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Blandin Foundation Grant - Over $50,000

Grants to Rural Minnesota Nonprofits to
Promote Healthy, Inclusive Rural Communities

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Blandin Foundation

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Grants starting at $50,000 to rural Minnesota organizations for programs and projects that focus on promoting healthy, inclusive rural communities. Funding will specifically be provided for proposals that focus on the Itasca area, community leadership, and expanding opportunities for community residents.

Focus Area 1 - Itasca County Area Vibrancy:
Blandin Foundation’s most substantial and broadest form of grantmaking occurs in North-Central Minnesota (Itasca County and the neighboring communities of Blackduck, Northome, Hill City and Remer). The Foundation supports work that helps meet the economic, social, physical, cultural and spiritual/wellness needs of Itasca-area residents.

Focus Area 2 - Rural Community Leadership:
In addition to community leadership training programs, Blandin Foundation offers grants to support community leaders as they think holistically and act collaboratively on systems-level (embedded policies or practices that perpetuate community inequities) issues they have identified as critical to the health and resiliency of their community.

Focus Area 3: Expand Opportunity
Grants support projects that improve and align education, entrepreneurship, quality employment and innovations to expand opportunity for every community member.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 182385

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant amounts are over $50,000.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible organizations and activities are:
- Minnesota organizations serving, and preferably located in, rural communities of 35,000 residents or less
- Project has a clearly defined charitable purpose recognized by the IRS
- Align with Blandin Foundation’s focus areas

Geographic Focus:
A minimum of 60 percent of grant funds are awarded to the Foundation’s home communities in the Grand Rapids/Itasca County, Minnesota area, including the communities of Blackduck, Hill City, Northome, and Remer.

Outside of the Foundation’s home giving area, grants are focused on fewer, high-impact awards to projects with the potential to establish models that can be emulated by other communities. Preference will be given to communities that have participated in a Blandin Foundation community leadership program.

Ineligible organizations and activities are:
- Projects benefiting metropolitan areas of the state (Minneapolis/St. Paul, Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester, St. Cloud, Mankato)
- Outside the state of Minnesota
- Urban projects
- Religious activities
- Medical research
- Travel grants for individuals or groups
- Camping and athletic programs
- Ordinary government services
- Grants benefitting individuals
- Grants solely intended to influence specific legislation or a specific candidate

Pre-Application Information:

Applications Due: March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15

Application Process:
- Prior to completing a full grant proposal, it is best to submit a simple letter of inquiry, providing a short description of your project idea. Inquiries are reviewed weekly.

- If your inquiry is consistent with Foundation objectives, you may be invited to submit a full proposal.

- If you have been invited to submit a grant proposal, use the appropriate online application, or download the appropriate application form. Electronic submissions are preferred. Do not feel that you must turn to outside experts or consultants to help you write the proposal.

- Notification: For grants $50,000 and above, Blandin Foundation program staff review all grant requests and present recommendations to the Board of Trustees, which makes the final funding decision at their meetings in June, September, December and March. Applicants receive notification of the results within days of decision and payment within six weeks (broadband grants may vary).

For grants over $50,000: Response in 90 days or more.

About Grants:

General Guidelines:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Click here to submit your inquiry online:

If you use a downloaded application, email the completed grant proposal to

For more information, call 218-326-0523 or email the Foundation at the above email address.

Sonja Merrild

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Minnesota: Rural Minnesota Areas (Primarily, the Grand Rapids/Itasca County Area, including the communities of Blackduck, Hill City, Northome, and Remer Communities)

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