Philanthropy Program
Application Information

It's all about creating happy and healthy smiles through positive action. Delta Dental of Minnesota focuses its corporate philanthropic efforts on programs that promote health - primarily oral health - and educational initiatives that address innovative solutions to the challenges of healthy living.

Who We Are
Delta Dental of Minnesota is serious about improving the oral health and health of individuals, and we act on our belief that giving improves lives and enhances communities. And, as a leader in the provision of dental health benefits, Delta Dental is seen as a role model in transferring the implications of clinical and epidemiological information to the public. Particularly through our philanthropic community investment program, we hope to increase knowledge and awareness of good oral health practices, thereby reducing some of the serious, harmful health care effects associated with oral health disease.

Funding Priorities
Our commitment to solutions-oriented community investment requires that we go beyond simple checkbook philanthropy. Our goal is to work hand-in-hand with public and nonprofit organizations to identify and implement solutions that address specific problems, particularly in the area of oral health. This kind of partnership requires our partner organizations to go beyond business as usual, to set clear benchmarks and to focus on measurable results.

Our philanthropic investments are based on four basic funding priorities that help us advance our mission and increase our impact, primarily in the area of oral health education and prevention. We direct funds to organizations and initiatives that address a unique and targeted community need related to:

  1. Oral & general health: Promote oral health and health education programs and activities that empower individual action and safety;
  2. Children: Increase access to health services for underserved, low income and at risk children;
  3. Education: Support education institutions and initiatives that strengthen the communities we serve; and
  4. Community: Build community capacity - particularly to improve the overall health and vitality of our communities.

Note: Occasionally our Philanthropic Committee may make a funding decision outside of the above guidelines in response to an urgent, timely or significant community need.

Types of Funding

  • Partnerships and/or collaborations with Delta Dental of Minnesota
  • Grantmaking
  • Simple contributions

Range of Gifts
Our range of giving is $2,000 - $51,000. A typical gift size is between $2,000 - $15,000.

Funding Restrictions
We do not typically fund multi-year programs. In addition, the philanthropic program does not provide funds or grants for the following:

  • General operating support or annual operating expenses
  • Capital campaigns
  • Endowments
  • Religious groups for religious purposes
  • Individuals
  • Lobbying
  • Political or fraternal activities
  • Individual schools or school districts
  • Sports events and athletic groups
  • Payment of services or benefits reimbursable from other sources
  • Projects in which administrative expenses exceed 10% of the total grant

Funding Criteria
Requests will be reviewed against the following funding criteria; higher priority will be given to those projects or programs that meet one or more of these criteria.

The project or program:
  • Offers a partnership or collaboration opportunity with Delta Dental of Minnesota
  • Takes a unique or innovative approach to solving the problem or issue (i.e., if the purpose of the proposal goes beyond the usual, expected services of the organization or program)
  • Delivers maximum impact relative to the proposed expenditure
  • Demonstrates measured outcomes and evaluation
  • Demonstrates Risk Assessment (for oral health requests only). Delta Dental of Minnesota would like to encourage and promote the practice of evidence-based dentistry, the best use of scientific evidence, and scientifically-based clinical knowledge for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of oral diseases. Therefore, our expectation for dental organizations that receive Delta Dental of Minnesota philanthropic funds is that they utilize individualized risk assessments for determining diagnosis, prevention and treatment of oral diseases.

Application Information
Organizations classified as tax-exempt nonprofits under 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code may apply. Applicants must be located in Minnesota and serve primarily Minnesotans.

Online Letter of Inquiry:
All inquiries must be submitted using our online grantmaking software. Click here for application instructions. Click here to access the online application.

Timeline for Receiving Letters of Inquiry:
Online applications should be submitted by 4:30 p.m. on the deadline date. Applicants will be notified of the status of their letter of inquiry within approximately four weeks of receipt.

2014 Letter of Inquiry Deadlines

  • March 31, 2014
  • September 30, 2014

At the time that a full proposal is invited, applicants will be given the full proposal due date.

Full Proposal Applications
Full proposals are accepted for organizations/programs that are notified by Delta Dental of Minnesota based upon an approved letter of inquiry. Our grantmaking is a semi-annual program and the entire process from letter of inquiry to full proposal decision-making is approximately four months.

Contribution decisions made by: Philanthropy Committee of the Board of Directors.

Staff Contact Information
Dana Jensen
Program Officer and Senior Grants Administrator
Delta Dental of Minnesota
500 Washington Avenue South, Suite 2060
Minneapolis, MN 55415