Overview of downtown St. Paul, MN at sunrise

A Family foundation Helping Non-Profits in the twin cities area

A Family foundation Helping Non-Profits in the twin cities area

The Athwin Foundation funds organizations that provide services in the areas of Arts and Humanities, Education, Human Services, Environmental Enhancement, Organization Capacity Building and whose missions are complementary to the interests of the Trustees.

Athwin puts a priority on funding organizations rather than specific programs.  Therefore, resources are directed to funded organizations in the form of general operating support.  This policy clearly takes into account the need for strong and effective programs; however, the policy also reflects the belief that strong and effective governing boards and executive directors are best positioned to determine how resources are to be utilized at the organization level.

Athwin does not make multiple year grants; however, funding is continued on an annual basis for some organizations.  This leaves limited opportunity for new funding.

Choosing Recipients

Choosing Recipients

The Foundation and COD initiate communication with those organizations that they select for potential funding.  With very limited exception, this communication takes place during the first half of the calendar year.  No letters of inquiry are requested.

All organizations receiving notification for potential funding will be asked to complete an application process as outlined in the Calendar/Timetable and How to Submit Request sections of this site.

The Athwin Foundation is open to initial inquiries and introductions—email preferred—from those organizations that it has not funded in the past.  A very limited number of inquiries may result in funding from the Athwin Foundation.  Priority is placed on small organizations and/or organizations in Greater Minnesota.


roles and responsibilities

roles and responsibilities
Foundation Responsibilities


  • Respond to inquiries from organizations that meet the funding criteria.
  • Select for review those organizations that have a strong potential for funding from the Foundation.
  • Make funding decisions based on stated criteria and avoid conflict of interest in the decision-making process.
  • Provide timely information and feedback to all organizations requesting funds from the Foundation.
  • Respect confidentiality with regard to organizations' information.
  • Work in partnership with its funded organizations.
  • Remain open to feedback that will result in better service.

Selected Organization:

  • Review all information on this website.
  • Follow all guidelines and submit the requested material by the date identified for the application.
  • Notify the Foundation of significant changes that have or are taking place that will have an impact on funding decisions.
  • Ask for clarification at any point in the process
  • Acknowledge receipt of contributions.
  • Notify the Foundation of the date and place of the annual meeting.

grant calendar & timetable

grant calendar & timetable
April 15 Application guidelines will be sent to invited organizations
May 15 Deadline for return of applications
June Athwin Trustees make awards
July - September Organizations that have not been funded in prior years are free to make contact with the Foundation through COD
October 15 Organizations will be invited to submit applications for end-of-year grants
November 1 Application guidelines will be sent to invited organizations
November 15 Deadline for return of applications
December Athwin Trustees make awards

grant application information

grant application information
engaged board of directors

Primary Criteria for Consideration:

  • An engaged board of directors whose members demonstrate their commitment to the organization by participating in board meetings and focusing on board-appropriate tasks that enhance the mission of the organization.
  • Strong executive leadership as demonstrated by working in partnership with the board of directors to meet the organization's mission.
  • Need for, and demonstrated, effectiveness of its programs in meeting identified goals.
  • The geographic area in which services are delivered — primary focus on Minnesota.
  • Adherence to application guidelines established by the Athwin Foundation.
  • Quality of application materials.
  • Areas of Service provided (See Background Information).
  • Completion, or planned completion, of an organizational assessment process, such as the Accountability Wizard offered by the Minnesota Charities Review Council.

Those invited by the organization will be directed with an application file that typically will ask for:

  • Introductory Cover letter
  • Response to our questions for application. This is usually 3 or 4 pages long
  • The organizations’ IRS Form 990 tax return for latest year available.

grant partners update

grant partners update


Mobile Hope is an organization of individuals invested in seeing mobile home communities, and the families that live there, respected and empowered to achieve their goals.

We focus on often overlooked and under-served mobile home communities.
We currently provide services in Corcoran and Dayton, MN.

Mobile Hope helps residents by developing a relationship with the owners of the mobile home communities, as well as building a network of partners, donors and volunteers to come alongside these communities and provide the support and service they need to be successful.

All Square…Neon lights & Civil Rights

All Square is a nonprofit social enterprise that invests in people impacted by mass incarceration. Our mission is to heal the harms created by the criminal legal system by changing the way criminal records are used and viewed.

We work humbly and unapologetically to channel resources to people who, by virtue of their criminal record or active incarceration, face significant barriers to freedom.

Wildlife Rehabilitation Center

WRC was founded at the University of Minnesota in 1979 as a student club of the Veterinary College.  From those humble beginnings of just a few dozen animals admitted each year, WRC has grown into the world’s busiest wildlife hospital, admitting more than 18,000 patients annually.  We are know worldwide for our work with lead toxicity in Trumpter Swans and turtle shell repair.

Approximately 200 different specials will come through our door this year.  They are support by a year-round staff of 35, 17 of which are on our medical team.  During summer, WRC adds some 12 season staff to manage the interns and 500 volunteers to provide daily care to WRC’s patients.