Open Opportunities:

2024-2025 Equity Fund 

The 2024-2025 application will open Wednesday, May 15, 2024 and close on Monday, July 22, 2024 at 5:00 PM Central Time. This program invests in queer entrepreneurs and small businesses from across the Upper Midwest, with a particular focus on queer entrepreneurs of color and queer-owned businesses in rural areas. PFund and Quorum are offering more than $400,000 in grant fundings across three distinct cohorts this year. Each grant recipient receives:

  • Grants ranging from $5,000 up to $30,000 to be used to support building small business capacity and developing queer entrepreneurship across the region. 
  • Access to five training sessions customized to the needs of small business owners. Training for grantees from greater Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin will meet virtually. 
  • A one-year membership to Quorum, Minnesota's LGBT chamber of commerce. Grantees from outside Minnesota will be given modest stipends to purchase an annual membership from a local queer chamber of commerce (for example, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce).

Eligibility Requirements

Eligibility Guidelines Grantseekers must meet all of the following  criteria to apply: 

  1. You identify as LGBTQ+ 
  2. If your business is located in North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa or Wisconsin you must also identify as Black, Indigenous, or a Person of Color. 
  3. Your business has been in operation for at least one year. 
  4. The annual gross revenue of your business for your most recently completed fiscal year was $250,000 or less. 
  5. Your business has 20 or fewer employees. 

Grantee Obligations If awarded a grant, you must agree to the following conditions: 

  1. You agree to only use grant funds for the business purposes outlined in your proposal. Personal uses of funds are not allowed.
  2.  You agree to provide PFund Foundation with the paperwork necessary to process grant payments (signed grant agreement, IRS W9 form, and your business's logo). 
  3. You agree to complete an online survey and produce a report on how you used grant funds at the conclusion of the grant period (due in spring 2025).
  4. You agree to attend 80% of the cohort meetings over the course of the program. You will be assigned to a cohort based on your location and the demographic information in the application. Meeting dates will differ by cohort:
    • Twin Cities Queer Entrepreneurs of Color cohort will meet on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:30-8:00 pm in person, at the Quorum offices in St. Paul. Meeting dates are: October 8, November 12, January 14, February 11, March 11
    • Midwestern Queer Entrepreneurs of Color cohort and the Minnesotan Queer Entrepreneurs cohort will meet on the second Wednesday of the month from 6:00-8:30 virtually. Meeting dates are: October 9, November 13, January 15, February 12, March 12

How to Apply

  1. Review the eligibility requirements listed below.
  2. Create an account on Submittable (if you already have an existing account you can use that account to apply) using this link. 
  3. Consider attending the virtual information session on Monday, June 3 at 1:00 pm central. If you can't make it in person,  we'll post a video of the webinar on our website to review whenever it's convenient for you. Info Session Registration: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZApd-iprDMjHNB6lVpKjGEMG4tMYdGFKfD3
  4. Complete all questions in the online application. 
  5. Upload the required attachments to your application. All Equity Fund applicants are required to submit the following documentation: 
  6. A business plan document that outlines the fundamentals of your business. 
  7. Sole proprietors must submit IRS Form 1040 Schedule C. Partnerships must submit IRS Form 1065. Corporations may submit EITHER IRS Form 1120 OR a 12-month profit-and-loss statement. 
  8. All application materials must be completed and submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 22, 2024. 

Additional Information is available on the PFund website and linked here.

2024 PFund Foundation Event Sponsorship

Applications are reviewed quarterly. PFund Foundation will be making selections from applications submitted 4/1/2024-6/30/2024 will be reviewed in early to mid July and announced in late July. Sponsorships range from $500-$1,000 for convening, fundraisers, art openings, theater, music, pride events, educational events, etc. 

Eligibility Requirements:

  1.  The organization aligns with the mission and vision of PFund Foundation
  2.       Organization's event primarily serves or is attended by LGBTQ+ people.
  3.       Events must be located in PFund Foundation's service area.  

PFund Foundation, in partnership with Quorum, is proud to announce the Equity Fund. We are committed to investing in LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs and small businesses across the upper Midwest, who face challenges to growing and sustaining their businesses–especially BIPOC, transgender, and rural small businesses. 

Applications will be accepted until Monday, July 22, 2024 at 5:00 PM Central Time. 

The Equity Fund is a grant and education program for LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs whose small business is located in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and/or the Native Nations therein. Recipients will receive a small business grant as well as join a cohort of other business owners to learn more about how to grow and sustain their businesses. 

Awarded entrepreneurs will receive:

  • A grant ranging from $5,000-$30,000 to invest in your business and professional development.
  • A 1-year membership to Quorum or your state’s LGBTQ+ chamber/business association.
  • And access to 5+ small business education sessions from October 2024 - March 2025. 

Program Requirements:

  • Use of the small business grant funds for the outlined purpose in the application (not for personal use or lobbying)
  • Participation in 80% or more of the 5 monthly, three-hour education sessions over the grant period.
  • Completion of a progress report at the end of the grant period.


Criteria:

You must meet all of the requirements listed below to apply. 

1. You identify as LGBTQIA2S+.

2. Your business has been in operation for more than 1 year (Unfortunately, nonprofits are not eligible at this time).

3. Your business's last year's annual gross revenue was $250,000 or less.

4. Your business has twenty (20) or fewer employees.

5. Location requirements:

  • For BIPOC LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs ONLY - Operate your business in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and/or a Native Nation therein

or

  • For all other LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs - Operate your business in Minnesota and/or the Native Nations therein

6. You will attend 80% of the monthly Equity Fund program sessions during the grant period and complete a final report.

****If you do not meet all of these requirements, you are ineligible to apply for the Equity Fund.**** 


To Apply:

  1. You will need to create a profile on the platform Submittable. Or log into your profile if you have used Submittable with us or another organization.
  2. Please read carefully through our eligibility requirements for this fund.
  3. Fill out the application including uploading financial information and a business plan (template provided).
  4. Submit an application by July 22nd at 5:00 PM Central Time.

If you have any questions about whether you or your business qualify, please reach out to Mercedes Plendl at Mercedes@pfundfoundation.org.

PFund Foundation offers a limited amount of event sponsorship funds each year.  Events include but are not limited to fundraisers, conferences, gatherings, pride festivals. 

We review sponsorship applications on the last Monday of each month. After grants are reviewed, payment processing takes about 4 weeks. Please make sure to apply at least 60-days before your event date. 

2024 application due dates:

  • July 29 (Funds awarded by August 31).
  • August 26 (Funds awarded by September 30).
  • September 30 (Funds awarded by October 31).
  • October 28 (Funds awarded by November 30).
  • November 25 (Funds awarded by December 31).
  • December 23 (Funds awarded by January 31, 2025).

To apply for event sponsorship, groups must meet the following qualifications:

  • Organizations must be a 501c3 nonprofit organization or fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit organization.
  • Organizations must primarily serve LGBTQ+ communities within PFund’s five-state service area of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, Iowa, and the First Nations therein.
  • Organizations must be able to provide the following information as part of a sponsorship request: a summary of the event; description of how sponsorship funds will be used; the expected impact of the sponsored event; estimated number of people expected to attend the event; and any sponsorship benefits available to PFund (for example, logo placement on event materials, tabling space at the event, etc.).
  • Organizations can only receive one grant per calendar year. If your organization applies, but is not awarded a grant, you may apply for subsequent grant rounds as long as your event date is still 60-days out.
  • All sponsorship requests must be submitted using Submittable. 
  • PFund Foundation does not provide funding for events that have already passed, or that will happen before the anticipated payment date. Makes sure to apply at least 60-days before your event. 
  • PFund Foundation does not sponsor events held outside its five state service region, fundraisers hosted by an organization on behalf of a different organization, or events for political candidates or campaigns. 
  • If you have any questions regarding sponsorship requests, please send an email to info@pfundfoundation.org. 

Applications are selected based on:

  • The extent to which the event advances PFund's mission to build equity in LGBTQ+ communities in the upper Midwest.
  • The extent to which the event advances the goals of the organization requesting the grant.
  • The potential to grow and strengthen relationships and networks in one or more of PFund's five focus areas: Education & Leadership, Holistic Health, Economic Empowerment, Vibrancy & Community, Visibility & Advocacy
  • The extent to which the problem area the applicant is working to address will be impacted by the event described.
PFund Foundation