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Transformative Funding for Nonprofits Announced

February 9, 2022

The application process for this special round of funding is now closed. Visit this link to see the 15 grant recipients. Transformative Grants for Nonprofits

Announcement: Transformative Grants for Nonprofits Opportunity

The Initiative Foundation is pleased to announce Transformative Funding for Nonprofits, a new grant cycle supported by the Otto Bremer Trust to help nonprofits transform their organizations and the support they provide to underserved communities in Central Minnesota.

The goal is to fund high-impact strategies for regional nonprofits affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Initiative Foundation will be awarding multiple grants for a total disbursement of up to $700,000 during this initial round (with additional funding to follow, as noted below). Grants will go to organizations that articulate a clear vision and a plan to increase their impact, efficiency, financial sustainability or scope of services.

A top priority of our funding partner supporting this opportunity is to support organizations led by and/or serving communities that are majority Black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC). About half of the funds will be awarded in rural areas where underserved populations are less likely to have BIPOC concentrations and are more likely to represent other underserved groups.

“The Foundation is open to supporting nearly any investment to a qualifying organization as long as it results in some form of organizational transformation,” said Zach Tabatt, program officer for nonprofit development at the Initiative Foundation. Examples include investments in technology, capital expenses, leadership or staff development, fundraising infrastructure, and the creation or expansion of social enterprise ventures that generate revenue for the nonprofit.

“We have a truly unique opportunity through this generous support from the Otto Bremer Trust,” Tabatt said, “and want to go big by helping grantees transition to the new nonprofit landscape rather than merely respond to general operating or capacity-building requests.”

Nonprofits selected to move forward with a full application must submit all documents by May 20. Grant award winners will be announced on June 1

In addition to strategically outlining a proposal and budget, applicants are encouraged to explore partnerships with parallel and like-minded organizations to maximize local impact. The Initiative Foundation will not fund duplicate services in overlapping geographical areas, and applicants are encouraged to collaborate rather than compete for support.

This round of funding is part of a $2 million grant to the Initiative Foundation from the Otto Bremer Trust. A second round of funding is planned to support small businesses harmed by the pandemic. 

About the Initiative Foundation

The Initiative Foundation supports a 14-county service area that includes Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties and the sovereign tribal nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe. Based in Little Falls, the Foundation exists to improve the quality of life and to build stronger communities in Central Minnesota by offering business loans, nonprofit grants, leadership training and donor services through its Partner Funds programs. Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds have invested multiple millions in the region through targeted grants and business financing investments.

About the Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust is a bank holding company and a private charitable trust based in St. Paul, Minn., that works at the intersection of finance and philanthropy. Created in 1944 by Otto Bremer, it is today one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations and is committed to supporting a better quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. OBT is the majority owner of Bremer Financial Corporation, a regional financial services company; manages a diversified investment portfolio; and operates Community Benefit Financial Company, a financial resources subsidiary. Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $841 million in people, places, and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Visit ottobremer.org.



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