SDCF Announces Round 2, 2021 CIG… | South Dakota Community Foundation

SDCF Announces Round 2, 2021 CIG Recipients

November 16, 2021 // Community Innovation Grants

The South Dakota Community Foundation received forty-eight applications in Round 2 and selected these eleven nonprofits to implement inclusive, collaborative and resourceful solutions that will benefit all our state’s citizens

Ginger Niemann, Senior Program Officer, SDCF

Round 2 of the South Dakota Community Foundation (SDCF) 2021 Community Innovation Grant (CIG) program has been completed. Eleven South Dakota nonprofits will receive grant awards. Offered in partnership with the Bush Foundation, the Community Innovation Grant program supports efforts to find breakthrough solutions to community challenges across the state.

“The South Dakota Community Foundation received forty-eight applications in Round 2 and selected these eleven nonprofits to implement inclusive, collaborative and resourceful solutions that will benefit all our state’s citizens”, stated Ginger Niemann, SDCF Senior Program Officer. “Round 2 resulted in $197,998 being distributed among the selected grantees. We are grateful to the Bush Foundation for their past and continued investment in our state”.

The review committee chose to support the following projects financially:


Black Hills Playhouse (Statewide): $20,000

Black Hills Playhouse partnered with Rosebud Elementary to create online curriculum based on the Oceti Sakowin Core Concepts-Essential Understandings and Standards (OSEU) for use in the spring of 2021. The result was the development of the Oceti Sakowin & Dakota Players Theatre Experience which involved creating and filming four Theatre Lesson Plans. An expansion of this project will include combining video, online and in-person learning with artists. Artists will go to Rosebud to work with schools in combination with teacher training for students in 3rd through 5th grades. A non-native community will be identified to replicate this training in. State and tribal leaders will be made aware of curriculum and input gathered.

Call to Freedom (Statewide): $20,000

Call to Freedom has spearheaded the development of the East River Human Trafficking Task Force (ERHTTF) since 2017. Their mission is to facilitate a collaborative effort to prevent trafficking of persons within the state and tribal nations, prosecution, education, awareness, and protection and provision of services to survivors. ERHTTF covers 44 counties in Eastern South Dakota. They are in Phase 2 of their strategic plan. Over 60 stakeholders are working collaboratively to reach all areas of South Dakota.

Native Governance Center (Statewide): $20,000

Native Governance Center, a Native-led nonprofit, founded in 2015 supports Native nations in Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota in revitalizing their governance systems. They will provide customized, current, accurate, and culturally resonant governance training for partnering Native Nations. This project is rooted in the five principles of “Native nation rebuilding” as derived from research by the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development.

South Dakota Afterschool Network (Statewide): $20,000

The South Dakota Afterschool Network promotes afterschool programs, advocates public policy on behalf of afterschool programs, and encourages high quality in afterschool programs across South Dakota. Funds will help this nonprofit create a new partnership with Helpline Center’s 211 program to ensure the OST (out-of-school time) mapping database is accurate and inform parents and families of programs. They will also strategize with policymakers to invest COVID relief funds in high needs areas.

South Dakota Voices for Peace (Statewide): $19,810

This project will raise educator awareness and understanding of their impact on South Dakota’s growing demographic of youth of color (YOC). Educators will learn and explore ways to address biases, bigotry, policies, and systems that may not be supportive of youth of color. Five to seven South Dakota school districts will be identified for educator participation. In partnership with the South Dakota Education Association, they hope to increase districts and students impacted across the state.

Eastern South Dakota

Conscious Youth Solutions (Sioux Falls): $8,438

The mission of Conscious Youth Solutions is to bridge the gap between employers and young adults entering the workforce. Funds will support immigrant/foreign professionals rebuilding their careers in the U.S. and help employers understand and tap into this hidden talent pool. They will help foreign/immigrant professionals translate their past educational degrees and experience into obtaining jobs that best match their qualifications.

Huron Housing Authority (Huron): $10,000

Huron Rising- Reimagine our Future identified a housing shortage in Huron through a housing study. The demand for housing is outpacing construction making housing rehab a necessity for future economic development. Low-income and very low-income minorities, immigrants, refugees, elderly or disabled often don’t have the funds needed to repair homes resulting in the number of dilapidated houses continuing to grow. They will focus on rehab activities for existing housing stock and the needs of the community.

Central South Dakota

South Dakota Discovery Center (Pierre): $20,000

The South Dakota Discovery Center’s Workforce Development project addresses barriers that rural and tribal students face accessing STEM (science, technology, engineering, and Mathematics) education. This project will provide 6th through 12th graders with access to diverse, authentic career exploration experiences.

Western South Dakota

Ecotone Foundation, Inc. (Spearfish): $19,750

Ecotone Foundation was founded in 2016 and is organized to develop and provide education, research, and community programs around local food, specialty crops and natural building. They will hold community meetings throughout the next 18 months and start a conversation with farmers, ranchers, and like-minded supporters around the topic of Agritourism to better offer local food, local stay and local experiences to tourists visiting the region.

West Dakota Regional Water (western South Dakota): $20,000

Before the most recent renewal of their Future Use Water Permit from the Missouri River, the West Dakota Water Development District commissioned the South Dakota School of Mines to study the need for additional water supply in western Pennington County. The conclusion of the study was “a strong need for new sources of water within the study area exists. Local entities with a stake in water security should pool their resources to ensure that they are proactive in securing future sources of water”. Preliminary work is already underway, and this grant will lend support to those efforts.

Youth & Family Services, Inc. (Rapid City): $20,000

In a concerted effort to reach underperforming adolescents in school, members of the Rapid City Alliance for Early Adolescence representing out-of-school time service providers and Rapid City Area Schools began investigating social emotional learning and aligning curriculum between the schools and out-of-school time providers. This grant award will support broadening understanding of social emotional learning among all middle school youth service providers in Rapid City.

About our Donors

The SDCF distributed nearly $18 million in grants in 2020 which made a tremendous difference in communities statewide. This would not have been possible without the generosity of our donors. If you have a specific cause you would like to support or would prefer to give for the general good of our state, please visit to learn more or give us a call at 1-800-888-1842.

About the Bush Foundation

The Bush Foundation invests in great ideas and the people who power them. Established in 1953 by 3M Executive Archibald Bush and his wife Edyth, the Foundation encourages individuals and organizations to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and the 23 Native nations that share the same geographic area.