Charles K Blandin Foundation

Location: 100 N Pokegama Ave, Grand Rapids, 55744 MN

EIN: 41-6038619

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Important Information

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Top descriptors for this funder

12Gives more than money12Builds relationships11Responsive11Culturally sensitive11Positive leader in the field10Friendly9"Gets" nonprofits and issues8Openminded7Insightful6Likes site visits5Worth the time to pitch4Risk taker

Advice from a Friend

Charles K Blandin Foundation

May 07, 2018

Reviewer 731 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

An excellent resource for Itasca County-area nonprofits. For nonprofits outside that region, the guidelines and funding priorities are more restrictive so be sure to look through their materials carefully to see if your project/organization is a fit.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Openminded, Responsive

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Apr 10, 2018

Reviewer 5123 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2018

They're really accessible on a personal level - reach out even informally to a grants officer to start a conversation. They were up-front and honest about what they're interested in funding. In terms of their interest in projects, it helps to have an existing connection to the Blandin Foundation if you're outside the Itasca County area. In our case, we have several cohorts of Blandin Community Leadership Program alumni actively working on engagement projects in our community.

Pros

Gives more than money, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Builds relationships, "Gets" nonprofits and issues

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Oct 06, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

They are very approachable and good listeners. Call and talk to them if you have a good proposal.

Pros

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

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Oct 09, 2017

Thank you for your positive feedback. Rural philanthropy is different - deeply relational - we promise to keep working through authentic partnerships.

Oct 04, 2017

Reviewer 213 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

The Blandin Foundation has the experience and knowledge of the region to receive Grant requests, Help the Grantees apply, Support Community Efforts and Fund them with a user friendly application and clear directions. Response time is excellent and is willing to work with each request efficiently. On going support with advisors and consultants to assist you on the way to success. Excellent team to work with.

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

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Oct 09, 2017

Thank you for the thoughtful comments, and for recognizing our programs in Leadership, Public Policy & Engagement, and Communications add to the way we fund and work with organizations and rural communities.

Sep 25, 2017

Reviewer 938 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

I would definitely reach out and talk to someone in person to see if you and your request would be a fit with the foundation. From there you can decide if you should do a formal written request for funding.

Pros

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

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Oct 09, 2017

Many thanks for your kind words. It's nice to see you find value beyond being able to fund your organization. That's exactly what we strive for.
Onward :)

Sep 25, 2017

Reviewer 252 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Early in the process contact the Blandin Foundation staff and explain your funding needs and the benefits to the community. If there is a potential fit for funding or Blandin assistance a staff person will be assigned. Blandin is a very helpful connector as well as funder.

Pros

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

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Oct 09, 2017

Thank you for your comments and encouragement to continue to convene our local communities around issues that matter.

If you have ideas, please give us a call. Our colleagues in 'Public Policy & Engagement' are making themselves available as much as feasibly possible to help groups move forward in a good way.

Sep 21, 2017

Reviewer 830 - Grant Applicant - applied before 2014

The Foundation has a genuine "open door" policy making approaching them personally not only useful, but pleasant and non-threatening. Their regular in-house analysis of their philanthropic goals and tools like this one demonstrate an energetic corporate environment committed to serving its whole community through changing challenges.

Pros

Gives more than money, Culturally sensitive, Friendly, Openminded, Responsive

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Feb 16, 2018

Thank you for your candid feedback on our operations funding versus programmatic funding.
There's no doubt operations funding is what is most needed in our work. As it is, Blandin Foundation is a rare foundation that allocates around 60% of all funding toward operations at various nonprofits. And we do it for the reasons you state.
Because these funds are so precious, we admittedly tend to be slower to offer this kind of support, yet on the other hand, once we do, we tend to offer it for a long time. We also admit that this kind of support varies with nonprofit size, mission, and strategic fit with our priorities.
Thank you for the work you do in rural Minnesota.

Sep 20, 2017

Reviewer 774 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

I'm writing as an Itasca County organization, which is in Blandin Foundation's primary funding area. We have found the Foundation to be extremely responsive and helpful, a true partner in helping us find resources and meet community needs. The staff is honest and accessible. Talk your ideas over with them before submitting a proposal. Besides funding, they may give guidance and offer additional contacts.

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

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Feb 16, 2018

Many thanks for your note and for commenting on what is our "Committed Connections" grant application.
We will review the questions and consider simplifying them. You are not the only grantee who has found this particular application to be challenging due to the reflective elements.
Reflection, on the other hand, does generate good insights and learning about our work, which is key to being able to identify ongoing adjustments for greater impact.
We recognize, inside our own walls too, that finding time for reflecting on our work with an aim of continual improvement, is challenging.

Sep 19, 2017

Grant Applicant - applied in 2017

Have received ongoing support from this Foundation. Feel like we are true partners in our effort/mission. In addition to funding have also provided our organization with technical assistance and training. One of the best !

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

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Response from Charles K Blandin Foundation

Feb 16, 2018

Thank you for the positive feedback and your joint commitment to our region's people.

Sep 19, 2017

Reviewer 828 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2016

In my position, I work with several large and small grant-making organizations. The Blandin Foundation is my favorite. While I have been both approved and denied funding from them over time, their leadership is always engaged and supportive.

Pros

Positive leader in the field, Gives more than money, Friendly, Builds relationships, Responsive

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Charles K Blandin Foundation