Education Grant

NOTE: We have changed the funding priority for this grant. After much consideration and conversations with the community, we have decided that providing discretionary funds, as opposed to funding for specific items, would best serve the diverse needs of homeless students.

Education grants support the educational needs of children and youth experiencing homelessness.

Since 1996, Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless (OYH) has made a portion of its funding available for education-related needs of children and youth without permanent homes. The purpose of this program is to remove barriers for homeless youth to participate in school and to improve student academic success.

MISSION: Open Your Heart to the Hungry and Homeless believes that every Minnesotan should be free from hunger and homelessness. We make an impact by partnering with those who serve people in need, growing donor engagement, and increasing awareness.

Please complete the application here:
If you have problems with the online application, please contact Ruby Simmons at [email protected] or 612-338-5577.

This grant application is a ‘dynamic’ online form. As you work through the application there are a few new questions that might appear, depending on your answers to others. When you click ‘submit’ the form will tell you if you’ve missed any questions. This makes it quicker and easier for you to fill in the form and means we receive fewer incomplete applications. Only applications that have been submitted by the deadline will be considered.

You will be asked to upload the following documents within the application.
Year-to-Date Financial Statement Required only for 501(c)(3) agencies or agencies using a 501(c)(3) as a fiscal agent. This should include your budget, income, expenses, and funds in reserve.
IRS Determination Letter Required only for 501(c)(3) agencies or agencies using a 501(c)(3) as a fiscal agent. 

May 1st, 2017

$500 – $3,000 for each agency per year. (Hunger and Homeless Grants and other Special Projects are considered under a separate review process and do not count toward this limit.)


  • Agencies must serve homeless students in Minnesota.
  • Agencies must have 501(c)(3) status OR be recognized as tax exempt by the IRS (i.e. schools, units of government or tribal governments) OR use a fiscal agent with 501(c)(3) status.
  • Organizations must not limit service based on individual’s race, color, creed, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, age, or disability.
  • Agencies with multiple service sites should submit only one application for all sites.

Discretionary funds designated to meet unique needs of homeless students as they arise.
This funding is available only for purposes that will assist homeless youth in their educational pursuits. Typical uses for discretionary funds might include school supplies, books, uniforms, and activity costs, but could be anything that the grantee thinks a homeless child needs to be successful in school.

Ineligible activities include operating costs, salaries (except for tutoring), employee benefits, and agency-sponsored after-school activities (aside from tutoring and other academic programs).

The Grant Review Committee reviews applications and makes recommendations to the Board of Directors. Only complete applications emailed or postmarked by May 1st, 2017 will be reviewed by the committee. Applicants are not allowed to make personal presentations.

The committee uses the following criteria to review applications:

  • Eligibility of agency
  • Number of homeless students served by agency
  • Need and impact of funding
  • Completeness of application

The OYH Board of Directors considers the Grant Review Committee’s recommendations and makes the final decision on each complete application. The Board reserves the right to reject any application or portion thereof.

Check the OYH website in late June for the complete list of newly approved Education Grants. Decision notifications will be sent by email by July 1st and decision notification letters and grant checks will be distributed in July and August.

Agencies that have previously received Education Grant funding from OYH must complete the grant closure requirements for all prior grants before receiving additional funding.

Your agency agrees to follow OYH requirements for closing out its grant by submitting the application.

The Closure Form will ask for a list of items purchased with this grant. If awarded this grant, you will be provided with a template for tracking purchases.

If you are awarded a grant, your agency will receive a Closure Form. By completing this Closure Form, your agency is assuring OYH that your organization has spent the grant funds in accordance with your original request. The form also states that your agency is required to return any unspent funds. The form must be returned to OYH by the date indicated on the form in order for your agency to be in compliance with OYH grant requirements. If your agency does not return the form, this may jeopardize the agency’s eligibility for future funding from OYH.

If you have already received an education grant from Open Your Heart in 2016 or before and have misplaced your grant closeout materials, you may download the appropriate file below.

Contact Ruby Simmons at 612-338-5577 or [email protected]