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Funding




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.

The best use of Sauer Family Foundation funding is to create change, fill gaps, or help create something new in an organization, government agency, or system. 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 2021 with due dates of February 26th, May 28th and September 24th.

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 Colleen O’Keefe, Colleen@sauerff.org

    • Reducing child welfare placements away from family through parent support and family treatment services.
    • Increasing family finding and natural connections for children & youth in child welfare. Our focus is reunification with primary caregiver, supporting kinship foster care & kinship permanency.
    • Meeting the social emotional needs of foster children & youth and decreasing time to permanency, stopping the exit to homeless youth services.
    • Increasing opportunities for the voice of foster youth in advocacy and increasing public awareness of the foster care experience.

Building Resilience to Trauma: Children, Youth and Caregivers
The staff contact is Colleen O’Keefe, Colleen@sauerff.org

    • Resiliency to trauma for children, youth and/or their caregivers.
    • Resiliency to secondary trauma for professionals in child welfare, children's mental health & education.

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

    • Expansion of multi-tiered instruction and interventions based on the Science of Reading.
    • Foundational literacy: programs that support parents and caregivers as first teachers.
    • 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, Emma@sauerff.org

    • Programs that increase the exploration of careers in child welfare, children’s mental health or education for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
    • Increasing licensure pathways that do not require a four-year degree or postgraduate work.
    • Grow-your-own models of moving people 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.
    • Child Welfare, children’s mental health and education organizations that want to complete a racial equity audit.

The first deadline in 2021 is Friday, February 26th. The second grant deadline is May 28th. The last grant deadline is September 24th. 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