We fund in the state of Minnesota with priority given to the seven-county metro area. We work in settings that serve children who are at-risk or experiencing abuse or neglect, exposed to toxic stress/trauma, or have challenges developing reading, writing and math skills. This includes schools and early childhood settings, non-profit and research organizations, government agencies, collaboratives, and networks.

Due to the planned sunset in 2028, the best use of Sauer Family Foundation funding is shorter term projects that create change or help create something new in an organization that will be sustainable in the future without our funding. The Sauer Family Foundation is particularly interested in grants that support work in systems and agencies that keep children in safe, supported families, decrease toxic stress and move them to resiliency.

There will be three grant rounds in 2024 with due dates of February 16th, May 17th and September 27th.

Our Funding Priorities

We fund direct service, research, field building, and systems change efforts in the following areas:

Building Strong Family Relationships: Prevention and Intervention in Child Welfare
The staff contact is Sheri Hixon,

    • Supporting children and families with a whole family approach network of community-based initiatives towards preventing child abuse and neglect.
    • Keeping children safe at home through parent support and family treatment services. When this is not possible, building connections through family-finding and natural support towards achieving relational permanence.
    • Meeting the social emotional needs of foster children & youth and decreasing time to permanency, interrupting the exit to homeless youth services.
    • Increasing public awareness of the foster care experience through the elevation of experienced and informed foster youth voice.

Building Supportive Environments that Promote Emotional Safety for Children & Youth
The staff contact is Emma Mogendorff,

Please note: we do not make grants to support individual mental health treatment or counseling.

    • Programs for preK-12 schools that promote the emotional safety of children and youth.
    • School-based small group interventions for children facing shared adverse experiences, e.g.; grief, separation from caregiver.
    • Programs that offer children and families tools to talk about emotional and mental health.
    • Professional development in trauma-responsive practices for professionals working with children; including resiliency to secondary trauma.

Building Educational Success for Children: Literacy Skills and Learning Disabilities in Reading, Writing and Math PreK – 8th Grade
The staff contact is Emma Mogendorff,

    • Expansion of structured literacy and interventions based on the Science of Reading.
    • Adoption of assessments that are indicated for learning disability screening and identification.
    • Expansion of the accessibility and affordability of learning disability assessments and interventions.

Building a Workforce that Reflects the Diversity of Minnesota’s Children: Racially Equitable Career Pathways in our Funding Areas
The staff contact is Emma Mogendorff,

    • Programs that remove barriers to licensure for Black, Indigenous and People of Color to enter careers in child welfare, children’s mental health or education.
    • Nontraditional pathways that lead to licensure and can move candidates from paraprofessional to professional positions in child welfare, children’s mental health, or education.
    • Programs that increase support and mentoring for professionals of color in child welfare, children’s mental health or education allowing them to thrive.

The first deadline in 2024 is Friday, February 16th. The second grant deadline is Friday, May 17th. The last grant deadline is Friday, September 27th. If you feel your organization or project fits into our funding priorities, please send an email to the appropriate staff contact to discuss the potential fit. If you are invited to apply, you will be given a username and password for our online grant system. For more information about applying for a grant please visit the Apply Page.

All applicants must comply with all Federal, State and local non-discrimination laws. The Sauer Family Foundation does not make grants to individuals, political and lobbying activities, endowments, deficit or debt reduction, fundraising activities or advertising.

Our Vision

Children experience well-being. They grow up and develop in environments where they are

          • Supported and nurtured;
          • Safe from abuse and neglect;
          • Resilient in the face of trauma;
          • Successful in school;
          • Thriving in their families and communities.

Sauer Family Foundation Resources