Austin Area Foundation accepting grant requests through September 1st

The Austin Area Foundation is accepting grant requests through September 1st for projects that support community needs and opportunities.

Nonprofits based in Austin can apply by mail to AAF or online via the foundation’s website for grants that typically range from $500 to $2,000.

Last year, AAF awarded $25,055 overall for 18 projects in the Austin community, bringing its total giving to more than $220,000 since its inception in 2003.

This year, AAF expects to award between $25,000 and $30,000 in grants to deserving, Austin-based nonprofit organizations for projects that benefit residents of the Austin community, AAF executive director Steve Barrett said.

Grants are awarded through AAF’s Austin Legacy Endowment Fund that is restricted to Austin-based organizations that are operated for charitable, educational or scientific purposes. In the past five years, AAF has awarded between $22,000 and $29,000 per year in community grants.

AAF, which does not fund multi-year projects, has an 18-member board of directors that reviews all grant applications and selects the funding recipients each year, board president Taggert Medgaarden said.

In 2020, AAF awarded $25,055 overall via 18 grants that supported a variety of community projects, including children’s studio art classes; Austin Symphony Orchestra; one-to-one tutoring for children of low-income families; a canoe-kayak access on Turtle Creek; Hot Meals on Wheels for elderly or people with disabilities; and the Salvation Army’s Feed a Family at Christmas.

A 501(c)(3) nonprofit, AAF builds charitable funds that support the community. With most of the foundation’s funds kept in permanent endowments, it ensures forever funding support for the good of Austin, Medgaarden said.

In January, AAF established a second endowment fund to eventually use for awarding grants to organizations in the rest of Mower County and the surrounding areas, Barrett said. This fund – the Greater Austin Area and Mower County Endowment Fund – will not award grants, however, until it reaches a value of $25,000, he said.

Austin-based groups can submit applications via mail at Austin Area Foundation, P.O. Box 6, Austin, MN, 55912, or online at:

For more information, contact AAF executive director Steve Barrett at 507-434-7494 or via email at: [email protected]