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This foundation was established by a group of residents concerned about the lack of ongoing funding for local organizations. Our Organization provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants to benefit critical annual projects in the Mercer County Area.  The MCCF is a component fund of the North Dakota Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and North Dakota Law.

TWO FUNDS: Committee work is supported by two fund to which donors can give and help in the mission of serving our community.  

  • ENDOWMENT: Is the primary fund, and qualifies those who pay ND income tax, in or out of state, to a 40% ND Tax Credit when making a gift to this qualified fund and after meeting certain size gifts.  (click on link for requirements). Roughly 4% of funds are put to work in the community annually as "grants". 
  • NON-ENDOWMENT PROJECT Fund: Used for immediate granting, and for launching marketing awareness events. Qualifies as a IRS charitable deduction if no benefit is given in return, but NOT for 40% ND income tax credit.

NDCF as a qualfied IRS non-profit, is the support system for Mercer County Community Foundation (MCCF) bringing comprehensive charitable services to ND. This includes donor gift planning and bequest planning for individuals, company leaders, families, and non-profits, and fiduciary services such as accounting, audit and money management. This allows local volunteer committees to focus on telling their story of their foundation impact using marketing, granting, and growing the fund. 

ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Our local committee is the conduit between our foundation and our community. From diverse geography across the county,  with our various backgrounds, and professional expertise we serve those wanting to create a Legacy in our community. Our roles include having a working knowledge of community quality of life project needs, promoting our foundations mission and impact in the community, answering questions of donors of if,when, and how of make a gift. This benefits community social groups, non-profits, donors.  All in the spirit of building and sustaining a livable community! 

Our Commitee members are: 

Christie Obenauer (Interim Chair) (701)870-1409 or

Sonya Hansana Secretary
Joe Barbot
Julie Graney
Zach Huber
Kathy Kelsch
Dena Kemmet
Bonnie Krause
Todd Meier (701)880-5866 or
Kenneth Miller
Jolene Muscha

Mercer CCF C/O Union State Bank
PO Box 468
Hazen, ND 58545

OTHER INFORMATION tab will give you brochures, reports when available you can use or share with family/friends/classmates.

SECURE ONLINE GIVING: (Click Here) Donations can be one time, reoccuring and you can choose more than one fund in the same page. 

GENERAL QUESTIONS about NDCF services or anonomous giving contact John Heinen CFRE: NDCF Western ND Director of Development (701) 590-4614 or at


As materials become available they will be posted here for easy download and emailing to your contacts. Sample materials will be


Community Livability Donation Form

ANNUAL REPORT (Coming in 2020)




  • Grants are given yearly, and will fund the most urgent need of that year to the extent funds are available. The quantity of grants and size will be proportional to the size of the fund. 
  • MERCER MCCF is for general needs of the region with equity around the county  as possible. Grants will be awarded to any organizations designated by the IRS as 501(c)3 nonprofit tax exempt groups, or government agencies. Contact the committee at the email below if you need a fiscal sponsor.
  • The committee places emphasis on helping applicants that have limited access to other funding.
  • Extensions may be granted and additional grant application deadlines may be added at the discretion of the Advisory Committee.
  • Approved grant requests may be funded in full or partially, at the discretion of the Advisory Committee.
  • Requests for projects or programs that serve a greater number of county residents will receive higher priority.
  • Grants can be made to any entity in the MERCER  COUNTY.
  • Grant project Ideas: New playgrounds, Planting trees in parks, School tech needs,  Food pantry program, Shelter needs, County projects to improve quality of life, special need in Nursing home or Hospital/Clinic. Ambulance & Fire needs.


  • Grants to national organizations.
  • Requests for operating funds or day-to-day expenses.
  • Grants to religious organizations shall be limited to those activities which are non-sectarian and serve the entire community. ie. food pantry


  • Requests for grants or scholarships for individuals will NOT be considered.
  • Multi-year "pledges"
  • Grants submitted by organizations who seek to influence legislation, carry on propaganda, participate in political campaigns, or which threaten to cause significant controversy or divisiveness.


USING THE GRANT SYSTEM: We made it easy for you to apply online for a grant!

Step 1 - Review

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

Step 2 - Register

Create an account on our Grant 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.


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 Mercer County Community Foundation (MCCF) continue to support important projects and programs in our area forever.

Gifts to MCCF 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 MCCF. Doing so provides for your heirs while honoring your charitable values.

Getting Started

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

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 an Mercer County 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 John Heinen.  He has many years of experience helping donors create their charitable vision and better prepare for their discussions with financial planners. John's cell is 701-590-4614 or you can email him 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 Mercer County 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 Mercer County 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