Blandin Foundation Grants

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Blandin Foundation partners with community-focused organizations throughout rural Minnesota, especially in the Grand Rapids area, to build healthy rural communities. In addition to addressing public policy issues, providing scholarships, conducting leadership development programs and providing technical assistance, the Foundation supports these partnerships through grants of money generated by the trust of Charles K. Blandin.

The Foundation awards several grants, depending on size of request and geographic impact. Eligibility and Areas of Focus guidelines also apply.

1. Major Grants
Blandin Foundation Major Grants are defined by and require the following:

  • Amount awarded: $50,001 to $250,000 or more
  • Applications reviewed: March, June, December
  • A minimum of 55 percent of its grant-making will be of direct benefit to the Foundation's home communities in the Grand Rapids/Itasca County, Minn., 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.
  • 2. Quick Response Grants
    Blandin Foundation Quick Response Grants are defined by and require the following:

  • Amount awarded: $1,001 to $50,000
  • Applications reviewed: throughout the year
  • These grants allow the Foundation to provide a more nimble response to smaller initiatives, by simplifying the administrative process. Proposed projects must fit within the same guidelines as the larger Blandin Foundation grants.
  • 3. BCLP Quick Start Grants
    Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP) Quick Start Grants are defined by and require the following:

  • Amount awarded: up to $5,000
  • Applications reviewed: throughout the year
  • Communities that have participated in a Blandin Community Leadership Program apply for these funds in order to assist communities' access to knowledge needed to plan for their future.
  • 4. Broadband Community Project Grants
    Broadband Community Project Grants are defined by and require the following:

  • Five programs available for advancing community awareness, business and residential use, and public and private investment in rural broadband capacity.
  • Amount awarded: $10,000 to $50,000 depending on program
  • Application deadlines in 2014 are April 4 and June 13.
  • 5. Itasca County Area Community Donations
    Blandin Foundation's Itasca County Area Community Donations are defined by and require the following points:

  • Amount awarded: $100 to $1,000
  • Applications reviewed: throughout the year
  • The Foundation awards these to nonprofits in its local giving area (Grand Rapids, Minn., and surrounding Itasca County) for projects that meet an emerging need. Organizations must be able to prove 501(c)3 status, and can only receive one donation per calendar year. A formal application is not required.
  • 5. Education Grants Program
    Blandin Foundation gives grants from $1,000 to $4,000 each year to students (homeschooled, too) of high schools in the Itasca County area, even if you're not in the top of your class. You can apply if you are under age 25 and plan to go to community college, certificate programs, colleges or universities anywhere in the United States. Deadline to apply is always May 1.

    To be eligible for Blandin Foundation grants, organizations must be located in rural Minnesota, be a 501(c)3 organization or unit of government, and propose projects that align with the Foundation's mission and focus areas of:

    Focus Area 1: Expand Opportunity
    An evolving area of work, Blandin Foundation seeks to blend educational attainment, economic opportunity and broader inclusion in rural Minnesota communities, so all residents have greater opportunities to prosper. Emphasis is on work that moves beyond traditional approaches and that increases impact through a synergistic approach.

    Focus Area 2: Itasca County Area Vitality
    The Foundation carries on the legacy and commitments of businessman and Blandin Foundation founder Charles K. Blandin to his adopted hometown of Grand Rapids, Minn., and surrounding communities. These are grants availably only for cultural and social services activities that directly benefit the communities of Itasca County and the neighboring communities of Blackduck, Northome, Hill City and Remer, Minn.

    Focus Area 3: Rural Community Leadership
    Blandin Foundation has had a quarter-century commitment to developing and sustaining the capacity of rural residents to build healthy communities. Its primary investment in this focus area has been, and will continue to be, through its Blandin Community Leadership programs. In addition, a small number of grants will be made to support leadership development efforts that complement those of the Foundation

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    Blandin Foundation
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    Blandin Foundation
    100 North Pokegama Avenue
    Grand Rapids, MN 55744
    Toll Free: 877-882-2257
    Phone: 218-326-0523
    Fax: 218-327-1949