Blandin Foundation partners with community-focused organizations throughout rural Minnesota, especially in the Grand Rapids area, to foster resilient, vibrant rural communities. In addition to addressing public policy issues, providing scholarships, training community leaders and engaging communities around issues and opportunities, the Foundation supports these partnerships through grants of money generated by the trust of Charles K. Blandin.
Since Mr. Blandin's first grant of $600 for a community park in 1943, the Blandin Foundation has approved 8,000 grants totalling $365 million.
We look for work that adapts systems, addresses barriers, supports new and emerging leaders, and builds models that other communities can emulate.
If this sounds like your organization or project, let's talk! Start by visiting the "About" tab for details on what's eligible, Foundation focus areas, and tips for our application process.
Thank you for everything you do to build a vibrant rural Minnesota! We look forward to learning more about your work.
If you are an Itasca area student age 25 or younger, you might be interested in our Education Grants program.
Top Three Vibrant Communities | July 25 â€“ 29
1.) Ely: Vibrancy on the Iron Range a half-century ago was as plentiful as dandelions in June. Mining was booming and small businesses were popping up in the form of Ma’ and Pa’ shops and single screen movie theaters. Today, as many rural communities in Minnesota are realizing Strong Towns assessment on the ills of “big box” economy, the […]
Top Three Vibrant Communities | July 11 â€“ 15
1.) Lawrence Lake: For many young families in rural Minnesota, summertime is all about lakes, road trips, barbecues and baseball. When the youth baseball program in Lawrence Lake Township (some say Bovey, but never to a Laker’s face…) lost its home field last year, they were left on a diamond-less island and traveling to whichever neighboring town could accommodate. […]
Top Three Vibrant Communities | July 4 â€“ 8
1.) Clinton: The 90 year-old “Inadvertent Cafe” is nestled in the small western Minnesota town of Clinton—population 450. Thanks to a fellowship with the Bush Foundation, Brent Olson was able to reopen the cafe four years ago. Olson spent 25 years raising pigs on family land and wrote on the side. After his father urged him to […]