Open Road Fund

The Open Road Fund returns money directly to Black folks so they can build something long-lasting for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Open Road Fund is a community fund gifting $50 million to Black folks in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota in order to create tangible pathways to liberation, prosperity, and healing on our own terms.

We believe that paths lead to our destiny, and when faced with barriers, we call upon our ancestors to guide us on the open road to liberation. In honor of their resiliency and communal spirit, the Open Road Fund aims to redistribute resources to present-day descendants of the Atlantic Slave Trade in an effort to build Black wealth within our communities.

Questions? Email ORFSupport@nexuscp.org or call Open Road Fund at 612-886-3449.

What is Black Wealth?

Black wealth is—but is not limited to—healing from over five centuries of labor and livelihood stolen from us on this stolen land. Black wealth is owning what we produce. Black wealth is building and inventing for our families and community. Black wealth is a creative and sovereign practice of restoration that reaffirms the excellence that has always been in us.

What is the Open Road Fund?

The purpose of the Open Road Fund is to enable Black individuals, their families, and communities across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota to build community and intergenerational wealth. Learn more about the fund here. If you’d like to review the 2024 Application questions before applying, please click on this link.

The Open Road Fund is a unique funding program designed for Individuals. Nonprofit organizations may not apply. Individuals may invest their grant award funds into a business. Individuals may also form groups of up to 5 members to work on a shared wealth building project: if selected, all members of the gift receive an award that they pool together to resource their project. Gifts from the Open Road Fund may not be used to establish or fund nonprofit organizations.

Eligibility for the Fund is restricted based on ancestry, geography, and age. 

An eligible applicant must be: 1) a Black person who is a descendant of African people who were kidnapped and subjected to chattel enslavement in the Americas; 2) age 14 or older; 3) A resident of Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, or any of the 23 Native nations whose territories are occupied by those states.

To register for the Open Road Fund, applicants must submit Identifying Documents to verify their identity. Access the list of accepted documents here. Previous Open Road Fund Awardees will not be eligible for the Open Road Fund and may not apply again.

The Open Road Fund uses an equitable random selection process to choose applicants for award. We developed a computer program that randomly selects finalists from the pool of eligible applications who have completed registration.

The selection process is observed by Open Road Fund Advisory Members and Nexus Black Staff members. After applicants are selected, their responses are reviewed by our selection committee for eligibility, completeness, and alignment with our funding criteria. Only eligible, complete, and aligned applicants are invited to participate in the second round of our application process. In cases where selected applicants do not advance, withdraw, or otherwise drop out of the process, we select another finalist from the eligible applicant pool using the random selection tool.

Top Questions About the ORF

The Open Road Fund will accept applications starting on June 19, 2024. The application will close on July 19, 2024. Sign up for our e-newsletter to receive updates, or follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

No, you will still need to apply again. The 2024 application will have updated questions. You may reuse your 2023 responses to any of our questions, especially the long answer questions about ancestry and wealth building.

If you would like a copy of your 2023 Open Road Fund application, you can request that by contacting us at ORFsupport@nexuscp.org. We will send you your 2023 application as a PDF.

No, Nexus Community Partners will not publicly name all awardees. Finalists may choose to share their status as a finalist if they wish. After the grant process is completed, awardees can opt in to allow Nexus to share their names. Out of a duty to care for and to protect the privacy of all grantees, especially those under 18, we are not requiring that their names be made public. 

What we will share each year is a report on applicant and awardee demographics and lessons learned from them. If and when Open Road Fund awardees decide that they do want to share their stories, we will publish articles and videos about them through our website and social media channels.

Open Road Fund News & Events