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Garrison Area Community Foundation

Make a one-time or recurring gift to benefit Garrison forever!

Established in 2011 by Better Living for Garrison, Inc., the Garrison Area Community Foundation provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants to benefit projects or nonprofit organizations in the Garrison area. The Foundation is affiliated with the North Dakota Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and North Dakota Law.

The Garrison Area Community Foundation is managed locally by a group of volunteers whose main activities are building the fund and recommending grants annually. 

Local Advisory Committee

Keith Witt 
Bruce Schreiner 
Scott Foss 
Deb Youngs
Nick Klemisch
Sue Schreiner
Tod Graeber
Kim Essler
Sarah Chase
Shannon Jeffers


Keith Witt
PO Box 
Garrison, ND 58540


Kara Geiger
Development Director, NDCF

The Garrison Area Community Foundation has provided support for Skyfest Over Fort Stevenson for several years. The annual kite festival attracts nationally recognized kite makers and professional kite fliers. All ages are welcome to build and fly a kite during the festival in May.

The Garrison Area Community Foundation has awarded over $53,000 in 54 grants since its inception in 2011. Recent grant awards are listed below.

Grants Awarded in 2022

  • Benedictine Living Community Garrison - $1,154 for blanket warmers
  • Little Lunches Backpack Program - $1,154
  • North Dakota Firefighter's Museum - $1,924 for a wall mural & rock project
  • SkyFest Over Fort Stevenson - $1,154 for the 2023 event
  • St. Paul Lutheran Church - $764 for Vacation Bible School 2023

Grants Awarded in 2021

  • Benedictine Living Community Garrison - $1,500 Music Therapy
  • Dolly Parton Imagination Library Garrison - $500 Books
  • Garrison Area Resource Center & Food Pantry - $2,142.86 Food Pantry Services
  • SkyFest Over Fort Stevenson - $1,500 Program Support

Grants Awarded in 2020

  • Garrison Area Resource Center & Food Pantry - $1,000 for Emergency Needs due to COVID-19 Crisis
  • Garrison Community Chest - $1,600 for 2020 Garrison Community Chest Fund Drive
  • Little Lunches Backpack Program - $2,500 for Little Lunches Backpack Program

Grants Awarded in 2019

  • Benedictine Living Community - $1,000 Multi-Sensory Room
  • Better Living for Garrison - $1,000 SkyFest Over Fort Stevenson
  • Little Lunches Backpack Program - $2,000 Program Support
  • ND Firefighters Museum - $1,000 NDFM Exhibit Signage

Guidelines and Procedures

  • Grants shall be awarded only to those organizations designated by the IRS as 501(c)(3) nonprofit tax exempt groups, or government agencies. Groups without such designation seeking to apply may enlist a fiscal sponsor. Please contact Kara at NDCF for more information.
  • Grants shall be awarded to organizations within the Garrison community. 
  • Grants to religious organizations shall be limited to those activities which are non-denominational and serve the entire community. 
  • Completed applications are due on or before October 1 of each year. The deadline may be extended, at the discretion of the Advisory Committee. 

Funding Priorities 
High Priority 

  • Organizations that serve Youth, Senior Citizens, Leadership, and Community Development 
  • Projects or programs that benefit a greater number of residents 

Low Priority 

  • Requests for multiple-year funding 
  • Requests for operating funds or day-to-day expenses 

The following will NOT be considered: 

  • Requests for grants or scholarships for individuals 

Deadline: October 1

How to Apply

Step 1 - Review

Review the grant guidelines above to make sure your organization qualifies.

Step 2 - Register

Create an account on our Grants Portal. You will need your organization’s name, EIN, and executive officer's name. Be sure to write down your user name (email address) and password.

Step 3 – Complete Your Application

After registering or logging in, you will arrive at the application section. Click “Apply” to the right of the grant program to which you wish to apply. If you do not see your desired grant program on the list, contact our office. You will be able to save your application and return later to complete it.

Click here for more detailed instructions and tips for using our online grant system.

Plan Your Legacy

Making a lasting difference in our community or for future generations may be easier than you realize.  With very simple language in your will or trust, you can help the Garrison Area Community Foundation (GACF) continue to support important projects and programs in our area forever.

Gifts to the GACF are carefully invested by our partner foundation - the North Dakota Community Foundation - to generate a  permanent source of charitable income.

If you have children or other relatives, you can leave a portion of your estate to them and a percentage to the GACF. Doing so provides for your heirs while honoring your charitable values.


Brothers Russell and Dale Brown left gifts to the communities of Lisbon and Milnor, ND, in their estate plans.

Getting Started

1.  Download our free Estate Planning Guide - it contains helpful information and things to consider as you develop your own unique plan.

2.  Reach out to a Garrison Area Community Foundation committee member to learn more about the charities and needs in our area.

3.  Consider discussing (confidentially) your vision with our NDCF gift planner Kara Geiger.  She has many years of experience helping donors create their charitable vision and better prepare for their discussions with financial planners. You can reach Kara at 701-222-8349 or you can email her at

4.  Contact your professional advisors (financial planner, attorney and/or accountant) and ask for help in establishing a charitable gift to our foundation.

5.  Make sure your will or living trust is up-to-date and reflects your charitable goals.

6.  Consider notifying the charitable organizations about the gift you plan to leave them.  They will appreciate your generosity and will want to know what you’d like them to do with your eventual gift if it isn't clear.


Language for Your Will or Living Trust

Susanne Mattheis wished to support several different charitable organizations in Bismarck after she passed. NDCF helped her craft a plan that accomplished her charitable goals and provided long-term support to the Public Library, Symphony Orchestra, and five other local entities.

If you would like to include the Garrison Area Community Foundation in your will, here is some sample language to consider:

“I give and bequeath to the North Dakota Community Foundation (Tax ID Number 45-0336015), a qualified charitable organization under IRS 501(c)(3), located in Bismarck, North Dakota, ___________ (a percentage of the estate, specific dollar amount, or remainder of estate) for the Garrison Area Community Foundation, a permanent component of the North Dakota Community Foundation.”

*  Be sure to contact your legal advisor.


There are many other ways to make a deferred gift to your community, including

  • Making NDCF (and your specific community fund) the beneficiary of your life insurance policy, IRA, 401K, or commercial annuity
  • Establishing a Charitable Gift Annuity with NDCF
  • Other more sophisticated tools, depending on your unique situation

To investigate options and learn more about how other North Dakotans have given back, visit our planned giving website at