Committee, Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement, Grinnell College, Goodnow Hall, 1118 Park Street, Grinnell, IA 50112

Application Timing

Based on feedback from the community and non-profit organizations, two cycles of mini-grants are offered in the 2019–20 academic year. With many grants in the county due at the same time, this schedule will allow grant applicants more opportunities for the development and funding of projects throughout the year.

Cycle 1 — Applications must be received by Friday, Nov. 1, 2019. Awards will be announced by Friday, Dec. 13, 2019.

Cycle 2 — Applications must be received by Friday, April 10, 2020. Awards will be announced by Friday, May 22, 2020.


All grant recipients will be required to:

  • meet with the Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement regarding the progress of the project and
  • present the project outcomes to the Mini-Grant Committee and the Grinnell College campus community.

For more information, please contact the Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement at 641-269-3900.

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