Otto Bremer Foundation (Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Wisconsin)

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    Funder Type

    Private Foundation

    IT Classification

    C - Funds little to no technology


    Otto Bremer Trust


    While the Otto Bremer Trust does not have specific strategic grantmaking priorities, we do provide broad categories to explain the types of programs and services we invest in. These categories are intended to provide some insight into the types of work we fund.

    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—we seek to achieve this common goal.

    This category covers a range of investments, including small business development, diversity initiatives, community planning, long-term housing programs, transportation, literacy, and adult education—all focused on building strong community assets.

    Health and Well-Being:

    We fund 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.

    Other 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 and Emergency Services:

    We believe 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, economic stabilization, and helping people navigate the judicial and legal system.


    History of Funding

    Previous award recipients can be viewed at

    Additional Information

    It is recommended you contact the foundation prior to applying if any of the following is applicable;

    • Start-up organizations or new programs within an existing organization
    • Bringing a program or building into government compliance (e.g., if primary purpose of the project is to address a code violation or ADA requirements)
    • New applicants or programs for which Otto Bremer Trust is asked to provide a majority of the budget
    • National or regional organizations, including organizations expanding into OBT's service area
    • Organizations experiencing a significant transition, such as a merger or leadership change

    Projects the foundation does not fund include the following:

    • Requests for projects outside of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, or Wisconsin
    • Annual fundraisers and benefit events (e.g., we do not offer sponsorships)
    • Debt reduction
    • Endowments other than for the development of community foundations
    • Animal welfare
    • Animal-based therapy programs
    • Primary medical research
    • Sporting teams and events
    • Core K-12 academic curriculum and staff
    • One-time experiences, such as camps, trips, conferences, and events
    • Religious programs for the purpose of religious education or proselytization
    • Historical preservation and interpretive centers
    • Municipal infrastructure projects, including emergency response equipment, parks, and playgrounds
    • Programs principally focused on the arts, including books, theatrical productions, museums, film, video, and other media projects.
      • We may consider projects that use the arts as a mechanism for work that more closely corresponds with OBT's purposes.
    • Programs principally focused on environmental appreciation, enhancement, or preservation.
      • We may consider projects that use environmentalism as a mechanism for work that more closely corresponds with OBT's purposes.


    Danielle Cheslog

    Danielle Cheslog
    30 E. 7th St. Ste. 2900
    St. Paul, MN 55101
    (651) 312-3717
    (651) 312-3665

  • Eligibility Details

    Grants are made only to organizations whose beneficiaries are Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and/or Wisconsin residents. Grants are generally restricted to organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to governmental entities. OBT does not make grants to individuals.

    Deadline Details

    Applications must be received by 5:00 P.M. (CT) on: February 8, 2024, April 4, 2024, June 6, 2024 and August 1, 2024. 

    Award Details

    Awards vary by program. Most grants are awarded for a one-year period, however the Otto Bremer Foundation will consider multi-year funding as well. Additional information on grants can be viewed at:

    Related Webcasts Use the links below to view the recorded playback of these webcasts

    • Funding Classroom Technology to Empower Students and Teachers - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Maximizing Technology-friendly Workforce Development Grants - Sponsored by Panasonic - Playback Available
    • Funding Data-driven Workforce Development Projects - Sponsored by NetApp - Playback Available


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