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NDCF News & Reports

Meier Named Philanthropist of the Year

November 13, 2020 - Mark Meier, Founder and Executive Director of the Heaven’s Helpers Soup Café in Bismarck, was named the Philanthropist of the Year by the Association of Fundraising Professionals – Northern Plains Chapter at their virtual annual meeting and awards presentation on November 12, 2020.  Meier was presented with the award earlier in the week by AFP member Kara Geiger.

Nominated by the North Dakota Community Foundation, Meier originally opened the Soup Café in March of 2009 at the former Hawk’s Pit Stop Gas Station in Bismarck. All food is free at the Café, although donations are accepted if people are able to give.  The Soup Café was forced to close its doors at the end of May of 2015 when the landlord terminated the lease.  It reopened in its current location in January of 2018 and serves over 300 people a day.

Under Meier’s guidance, the Café has expanded its services to include a wheelchair-accessible shower, a laundry room, and computers for community members that need those services.  The Café also has a Life Skills Program Director to assist individuals who need help accessing other services, finding a job, or getting transportation to medical appointments.  It operates with one paid staff person and 20-30 volunteers every day.  Read more . . .

NDCF Celebrates Community Foundation Week

November 6, 2020 ─ The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) will join in a nationwide celebration, November 12-18, 2020, to recognize the increasingly important role these philanthropic organizations play in fostering local collaboration and improving the quality of life for residents in their area.

“Community foundations are often just that – the foundation of a community,” said Kevin Dvorak, President and CEO of NDCF. “They provide a consistent financial resource for the projects and programs that make a community a great place to live.  And they connect donors who want to give back with organizations in their area that need help.”

NDCF currently administers community endowment funds for 67 local community foundations in North Dakota, as well as a variety of other types of charitable funds including scholarships, donor-advised funds, and organizational endowment funds, which support specific charities in the state.    Read more . . . 

NDCF Awards $38,748 in Third COVID-19 Grant Round

October 20, 2020 . . . The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) has awarded $38,748 in its third round of COVID-19 response grants.  The grants were awarded to 21 organizations across the state, primarily food pantries and meal sites, including the Great Plains Food Bank.

Funding for the grants came from NDCF’s COVID-19 Community & Nonprofit Response Fund, which has received donations from individuals and businesses including Conoco-Phillips and Bartlett & West.

“Food banks and meal providers continue to see a tremendous increase in demand for their services as the pandemic continues,” said Kevin Dvorak, President & CEO of NDCF.  “Our board identified that as a key, basic need that they wanted to address and many of the grants went to those organizations.”

See the full list of grants here.

NDCF Awards $572,000 in Scholarships

September 4, 2020 . . . The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) will award $572,000 in over 370 scholarships to North Dakota students in 2020.  The organization currently manages over 150 scholarship funds supported by North Dakotans, former residents and those interested in helping North Dakota students succeed.

“Thanks to generous donors, these students will be able to continue their education despite the rising costs of college tuition,” said Kevin Dvorak, President and CEO of NDCF. “We wish them much success as they start the next chapter of their lives.”

The following list is organized alphabetically by hometown and provides the name of each scholarship recipient, their hometown, the school they will be attending (if known), and the scholarship fund or funds at NDCF from which the money was granted.  In most cases, a local advisory committee recommends the grant recipient. 

Congratulations to the NDCF Class of 2020!   Read more . . . 

NDCF Elects New Director and Officers

June 4, 2020 - The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) is pleased to announce the election of David Meyer of West Fargo, Carla Peltier of Belcourt, and Terri Lang of Strasburg to three-year terms on the NDCF Board. 

Meyer is the CEO of Titan Machinery, Inc.  He has served on the boards of several organizations including the ND Implement Dealers Association Board, the Lisbon School Board, the Lisbon CHS Hospital Board, and has served as a Trustee on the University of Minnesota Foundation Board.

Peltier is a retired teacher.  She has been a board member of Turtle Mountain Community College, an advisory board member of the Turtle Mountain Elementary School and Middle School, and a member of the ND Department of Health’s Children’s Special Health Services advisory board.

Lang was a reporter at the Emmons County Record newspaper and also worked as Outreach Staff through the North Dakota Farmers Union and as an Administrative Assistant for the US Army Senior Advisor office.  She has previously served on the Lincoln Hospital Board, numerous church boards, and the Optimist Club Board in Bismarck.

Re-elected to serve a second three-year term were read more here . . . 

ONEOK Hospitality Fund Assists 400 Workers

May 20, 2020 . . . The ONEOK Hospitality Employee COVID-19 Assistance Fund at the North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) has disbursed $200,000 to 400 employees of the hospitality industry working in communities in western North Dakota or Sidney, Montana, and impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  According to NDCF, each applicant received a grant for $500 to assist with immediate needs for those who had been significantly impacted by the pandemic.

“Being a good corporate citizen and giving back to our communities is who we are and what we do,” said Terry Spencer, ONEOK president and chief executive officer. “ONEOK is proud to step up to support our communities that need us now more than ever.”

Read the full news release here . . .


May 15, 2020 . . . The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) has awarded $209,682 in its second round of COVID-19 response grants.  The grants were awarded to 44 organizations across the state working to improve the quality of life for state residents. 

Funding for the grants came from NDCF’s COVID-19 Community & Nonprofit Response Fund and local community foundations that are component funds of NDCF.

See the full listing of grantees here.

NDCF Awards $248,714 in COVID-19 Response Grants

April 20, 2020 . . . The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) has awarded $248,714 in its first round of COVID-19 response grants.  The grants were awarded to 54 organizations across the state working to improve the quality of life for state residents. 

Funding for the grants came from NDCF’s COVID-19 Community & Nonprofit Response Fund, local community foundations and donor-advised funds that are component funds of NDCF, and The Barry Foundation.

“We are very thankful to The Barry Foundation and the many donors across our state that contributed to our COVID-19 Response Fund so we could get money to these North Dakota nonprofits that are providing essential services during this crisis,” said Kevin Dvorak, President & CEO of NDCF.

Read more . . .

NDCF Establishes COVID-19 Disaster Response & Recovery Fund

The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) has established the 2020 COVID-19 Disaster Response & Recovery Fund to assist nonprofit organizations, governmental agencies, and others in North Dakota affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  NDCF's Board of Directors has seeded the fund with $50,000 of their Statewide Greatest Needs Fund 2020 grantable dollars.

Because the COVID-19 virus will likely impact every corner of the state, individuals and businesses that wish to provide assistance to nonprofit organizations or others are encouraged to donate directly to their own local entities - e.g. senior citizens center, soup kitchen, school system, hospital, etc.  If these entities aren't able to accept donations, if the donor wishes to make a larger impact statewide, or if the donor prefers a tax receipt for his/her gift, donations may be made to NDCF's COVID-19 Disaster Response & Recovery Fund. 

Read more....

NDCF Surpasses $105 Million in Net Assets

April 16, 2020 – Bismarck, North Dakota . . . The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) has announced that it surpassed $105 million in net assets in 2019.  The organization was founded in 1976 to improve the quality of life of North Dakotans through charitable giving and promoting philanthropy. 

NDCF currently manages over 700 charitable funds, including 67 local community foundations in the state and over 150 scholarship funds for North Dakota students.  It has awarded over $76 million in grants since its inception.  The organization has offices in Bismarck, Larimore, and Dickinson, North Dakota.

More detailed information about NDCF’s activities in 2019 can be found in its Annual Report.

NDCF Hosts 53rd Annual ND Picnic in AZ

March 2, 2020 — The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) hosted the 53rd annual North Dakota Picnic at Red Mountain Park in Mesa, Arizona on Sunday, March 1, 2020.  The event is a gathering of anyone with North Dakota ties living either permanently or part-time in Arizona and drew between 2,500 and 3,000 people.

Attendees were entertained with polka music by Vic Schwahn, magic by Bill Sorenson, and oldies and original music by Bismarck native singer/songwriter Will Dakota.  Numerous vendor booths offered food and items to peruse as well as games and door prizes and there were classic cars on display as well.

"This is probably one of the largest gatherings of North Dakotans outside the state, except for possibly Frisco, Texas, when NDSU makes the playoffs and some UND playoff hockey games," said Christi Stonecipher, Director of Communications at NDCF. "It is wonderful to see old friends recognize each other in the crowd."

Next year's ND Picnic in AZ will be on Sunday, March 7, 2021 from 10 am to 2:30 pm at Red Mountain Park in Mesa, AZ.

Friends and former classmates found each other in the crowd.

Bismarck native Will Dakota played oldies and original songs for attendees.