Attention: Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund (NERF) Now Available

In the wake of COVID-19, the Greater Poweshiek Community Foundation, in conjunction with the Claude W. and Dolly Ahrens Foundation, Grinnell College, Grinnell United Way and Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance have established the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund (NERF) with intent to ease the challenge faced by Grinnell area nonprofits due to the novel coronavirus public health emergency.

Qualifying organizations may submit a request of up to $3,000 for consideration. Requests will be reviewed by a committee on a rolling basis.

The Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund provides grant funding in the form of operational, programmatic, and equipment support for Poweshiek County nonprofit organizations and public entities who are negatively affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Apply Now for the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund

Mellon Public Humanities Grant Funding

Are you considering a project that could connect campus and community through the humanities? Limited funds are available that could help your project reach more people in new ways.  To learn more, visit Mellon Public Humanities.

Mini-Grant Program

Due to the coronavirus health pandemic, the 2020–21 Mini-Grant Program has been paused for the next academic year. Please check back in the summer of 2021 for 2021–22 program status updates. 


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. Please note if your request is directly related to COVID-19, complete the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund online application..


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 and Engagement in conjunction with an advisory committee composed of faculty, staff, local Grinnell area students, and members of the broader Grinnell community.

  • Donnette Ellis, Program Coordinator, Community Enhancement and 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, Independent
  • Vrinda Varia, Intercultural Student Support Advisor, Student Affairs

Past Awards

Mini-Grant History Through 2020

To Apply

For COVID-19 related requests, complete the Nonprofit Emergency Relief Fund online application.

Due to the coronavirus health pandemic, the 2020–21 Mini-Grant Program has been paused for the next academic year.  Please check back in the summer of 2021 for 2021–22 program status updates.

Application Timing

Two cycles of mini-grants will again be offered in the 2021–22 academic year. 

Cycle 1 — Paused until 202122.

Cycle 2 — Paused until 202122.


All grant recipients will be required to:

  • meet with the Office of Community Enhancement and 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 and Engagement at 641-269-3900.

We use cookies to enable essential services and functionality on our site, enhance your user experience, provide better service through personalized content, collect data on how visitors interact with our site, and enable advertising services.

To accept the use of cookies and continue on to the site, click "I Agree." For more information about our use of cookies and how to opt out, please refer to our website privacy policy.