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Make a one-time or recurring gift securely online and help Oliver County improve the quality of life for our residents forever!

The Oliver County Community Foundation was established by a group of residents interested in improving the quality of life for residents of Oliver County, North Dakota.  It provides a method of receiving donations and distributing grants to benefit projects or nonprofit organizations in Oliver County.  The fund is a component of the North Dakota Community Foundation, which is a nonprofit, tax-exempt corporation under IRS code 501(c)(3) and North Dakota Law.

The Oliver County Community Foundation is benefiting from an initial gift from Grid United, an independent transmission company that builds new long-distance, interregional transmission lines to enhance grid reliability and resiliency. Grid United's initial donation will be granted out in two grant rounds in 2023 to benefit projects and programs in the area.  


The local committee also want to build an QUALIFIED endowment fund under the Oliver County Community Foundation umbrella.  An endowment fund is a permanent fund that will be invested and will generate grantable dollars every year for many years to come to support projects and programs in Oliver County.  Gifts to the Oliver County Community Foundation's endowment fund may qualify for the 40% ND Tax Credit. (click on link for more information about the tax credit)

NDCF is the support system for the Oliver County Community Foundation, with over 40 years providing comprehensive charitable services to ND. This includes donor gift planning and bequest planning for individuals, company leaders, families, and nonprofits, 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 through marketing, granting, and growing the fund. 


Committee Members:
Deb Clarys (Chair)
Dave Berger
Scott Maier
Sharon Rud
Kate Kolden
Mikael Schmidt
Emily Pearson
Lacey Hanson
JD Hanson
Jayar Kindsvogel
John Lee

Questions: Please email Deb Clarys at or the Community Foundation general inbox at

Oliver County Community Foundation (OCCF)

PO 182
Center, ND 58530

For anonymous giving, gift planning, or unique asset gifts, please contact John Heinen- NDCF Western ND Regional Director at (701) 590-4614 or

Annual Reports


Recent grant awards from the Oliver County Community Foundation are listed below:

Grants Awarded in 2024 (includes grants from the Grid United Community Investment Program)

  • Center Park Board:  $17,500 for painting inside the pool & misc. maintenance
  • Oliver County Rural Fire Protection District:  $7,500 for radio equipment replacement

Grants Awarded in 2023 (includes grants from the Grid United Community Investment Program)

  • City of Center:  $5,000 to help replace the gym floor in the Betty Hagel Memorial Civic Center
  • Oliver County Fair:  $7,500 for an arena light/electrical upgrade
  • Small Hands Preschool and Child Care:  $8,000 to help purchase a vehicle to transport children to preschool, elementary school, and other activities
  • Center-Stanton Public School:  $12,000 for 7-12 grade student computers
  • Oliver County Historical Society:  $5,500 for property boundary fencing
  • Oliver County Rural Fire Protection District:  $12,000 for a tanker truck rebuild

Apply Now! Fall Deadline: 10/13/24



Grants will be awarded in two different grant rounds in 2024:

  • Spring Round:  Application Deadline March 31st - $25,000 Available
  • Fall Round:  TBD - $25,000 Available


  • OCCF grants are for the general needs of the region with as much 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 if you need a fiscal sponsor.
  • The board 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 OLIVER.


  • To projects substantially supported by government or which can and should be paid with tax revenue.
  • 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.

Grant 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, Ambulance, & Fire needs.

QUESTIONS: Click here email 

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 username (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.

STEP 4 - Committee will call you to present your project and share details. 

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

Gifts to OCCF 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 OCCF. 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 an Oliver 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 Oliver 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 Oliver 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