Two Northside organizations earn grants to benefit community

At nonprofit organizations around the city, staff members look forward to the end of the year in hopes of landing grants from philanthropic institutions. The number and size of awards won can dictate service levels in the next year and beyond.

For at least two Northside organizations, the late fall yielded significant Bush Foundation grants likely to sustain—and potentially increase—the impact of their work.

Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ)

The Northside Achievement Zone is a nonprofit dedicated to closing student achievement gaps and ending multi-generational poverty persistent in large parts of North Minneapolis. Specifically, the organization works in a 13- by-18-block area federally designated as a “Racially Concentrated Area of Poverty” (the Zone).

Education and job training services are both important aspects of the work NAZ does, but additional engagement services help support parents and children in their development. Family achievement coaches, academic specialists, and wraparound-support personnel all play crucial roles in the nonprofit’s work.

Also critical to the organization’s success: strong community ties. The nonprofit strives to create integrated support networks for each family in the Zone. Parents gain the support and skills they need to address evolving goals as they lead themselves and their families out of poverty. Emphasizing persistence and accountability, NAZ has achieved great results.

Recognizing the successful formula of NAZ, the Bush Foundation has awarded the organization $500,000 as part of its 2016 Bush Prize for Community Innovation Awards. Northside Achievement Zone is one of six organizations winning grants in recognition of their ability to implement inclusive, collaborative, and innovative solutions to community challenges.

NAZ has also won a grant award of $120,000 from Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children. The foundation awarded 18 grants this year to schools and nonprofit organizations throughout the metro area. NAZ winning an award reflects its ability to educate low-income children and students of color through neighborhood-based initiatives that provide wraparound support.

For info visit, call 612-521-4405 or stop by 2123 West Broadway Avenue #100 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

EMERGE Community Development

EMERGE Community Development provides a wide range of services that help create economic opportunity in North Minneapolis as well as the Cedar Riverside community. Core to their mission is connecting people to housing, employment and other social services. More than 2,500 people benefit from this work each year.

Part of EMERGE operations are four social enterprises that give people a chance to strengthen job skills through temporary employment opportunities. This model helps the organization to better address the needs of people facing multiple barriers to employment, including lack of transportation, childcare costs, limited education or a criminal background.

The Career and Technology Center in North Minneapolis gives people access to job coaches and workforce development resources while also serving as a community gathering space. The goal of opening the center: infuse economic activity into an area of the city historically and economically distressed. The technology center has become a vital job-training pathway for Northside residents.

Another unique program offered by is EMERGE is RESTORE. This job training initiative is tailored to the needs of formerly incarcerated men. Most participants have a criminal record of repeat, low-level offenses and limited work history. Staff members help men to prepare resumes, practice interviewing skills and search for jobs. Roughly half of the men in the RESTORE program were employed after release.

Lauding the success and innovation of EMERGE programming, the Bush Foundation has awarded the organization a grant of $500,000. EMERGE will receive a Bush Foundation package that includes promotional opportunities, and an unrestricted grant equal to 25 percent of the nonprofit’s prior fiscal year budget, up to a half million dollars.

For info visit, call 612-529-9267 or stop by 1101 West Broadway.

“Each year we lift up and invest in some of the region’s most outstanding problem solving organizations,” said Bush President Jennifer Ford Reedy, “I hope people will get to know the newest Bush Prize winners and how they’re transforming the region.”