The Women’s Leadership Fund (WLF), a Partner Fund of the Initiative Foundation (the Foundation), exists to accelerate the number, effectiveness, and impact of women in organizational leadership roles in rural Central Minnesota. We do this through the Women’s Executive Leadership (WELead) Cohorts, unique events and grantmaking.

Funding Priorities
The Women's Leadership Fund accepts and considers grant applications that address the following priority areas:

  • Projects or programs work to accelerate the number, effectiveness, and impact of women already in organizational leadership roles.
  • Projects or programs that work to develop the next generation of women leaders, defined broadly by age or stage of career.

Grant Amounts
Our Fund’s current maximum grant award is $1,000 (generally not to exceed 50 percent of the total project cost).

Eligible applicants are those that serve the Initiative Foundation’s designated geographic area. These can be 501(c)(3) organizations, school districts, other local units of government and community groups operating through a mission-related fiscal host with the appropriate tax-exempt status.

Grants will be made only in support of proposals that fit one or more of the funding priorities above and that benefit the community(ies) in our specified geographic service area.

Ineligible Projects

  • Individuals or private businesses
  • Endowments, national or local fund drives or general funds
  • Expenses incurred prior to notice that the grant has been awarded
  • Religious organizations for direct religious activities
  • Political campaigns or lobbying activities

Grant applications are accepted by invitation only. Awards are determined in January/February.

For questions, contact Kristi or Maria at

Our grants have supported...

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) Brainerd Branch to support two Brainerd Lakes Area college women to attend the National Conference of College Women Student Leaders at the University of Maryland-College Park campus.

BOLD, Inc. scholarships for Morrison County middle school-aged girls to attend BOLD's five-day leadership camps at Camp Vanasek in Baxter.