Catalyzing New Resources



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:

  1. leverage additional funding,
  2. demonstrate collaborative partnerships in the community,
  3. build organizational and financial capacity,
  4. improve over what has been done in the past,
  5. show commitment that the desired results will be achieved,  and
  6. 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
  • 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.

2017-2018 Mini-Grant Review Committee Members

  • Sarah Smith, Coordinator - Community Enhancement & Engagement
  • Barb Baker - Advertising and Community Relations Director, Grinnell Mutual Reinsurance Company
  • Sarah Fischer - Director of Admission
  • Beth Gallegos - Assistant Director of Student Health and Counseling Services
  • Lily Hamilton ’19 and Grinnell High School ’15 - Student
  • Mark Kolpin - Financial Advisor, Edward Jones
  • Celeste Miller- Assistant Professor of Theatre
  • Jonathan Rebelsky ’20 and Grinnell High School ’16 - Student
  • Steve Sieck - Associate Professor of Chemistry

Past Awards

Mini-Grant History Through 2017

To Apply

  1. The 2017-18 Mini-Grant Application process is open. Download the application at 2017-2018 Mini-Grant Application.

    To request a paper application, contact: Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement, Grinnell College, Old Glove Factory, 733 Broad 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, Old Glove Factory, 733 Broad Street, Grinnell, IA 50112

Application Timing

Based on feedback from the community and non-profit organizations, two cycles of mini-grants will be offered in the 2017-2018 academic year. With many grants in the county due at the same time, this new 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, September 29, 2017. Awards will be announced by Friday, November 17, 2017.

Cycle 2 — Applications must be received by Friday, April 6, 2018. Awards will be announced by Friday, May 18, 2018.


All grant recipients will be required to 1) meet with the Office of Community Enhancement & Engagement regarding the progress of the project and 2) 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.