Community Responsive Fund

Special Grant Round

Otto Bremer Trust Partnership

The Otto Bremer Trust was founded in 1944. Since then, it has granted more than $1 billion to help further Otto Bremer’s mission in communities across Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

Responsive Grantmaking

As a trusted partner, the Initiative Foundation will award $750,000 in grants to Central Minnesota organizations from the Otto Bremer Trust Community Responsive Fund. The Otto Bremer Trust’s Community Responsive Fund will support organizations or programs that address relevant community initiatives and align with the following funding priorities:

  • Basic Needs: This funding priority supports organizations assisting displaced individuals or those encountering various challenges in their journey toward self-sufficiency. These grants include those that focus on short-term assistance.
  • Community Asset-building: This priority includes a variety of investments—all with a central focus on strengthening community assets.
  • Health and Wellbeing: This priority seeks to increase the health and wellbeing of youth and adults.
  • Restorative and Responsive Services: This priority focuses on assisting organizations dedicated to restoring stability for individuals and families encountering disruptive forces.

Important Dates

Watch the informational webinar that was held on March 21. The webinar covers eligibility details and explains the application process. View the webinar slides.

View the application before applying.

  • Applications Due: Wednesday, May 1, at 4 p.m.
  • Funding Announcements: July 1

Program Requirements and Criteria

Organizations or programs that meet the following requirements will be given consideration:

  • Applicants must be 501(c)(3) organizations as determined by the IRS. No fiscal sponsorships will be considered.
  • Grants will range from $10,000 to $75,000.
  • Grantees must operate and deliver their services within the 14-county service area of the Initiative Foundation. Organizations that are current Otto Bremer Trust grantees are eligible to apply.
  • Organizations and programs that provide direct service to address immediate needs within their communities.
  • Grants available for program or project support.
  • Grants intended for existing work, projects and programs. The funding can support ongoing work.
  • Must meet additional eligible and ineligible criteria found in FAQs.

A Collaborative Minnesota Initiative Foundation Effort

Through this pilot program, the Initiative Foundation has the honor of serving as the administrative hub for the distribution of Community Responsive Fund resources to its Minnesota Initiative Foundation partners for local grantmaking: $400,000 to Southwest Initiative Foundation; $350,000 to West Central Initiative; $350,000 to Northwest Minnesota Foundation; $400,000 to Northland Foundation; and $750,000 to Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation.

This one-year program will distribute a total of $3 million to support local organizations that are directly responding to immediate challenges in their communities. Each Minnesota Initiative Foundation will establish its own timeline and guidelines in alignment with Otto Bremer Trust’s grant goals. All grant awards will be distributed by the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation.

See our FAQs for details on funding priority categories, eligibility and ineligibility.

Watch Videos to Learn More

English-language Video

Brian Voerding, Initiative Foundation president, introduces the Otto Bremer Trust’s Community Responsive Fund grant round.

Somali-language Video

Enterprise Academy Program Officer Ismail Mohamed introduces the Otto Bremer Trust’s Community Responsive Fund grant round.

We're Here to Help

Reach out to a member of our team for questions and guidance.

Nicole Clements

Nicole Clements

Nonprofit Development Program Officer (320) 631-2048
Don Hickman

Don Hickman

Vice President for Community & Workforce Development (320) 631-2043