Office Hours - Owatonna, MN 2018

At the Bush Foundation we strive to be accessible to and knowledgeable about the communities we seek to support. Office Hours give us a chance to connect face to face with people across our region. These trips offer a chance for us to share our grant and program information, as well as help us to develop a greater sense of the challenges and opportunities across the region.

Our 2018 Office Hours begin this June in Owatonna, MN with our partners Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, Otto Bremer Trust and Propel for Nonprofits.

Bush Foundation

Available opportunities to discuss with staff:

Community Innovation Grants

Community Innovation grants support communities to use problem-solving processes that lead to more effective, equitable and sustainable solutions. We think of this as civic R&D, allowing communities to develop and test new solutions to 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.

Bush Fellowship

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

  • Bush Fellows receive a flexible grant of up to $100,000 that they can use to strengthen their leadership skills. 
  • The Bush Fellowship is an investment in people who have a record of accomplishment and the potential to do even more for 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 Fellowship

Event Opportunities

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:

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 $600 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.


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 June's Office Hours in Owatonna, MN.

If you have any questions, please contact