Otto Bremer Trust Grant

Otto Bremer Trust

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Next deadline: Dec 17, 2020 3:00pm PST

Later deadlines: Jun 30, 2021 3:00pm PDT, Sep 22, 2021 3:00pm PDT

Grant amount: US $5,000 - US $200,000

Fields of work: Basic Human Needs Literacy Urban Planning Education - Preschool / Early Learning Career/College Preparation Recreation Sexual Assault/Abuse Community/Public Safety Community Development & Revitalization Wellness & Healthy Living Vocational & Trade Education Disaster Relief / Humanitarian Aid Education - Higher Education Domestic Violence Refugee Services Public Transportation & Mass Transit Systems Health & Medicine Parenting Counseling & Education Workforce Preparation & Job Readiness Family Services Youth Services Adult Education Legal Services Show all

Applicant type: Nonprofit, Government Entity

Funding uses: Education / Outreach, Project / Program

Location of project: Counties in Minnesota: Aitkin County, Becker County, Benton County, Blue Earth County, Carver County Show all

Location of residency: Preferred: Minnesota, North Dakota, Wisconsin Other eligible locations: United States

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About this funder:



Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust is a unique organization spanning banking, investments, and philanthropy. Each serves a specific purpose, and they all work together to deliver impact for the communities we serve. One hundred percent of our assets are put to work for our mission — and have been since 1944.

Social Returns Focus 

We look to respond to needs and opportunities that align with the Trust and are identified by our communities. Our philanthropy team carefully reviews applications leading to recommended investments that make a positive difference in our communities.

By investing in people, places, and opportunities in the Upper West, the Otto Bremer Trust seeks to build healthy, vibrant communities. Our service area spans seven regions in Minnesota, North Dakota, and western Wisconsin. 

See the map to locate your region.

Grant Categories

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 and infrastructure, long-term housing programs, transportation, literacy, and adult education, all which are focused on building strong community assets.

Health & Wellbeing

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.

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 & 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, emergency services such as volunteer fire departments and paramedics, economic stabilization, and helping people navigate the judicial and legal system.

Twin Cities funding

A portion of our funding is devoted to support for the seven-county Minneapolis/St. Paul metropolitan area. Since the Twin Cities area is served by funders in addition to the Otto Bremer Trust, we focus our resources more narrowly to achieve the greatest impact.

  • Grants in the Twin Cities metro area focus on work that helps individuals and families become financially stable and self-reliant. This includes support for basic needs when that work moves individuals closer to stability.
  • While we support basic needs, we also are interested in programs that provide support or connect with resources that move people toward self-sufficiency.
  • We are interested in supporting work that creates economic opportunities, provides options for learning and development, stabilizes families, and uses other strategies to build the foundation individuals and families need to be productive and engaged community members.

You can learn more about this opportunity by visiting the funder's website.


  • Grants are made only to organizations whose beneficiaries are residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, or Wisconsin, with priority given to local and regional organizations that support Bremer Bank communities highlighted here.
  • Grants are generally restricted to organizations described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and to governmental entities. 
  • OBT does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, marital status or national origin.


  • OBT does not make grants to individuals.
  • At this time, OBT does not accept proposals from organizations that received their tax-exempt status through the 1023-EZ application process.
  • We discourage proposals for funding the following activities, which generally fall outside our strategic vision:
    • Annual fund drives and benefit events
    • Endowments other than for the development of community foundations
    • Environmental work
    • Medical research
    • Projects that are primarily artistic in nature, including books, theatrical productions, film, video, and other media projects
    • Historical preservation, museums, and interpretive centers
    • Sporting events


This page was last reviewed October 11, 2020 and last updated October 11, 2020