Charles K Blandin Foundation

Location: 100 North Pokegama Ave. Grand Rapids MN 55744

EIN: 41-6038619

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Phone: (218) 326-0523

Fax: (218) 327-1949

Website: www.blandinfoundation.org

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What was the overall relationship with the funder?

How many hours did the grant application process take?

11 hours

Median

100%

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How would you rate this funder's accessibility?

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

Important Information

2017 Deadlines: March 15, June 15, September 15, December 15. Grants of $50,000 or less are reviewed ongoing

Types of Grants Awarded: Project, Operating, Capital (in Itasca), and Management/Technical Assistance

Geographic Focus: Itasca County (a minimum of 60% of their grant funding must stay in Itasca); Rural MN (meaning, not including Mpls/St. Paul, Duluth, Moorhead, Rochester, St. Cloud, or Mankato)

Interests/Priorities

Blandin Foundation partners with community-focused organizations throughout rural Minnesota to build healthy communities.

The Foundation gives grants in three priority areas:
• 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.
• Itasca County Area Vitality: These grants are available 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.
• Rural Community Leadership: Its primary investment in this focus area has been and will continue to be through its Blandin Community Leadership programs. A small number of grants will be made to support lead-ership development efforts that complement those of the Foundation.

Key Personnel

President and CEO: Kathleen Annette

Vice President: Wade Fauth

Director, Blandin Community Leadership Program: Valerie Shangreaux

Director of Grants: Sonja Merrild

Financial Summary

For Fiscal Year 2015

Total Assets: $396,100,000

Total Grants: $13,417,432

Change in Assets FY 2015: -11%

Amount of Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits: 100%

Sample Grants to Minnesota Nonprofits in 2015

Largest Grant: $2,100,000

Smallest Grant: $150

Average Grant: $25,839

Top descriptors for this funder

11Builds relationships10Gives more than money10Responsive10Culturally sensitive10Positive leader in the field9Friendly8"Gets" nonprofits and issues7Insightful7Openminded6Likes site visits5Worth the time to pitch4Risk taker

Advice from a Friend

Charles K Blandin Foundation

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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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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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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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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Aug 21, 2017 2

Reviewer 843 - Grant Applicant - applied in 2014

Incredibly helpful, honest desire to learn about your work and find ways to assist beyond just the grant dollars (as long as there is a strong fit with their mission/strategy). DEFINITELY have a phone call or meeting first before sending in a proposal or inquiry. Staff are very accessible compared to many other foundations and will help answer questions to save you time and effort.

Pros

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

More Feedback

Jun 29, 2017 1

Reviewer 217 - Grant Applicant - applied before 2014

Check website for grant categories, deadlines, areas that they fund.

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

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Charles K Blandin Foundation