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Action Fund

Nethmi Bathige ’22 (foreground) cooks meals with staff at Urban Roots as part of her Action Fund project during the Spring of 2022. Nethmi collaborated with translators to develop culturally appropriate recipes for Urban Roots, her community partner.

The Action Fund supports off-campus community 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, meaning making, and sharing of lessons learned. Award amounts up to $2,500 are available per project.

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 community 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 strengths and 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 Sam Wegner, Student Engagement Program Associate of the Community Engagement Center.  Students are strongly encouraged to discuss their ideas with Sam before submitting an application.