basic needs

As one of the only large funders in the region, we help meet other urgent basic needs for our community members. Our grantmaking and collaborative efforts help meet needs in the following areas.


Physical and Behavioral Health


Social Belonging and Culture


Grantmaking Strategy


Invest in programs that meet the basic needs of low-income families

Fund existing and new programs that support basic needs of low-income families

Our Stories

Current Grantees

Value of basic need grants as of August 2023


Black Hills Area Community Foundation – $68,000

Support of the Friends of Food Security work to include staff support, convenings and food security grants

Feeding South Dakota – $100,000

Hunger relief efforts to include the BackPack Program and mobile food distribution throughout the Black Hills

One Spirit – $50,000

Support for their food distribution program

Western South Dakota Senior Services Inc (Meals on Wheels) – $300,000

Delivery Truck and Operating Costs

Physical or Behavior Health

Good Sheperd Clinic, Inc – $70,000

Immunization Program

Lost&Found – $25,000

To develop, administer, and analyze a comprehensive mental health survey to be completed at Western Dakota Tech

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – $110,000

Programming for mental health education and supports in the Black Hills

Rapid City Area Schools – $20,000

Delta Dental Bus sponsorship to provide students with free dental care

United Way of the Black Hills – $100,000

Support a regional Mental Health Initiative

Volunteers of America Northern Rockies – $100,000

Mommy’s Closet, providing emergency support services and case management for families of children ages 0-13, and coordination of the Western SD Diaper Bank


Abbott House, Inc. – $25,000

Support for a foster home in Rapid City

American Red Cross – $50,000

For families affected by disaster, and to increase capacity of volunteers and assist with disaster preparation for at-risk populations

Forth Circuit DUI Court – $10,000

Assist participants and their families with miscellaneous expenses while in the program

Lawrence County Teen Court – $10,000

Juvenile diversion programming

Northern Hills Drug Court – $10,000

Assist participants and their families with miscellaneous expenses while in the program

Pennington County Drug Treatment Court Association – $20,000

Assist participants and their families with miscellaneous expenses while in the program

Pennington County DUI Court – $20,000

Assist participants and their families with miscellaneous expenses while in the program

Pennington County Mental Health Court – $10,000

Assist participants and their families with miscellaneous expenses while in the program

Seventh Circuit Court Appointed Special Advocates – $150,000

Support for staffing, training, and volunteer support of the CASA program

Simply Smiles – $50,000

Support for Simply Smiles Foster Care Children’s Village

Volunteers of America Northern Rockies – $250,000

Coordination of the Black Hills Regional Homeless Coalition

Wellfully – $305,000

Adolescent Crisis Care Center to support youth in crisis in a trauma-informed manner

Social Belonging and Culture

Boys & Girls Club of Rosebud – $150,000

Funding for three youth center sites and one teen center site

Chamber Music Festival of the Black Hills – $25,000

Free educational music programming for youth in the Black Hills

Cheyenne River Youth Project – $100,000

Building the Waniyetu Wowapi (Winter Count) Institute

Helpline Center – $120,000

Volunteer Connections Program to link volunteers and nonprofit agencies together in the Black Hills

Main Street Square – $200,000

General operations of Main Street Square

Main Street Square – $100,000

Capital improvements

Rapid City Club for Boys Inc – $283,000

Afterschool and summer program for at-risk boys

Rapid City Arts Council – $65,000

Arts education and outreach programming to continue to provide youth and young adults equitable access to the arts

South Dakota Education Equity Coalition – $25,000

Support for coalition efforts in their work to close the gap in education outcomes between Indigenous students and other students in South Dakota

Youth & Family Services, Inc. – $200,000

Afterschool and summer program for at-risk girls


Journey On – $100,000

Dedicated medical and recovery transportation team and vehicle to support access to services for those strugging with addiction

SHIFT Garage – $25,000

Support to provide those in poverty access to reliable transportation and vehicle maintenance


Systems of Care Collaborative

JTVF facilitates a coordinated network of community-based services and supports that is organized to meet the behavioral health challenges of children, youth and families to help function better at home, in school, in the community, and throughout life. The SOCC advocates for eliminating gaps in services specific to the needs of children.

Our role: JTVF facilitates this collaborative monthly.

West River Behavioral Health Alliance
A study was conducted in 2019 identifying the greatest need for the area to be a crisis stabilization unit to serve individuals being placed on involuntary mental health holds who are sent to the emergency department and then placed into a short-term inpatient stay at the behavioral health unit. The Alliance worked with legislators to have statues changed to support a crisis stabilization models in SD and then to help fund the construction of regionally based facilities. The Alliance has also worked to secure state funding and other philanthropic funding to launch the service once construction of the Rapid City facility is complete.

Our role: Alan serves on this alliance.

Western South Dakota Funders Group
Initiated and convened by JTVF to bring together local funders to discuss each other’s priorities, processes and grantmaking. Regular participants include Foundation representation from Bush Foundation; Black Hills Area Community Foundation, South Dakota Community Foundation, Stearns Foundation, Black Hills Energy, Monument Health Foundation, Black Hills Energy Foundation, United Way of the Black Hills, and NDN Collective.

Our role: Founding member

Community Services Connections

This coalition of non-profits gather monthly to keep each other informed on what’s happening in their organization. They describe new or changing programing, staff etc.

Our role: Participant


Learn more about the grant application process.