Office Hours - Marshall, MN 2019

Office Hours are opportunities for our staff to connect face to face with people across our region. These meetings offer a chance for us to share our grant and program information, as well as help us to better understand the challenges and opportunities that exist across our region.

On July 10, 2019 we will visit Marshall, MN with our partners Blandin Foundation, the Blue Cross Foundation and Otto Bremer Trust

Sign up for a spot

Propel Nonprofits will offer trainings in Marshall on July 9. Visit their registration page for more information.

Bush Foundation

Available opportunities to discuss with staff:


Community Innovation grants fund problem-solving projects that lead to effective, equitable and sustainable solutions to pressing community challenges. 

  • Grants range from $10,000 to $200,000. Community Innovation grants of $500 to $10,000 are available in Minnesota through our intermediary partner organization, the Headwaters Foundation for Justice.
  • We seek to support initiatives that are inclusive, collaborative and resourceful.
  • There is no deadline for the Community Innovation grant application.

Please note: these grants are not made to established programs that are seeking general operating support, but rather to organizations proposing new or evolving initiatives.

Learn more about Community Innovation grants.


We believe in the power of people to make great ideas happen in their communities. Each year, we award the Bush Fellowship to up to 24 people from across our region.

  • Bush Fellows receive a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that they use for personal leadership growth.
  • The Bush Fellowship is an investment in people who have a record of accomplishment and the potential to do even more in their community.
  • Bush Fellows have shown extraordinary leadership and the ability to inspire those around them. They have a clear vision for what is possible in their community and what type of personal growth and development they need to make that vision a reality.

Learn more about the Bush Fellowship.


We believe in the power of events to inspire, equip and connect people to think bigger and think differently about what is possible in our communities:

Blandin Foundation

Blandin Foundation aims to be a trusted partner and advocate for strengthening rural Minnesota communities. They do this primarily through grant-making, community leadership training, and engagement and advocacy on key rural issues such as broadband, inclusive prosperity, early childhood education and care, and a fair and complete 2020 Census.

Grants are available to organizations serving rural Minnesota communities of 35,000 or less.


Blandin awards more than $10 million annually, in amounts ranging from $100 to more than $2 million. About two-thirds of that is awarded in their home giving area of Grand Rapids, MN. They welcome inquiries from organizations outside the Grand Rapids area, who are leading projects that:

  • Engage broader sections of the current or potential workforce: create or expand educational and employment opportunities, especially for youth and people who have been persistently excluded.
  • Use existing assets in creative ways: incorporate a community's economic strengths in new ways to innovate based on existing enterprises and cultural, creative or natural assets.
  • Forge stronger relationships between education and employment systems: two or more entities work together to improve educational and employment outcomes for people living in rural Minnesota.

Blandin Leadership Program grants

$5,000 grants specifically for alumni of Blandin's community leadership programs to move forward community work.

Broadband grants

The Robust Network Feasibility Fund grant program provides matching grants to rural communities throughout Minnesota to support the cost of research of the feasibility of geographically based broadband networks.

Learn more about Blandin's grant process.

The Blue Cross Foundation

The Blue Cross Foundation's mission is to make a healthy difference in communities by advancing health equity and improving conditions where people live, learn, work and play. Their focus for 2019-2022 is on three key social determinants of health where there are strong partners, momentum and history. These include Healthy Start, centering on quality early education; Healthy Connections, supporting safe, welcoming and connected communities; and Access to Coverage, aiming to expand enrollment in public insurance programs. The Blue Cross Foundation will have Senior Program Officers available to discuss two opportunities for funding 1) Healthy Start and 2) Access to Coverage. 

Healthy Start focus aims to increase access to high quality early childhood care and education. What happens in the first five years of life sets the stage for lifelong health. Children who participate in high-quality early childhood programs experience a range of immediate and long-term health gains. If you're interested in talking with the Blue Cross Foundation about ways to increase access to quality childcare, schedule an appointment with Allison Corrado.

Access to Coverage focus aims to reach universal coverage — which is vital to the health of Minnesotans. Uninsured people are far more likely than those with insurance to delay health care or go without it entirely. The effectives can be devastating, particularly when preventable, or life-threatening conditions are left untreated. If you're interested in talking with the Blue Cross Foundation about ways to reach universal health insurance coverage, schedule an appointment with Bilal Alkatout.

Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust (OBT), based in St. Paul, MN, is one of the region's largest private charitable foundations. Created in 1944 by banker and community leader Otto Bremer, the Trust was established to perpetuate his life's work of growing his investments in community banks, which over time evolved into OBT's 92 percent ownership of Bremer Bank and a portfolio of other investments. Since inception, OBT has made over $700 million in grants and program-related investments to nonprofit organizations in MN, ND and western WI.

The mission of OBT is to invest in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest.


Basic Needs

For displaced individuals or those facing other challenges, securing a roof overhead, finding clothing to wear and putting food on the table are the first steps toward self-sufficiency. These grants include those that focus on short-term assistance through food shelves and outreach programs, cash or vouchers, and auto repair, along with refugee resettlement efforts, transitional housing programs and homeless shelters.

Community Asset Building

By bringing together various forms of capital within a community — financial, social and cultural — OBT seeks to achieve this common goal. This category covers a range of investments, including small business development, diversity initiatives, community planning and infrastructure, long-term housing programs, transportation, literacy, and adult education, all which are focused on building strong community assets.

Health & Well-being

OBT funds a range of care including medical, dental, vision services, and wellness programs for families and the elderly, particularly supporting services in underserved and rural communities. Examples include early education and parenting programs, community recreation, physical and mental health services, youth support and enrichment, post-secondary education and job skills.

Restorative & Emergency Services

OBT believes it is critical to support organizations working to bring stability to individuals and families facing disruptive forces in life. Grants include those that address domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and recovery, disaster response, emergency services such as volunteer fire departments and paramedics, economic stabilization, and helping people navigate the judicial and legal system.


Learn more about the Otto Bremer Trust's grantmaking process, including information about its regions, eligibility and how to apply for a grant.

Propel Nonprofits

Propel Nonprofits' programs and services provide a holistic approach to meet organization’s most pressing needs, including the ability to more closely link strategy, governance and finance. Propel Nonprofits serves nonprofit organizations in Minnesota and the adjacent states of Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Propel is offering the opportunity to have 45-minute, one-on-one financial guidance sessions on July 9, 2019 (the day before Office Hours). Typical topics include: cash flow, restricted versus unrestricted revenue, balance sheets, income statements, reserve funds, etc. This provides the opportunity for organizations to dig deeper into the finance topic that is most important to them.

Visit Propel Nonprofits’ website to learn more about what they do.

Visit their registration page to sign up for a 45-minute session.

Sign Up

If you or your organization fit within any of these funding areas and you would like to meet with a staff person to learn more, register for the July 10th Office Hours in Marshall, MN.

Propel Nonprofits will offer trainings in Marshall the day before (July 9). Visit their registration page for more information.

If you have any questions, please contact

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