Grant Selection Criteria

Community Innovation Grants

Grant Selection Criteria


We will use the following criteria and considerations to determine what proposals best fit the program as we make funding decisions:


Fit with Community Innovation Grant Program

Does the project use inclusive, collaborative, and resourceful processes to pursue an innovative solution to a community challenge?


      • Inclusive: meaningfully engaging key stakeholders – thoughtfully identifying those needed to create the intended change and, whenever possible, including those directly affected by the problem.
      • Collaborative: a true joint effort, with partners willing to share ownership and decision-making as they pursue an innovation together.
      • Resourceful: using existing resources and assets creatively to make the most of what a community already has.


Is the process likely to lead to a community innovation – a breakthrough in addressing a community need that is more effective, equitable, or sustainable than existing approaches?



      • Is the project plan thoughtful, realistic, and does it address the identified community need?
      • Does the applicant have the capacity to execute the work effectively or have a plan to meet the needed capacity?



      • Is the project likely to make a significant, sustainable difference, now or in the future?
      • Will the project inspire or inform others?


Additional Considerations

We will seek a portfolio of Community Innovation grantees with balance across:

      • Size of community
      • Size of grant request
      • Demographics of communities served
      • Type of issue addressed


Consensus Council and the Bush Foundation are committed to addressing racial and economic disparities. At least 50% of Community Innovation grants will be given to projects that address these disparities. For the purposes of this grant program, we define this as proposals that seek to actively reduce structural and/or systemic gaps in access, outcomes, opportunities, or treatment based on race/ethnicity or economic standing.

Minimum Requirements


          1. Grants must be used for a charitable purpose.
          2. Only organizations, not individuals, are eligible. These organizations must be 501(c)(3) public charities or government entities (including schools). Groups of organizations (such as coalitions or collaborative groups) are eligible to apply, but only one organization may receive the grant.
          3. Consensus Council accepts Community Innovation grant applications from fiscal sponsors. The fiscal sponsor organization must be the applicant organization and submit the grant application. Upon approval, the fiscal sponsor organization would become the grantee and receive the requested grant funds.
          4. Grants must be used for projects located in North Dakota or the Native nations that share the same geography.


Learn more about program basics and how to apply, or read the Community Innovation grant overview.