At Nexus, we nurture the prosperity of our communities – and in this prosperity, our health, joy, peace, love, safety and the needs of future generations come first. We foster our relationships with each other, with the land, and work cooperatively to cultivate and share this prosperity in our communities.
The Dandelion Fund has closed. This fund will grant up to $3,000 to Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color living in Minnesota. Dandelions detoxify soil, dig deep roots, and spread their seeds to then offer healing in other soils. This fund is an opportunity for people to do the same within their communities of support, and to live into NCEI’s values!
Because we have $50,000 to distribute, NCEI will stop accepting applications after 2,000 submissions.
The fund has reached its submission capacity and it is now closed.
Dandelions have become a strong symbol of our re-articulated work, and they represent how we see ourselves within the ecosystem of racial equity movement work.
Frequently Asked Questions
How did the Dandelion fund emerge?
In 2020, Nexus Community Engagement Institute (NCEI) embarked on a 2+ year journey with community to understand our role in community, and how we can best offer care in a new, ever-changing world. What unfolded during that journey mapping process were many moments of sharing space, sharing food, and sharing stories of how folks were living life and holding one another through individual and collective strife.
The abundance, love, and liberation that came out of the journey mapping process helped us define our work over the next five years. Three (3) guiding pathways emerged:
- Liberation and Healing spaces: Building deep roots with community by nourishing the places and spaces that allow us to explore and express the depths of who we are, where we come from, and the possibilities ahead – celebrating our joys, tending to our wounds, and developing the consciousness and commitments necessary to honor our responsibility for making sure our collective needs are met.
- Systems decomposition/metamorphosis: Supporting the decomposition of toxic systems is essential for building new worlds that honor community voice, power, and self-determination.
- Decolonization: For NCEI, decolonization means divorcing patterns of conquest and destruction and dominant culture behaviors. It means returning to deep and right relationships with land, history, ancestors, and each other as interdependent, reciprocal, complex living beings. Decolonization is an ongoing journey to help each of us learn and unlearn how to know, act, and live.
Dandelions have become a strong symbol of our re-articulated work, and they represent how we see ourselves within the ecosystem of racial equity movement work. Dandelions…
- Neutralize acidic soil that is harmful to its environment
- Dig deep roots to begin restoring the soil over time
- Spread themselves to continue the work
- Are Medicine!
What is the Dandelion Fund?
The Dandelion Fund is a random selection-based grant awarding up to $3,000 to Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) residing in Minnesota. This is an opportunity for people to practice being like the Dandelion and living into NCEI’s pathway of work! Dandelions detoxify soil, dig deep roots, and spread their seeds to offer healing in other places. This fund is an opportunity for people to do the same within their communities.
The Dandelion Fund is…
- A $50,000 grant fund for BIPOC community members living in Minnesota.
- Using random selection. People are awarded using a random selection tool.
- Making grants to at least 16 individuals
- The fund may support more people depending on how much money people choose to apply for: $1,000, $1,500, $2,000, $2,500, or $3,000
The Dandelion Fund is not:
- A rapid response, mutual aid, or emergency fund for community members.
- Unlike a mutual aid fund, we are unable to distribute funds quickly, and there is an application based on NCEI’s funding criteria
- For nonprofits or organizations.
- Meant to support systems work. (see more information on ineligibility)
Recipient Selection Process
The Dandelion Fund will use a Random selection process to select awardees. Applicants will need to submit their:
- Eligibility criteria
- Demographic information
- Short, written narrative of 300 words or less
- Which of the following pathways do you plan to live into and how?
- W-9 form
A selection committee will review applications. If your application is eligible, your name will be entered into the selection process. We will select at least 16 people for an award. We aim to disburse all funds by December 31st, 2023.
Why Random Selection?
A random selection-based system helps us avoid using arduous processes and systems that attempt to select applicants based on merit or worthiness. If we lived in a world where we had access to unlimited resources and were able to live into them with abundance instead of scarcity, random selection systems wouldn’t need to exist. We would probably have better tools for sharing resources in a way that allowed for everyone to feel supported. This is how we make peace with limited resources and the fact that every eligible application is worthy of being funded.
Additionally, we limited the application to process to just a short 300-word response, outside of the eligibility and demographics, to match the amount of funds being given and the spirit of what the Dandelion fund sets out to embody.
We know applications take time, so we want to make it as simple as possible for folks to be seen and receive funds within this context.
Why do I have to provide a W-9?
Nexus Community Partners is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization. We are legally obligated by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to issue 1099s to individuals to whom we have given more than $600. Unfortunately, there is very little we can do to overcome these legal barriers. Additionally, collecting a W-9 at the beginning of the application process will allow us to issue checks immediately after the random selection drawing.
We understand that not everyone is able to fill out a W-9. We are committed to working with people in unique situations to help them apply. If you are unable to fill out a W-9, please reach out to email@example.com with the subject line “DANDELION FUND Application” so we can find a solution.
Who is eligible?
Individuals or groups seeking funding aligned with one of the three funding pathways/areas:
- Healing and liberation
Individuals who identify as:
- Black, Indigenous, and/or a Person of Color (BIPOC)
- 14+ years old
- A Minnesota Resident
- You live in MN and have a MN address
- Collectives: One person per collective is allowed to apply for a maximum of $3,000.
Who is not eligible?
- People who do not reside in the state of Minnesota.
- Individuals or groups applying on behalf of institutions, including but not limited to: colleges and universities, non-profits, government agencies, etc. This grant is intended to invest in individuals in community.
Who Should Apply?
- We encourage all those who are eligible to apply!
- The Dandelion Fund is meant to support those existing in their various communities regardless of how they are connected to Nexus.
- Those who are unhoused and experiencing homelessness are encouraged to apply.
What can the grants be used for?
The grants can be used for a variety of purposes as long as your proposal is in alignment with NCEI’s three guiding pathways. It is up to you as to how you want to live into each, some, or all of our pathways. We have provided a few examples of each pathway to help with your application. Please apply even if you do not see your ideas listed below.
The funding areas are:
Healing and Liberation: Be well and get free. We are interested in funding experiences that lead to wellness and liberation. Healing to us means practices, activities, ideas, and materials, that promote wellness and wholeness in one’s mind, body, and soul. Liberation to us means practices, activities, ideas, and materials, that promote self-determination (without threat of violence or retribution). Healing and liberation are building deep roots with community by nourishing the places and spaces that allow us to honor our responsibility to our collective whole while celebrating our joys.
- Self-care – you define what this means to you!
- Therapy support
- Book Club for an identity-affirming group
- Travel to a land of origin
Decolonization: Decolonization means divorcing patterns of conquest and destruction and dominant culture behaviors (power hoarding, othering, hyper-individualism, etc.). It means returning to deep and right relationships with land, history, ancestors, and each other as interdependent, reciprocal, complex living beings. Decolonization is an ongoing spiritual journey to help each of us learn and unlearn how to know, act, and live.
- Attend community events or retreats to connect, reflect, build relationships, etc.
- Take a class to learn about the plant beings around us
- Sign up to learn and study native tongues unique to your ancestral background.
Joy: Joy is our birthright and is an embodied experience and/or practice of feeling pleasure and delight. We can feel joy from simple pleasures like resting or eating your favorite food, or from far more complex and mysterious experiences, like welcoming new life into the world. Joy affords us the ability to dig deep and build our collective muscle and memory around abundance and liberation.
- Pay for dance classes.
- Plan a vacation or movie night at home.
- Plan a celebration or party for yourself, friends, family, or community!
Resources available for ineligible individuals:
If you are ineligible for the Dandelion Fund, you may be eligible for the following resources:
- Open Road Fund (ORF), Nexus Community Partners
- Funds for Black people in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. ORF will re-open summer 2024, and will re-open every year until 2030.
- Collective Abundance Fund, NDN Collective
- Funds for Native and Indigenous individuals and families living in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota
- Healing Roots
- Courses and community of support for European Americans
- Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ)
- Tools and resources for white folks doing racial justice work
- Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI)
- Youth space and programming