Otto Bremer Trust

Location: 30 E. 7th St., Ste. 2900 St. Paul MN 55101

EIN: 41-6019050

Write a Review

Phone: (651) 227-8036

Fax: (651) 312-3665

Website: www.ottobremer.org

94%

6%

What was the overall relationship with the funder?

How many hours did the grant application process take?

16 hours

Median

90%

10%

How would you rate this funder's accessibility?

93%

7%

How successfully do you think the funder is accomplishing its current philanthropic goals?

Important Information

2017 Deadlines: January 10, April 11, July 11, October date coming soon, 2017

Types of Grants Awarded: Project, Operating, Capital, and Management/Technical Assistance

Geographic Focus: Minnesota Statewide, Twin Cities metro, East Metro, West Metro, Central MN, NE, NW, Southern MN

Interests/Priorities

The Otto Bremer Trust is rooted in and committed to the communities that are homes to Bremer banks. The Founda-tion strives to help build healthy, vibrant communities—places where basic needs are met, mutual regard is prized, and opportunities for economic, civic and social participation are within everyone’s reach.

Grantmaking funding focus is placed on:
• Activities that Move Communities Forward: The Foundation funds those opportunities with the potential to move a community forward in meaningful, powerful and broad-based ways. This breadth of vision is inten-tional in order to encourage innovative responses to community opportunities and challenges.
• Twin Cities funding: A portion of the Foundation’s funding is devoted to support for the seven-county Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. The Foundation focuses on work that helps individuals and families become financially stable and self-reliant. This will include support for basic needs when that work moves individuals closer to stability and self-sufficiency. This work could include creating economic opportunities, providing options for learning and development, stabilizing families, and other strategies to build the founda-tion individuals and families need to be productive and engaged community members.

Key Personnel

Director of Operations: Kari Suzuki

Grants Manager: Danielle Cheslog

Regional Director: Lue Her

Regional Director: Aretha Green-Rupert

Regional Director: Tony LookingElk

Financial Summary

For Fiscal Year 2015

Total Assets: $906,202,779

Total Grants: $45,131,785

Change in Assets FY 2015: -4%

Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits: 76%

Sample Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits in 2015

Largest Grant: $1,041,000

Smallest Grant: $2,500

Average Grant: $80,124

Top descriptors for this funder

13Builds relationships12Likes site visits12Positive leader in the field12Responsive11"Gets" nonprofits and issues11Openminded9Friendly8Culturally sensitive8Insightful4Gives more than money4Risk taker1Culturally incompetent

Advice from a Friend

Otto Bremer Trust

Sep 20, 2017

Reviewer 665 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

The program officer we interacted with was disrespectful, dismissive, and actively misinformed about some of the basic facts that inform our work. They came for a site visit and were bordering on hostile about having to entertain the idea of funding our program: they had a clear personal disinterest in our program which it seems inevitable impacted our chance of funding.

Cons

Difficult to work with, Culturally incompetent

More Feedback

Sep 07, 2017

Reviewer 278 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Program officers at OBT have been remarkable. Most are down to earth, very approachable, and will give a good idea a fighting chance. Their funding priorities are broader than most foundations (poverty), which allows organizations, large and small, to innovate and try new things. Program officers are also diverse, which makes me feel like they relate better with the needs of communities. The only criticism I have is transparency in their staffing and leadership selection. Unfortunately, OBT tends to find themselves in the news for the wrong reasons. All in all, OBT is one of the BEST foundations to work with, hands down!!

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Aug 30, 2017

Reviewer 995 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Our Program Officer is wonderful and very engaged with our mission and program. I understand this is the case with all of his applicants, not just us! Otto Bremer is specific in what they fund and will be direct with you about whether you are a good candidate, if you ask.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Aug 29, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

The program officers do a great job at building a relationship with grantees and other community partners. They really seem to view the relationship with grantees as a partnership to address community issues.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Responsive

More Feedback

Aug 29, 2017

Reviewer 282 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Otto Bremer Trust has a very responsive staff and takes the time to get to know their grantees. They represent true and responsive philanthropy. Ahead of applying, take the time to research their guidelines, timelines, one-grant-at-a-time policy, etc...and then reach out to the foundation ahead of applying. Through their site visits with organizations they dig deep, ask good questions, and really try to understand the organization and/or program. I have great respect for the staff members and leadership of Otto Bremer Trust.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Culturally sensitive, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Aug 29, 2017

Reviewer 211 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Otto Bremer Trust is very good about giving unrestricted funding. While it can be difficult to understand what they are looking for in proposals, they are generally very broad in their grantmaking and do not generally dictate much to grant recipients.

Pros

Friendly, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Aug 28, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Bremer's program managers are wonderful. They are smart, insightful, and have a deep understanding of the practical workings of non-profits. Be well-prepared for the site visit. We have worked with three different program managers and all three were great.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Insightful, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded

More Feedback

Aug 28, 2017

Reviewer 209 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Keep applying. We did not get funding the first application. They meet with applicants in person!! The application, funding, reporting cycle is long-do not depend on funding from one year to the next.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Aug 23, 2017

Reviewer 215 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Make sure the mission of your organization matches up well to OBT and their priorities. This is one of the top MN Foundations that is doing good in so many communities across the upper midwest. Take time to understand what Otto Bremer was all about. He really wanted to help build better communities. His foundation is walking the walk for Otto. He'd be very proud.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Jul 18, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

Program officers are fabulous and straight forward - build a relationship. They need to fully understand the problem your organization is addressing and how you work. It's worth it to spend extra time making sure they understand what you do.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Risk taker, Culturally sensitive, Insightful, Friendly, Builds relationships, Likes site visits, "Gets" nonprofits and issues, Openminded, Responsive

More Feedback

Would you like to share your experiences about this funder?

funder logo

Otto Bremer Trust