The Action Fund supports civic engagement projects proposed and led by students in direct collaboration with a local community-based organization. The projects all have action components, fulfilling unmet needs of Twin Cities’ communities, as well as learning/education components that promote reflection on and sharing of lessons learned. Award amounts are varied depending on the needs of the project. Many projects can be done with a few hundred dollars. However, budgets up to $2,000 will be considered for significant projects.

Applications are reviewed on a revolving basis

Typically, the last date to submit applications for fall is October 15 and for spring is February 15. Exceptions can be made on a case by case basis for time sensitive needs.

Students will find out if their project was selected roughly two weeks after each deadline, and will have up to 12 months to complete their project (but can complete in a shorter timeline if they choose). We review applications on a rolling basis, including those completed after priority deadlines.

History of the Action Fund

The Action Fund was established in 2001 by alumni who valued their civic engagement experiences while attending Macalester, and wanted to leave a legacy of service and action for future students. Eligible projects are those that inspire informed, committed action, as outlined in the following required criteria.

Criteria for Project Selection

  • Project will address and have an impact on an unmet community need or issue.
  • Project is developed in direct collaboration with a Twin Cities community organization.
  • Student leaders are able to articulate their motivations and roles in completing this project in relationship to community needs.
  • Project has a concrete plan for engaging additional student participants beyond the lead student(s).
  • In order to facilitate learning, project will incorporate both an internal reflection component, such as team discussion and reflection during/after project, and an external sharing component (i.e. disseminating lessons learned to the broader campus and/or community).
  • Project is designed to have a lasting legacy in the community beyond the grant period.
  • Project will include a work plan/timeline and a budget. Project must be completed within one year of funding.

For More Information

For additional information, contact Ruth Janisch, interim Director of the Civic Engagement Center and Associate Director of Educational Partnerships for College Access & Success, at (651) 696-6645 or email at Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with CEC staff before submitting an application.

Apply Here

Past projects