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Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) Community Responsive Fund

The North Dakota Community Foundation (NDCF) was selected by the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) as a philanthropic intermediary partner to administer and distribute funds through its Community Responsive Fund. Under the partnership, NDCF will work closely with OBT to administer $1.5 million in funds for grants up to $75,000 to support local organizations that directly respond to immediate challenges and opportunities in the state.

Local nonprofits, organizations, and groups may apply for funding from the OBT’s Community Responsive Fund through NDCF by clicking the button at the bottom of this page. Qualified applicants focus on community asset building, supporting basic needs, health and well-being, restorative and responsive services, and/or bringing stability to individuals and families facing disruptive forces in life.

For more information, contact NDCF at 701-222-8349.

The Otto Bremer Trust is a private charitable trust based in St. Paul, Minn. Created in 1944 by business and community leader Otto Bremer, it is committed to supporting an enhanced quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. Since its founding, Otto Bremer Trust has invested more than $1 billion in its region’s people, places, and opportunities.

Step 1 - Review

Review the grant guidelines below to make sure your organization qualifies. If you aren’t sure, or if you have questions, please call NDCF at 701-222-8349 or email 

Basic criteria for organizations to apply to the OBT Community Responsive Fund:

  • Organization must be an IRS determined 501(c)3, no fiscal sponsorships may be utilized.
  • Grants are specifically for organizations and programs that provide direct service to address immediate needs within their communities.
  • The organization or program purpose must align with OBT Trust Instrument funding areas (see below) and address relevant community priorities.
  • The beneficiaries of grantees must primarily reside in ND.
  • Grant recipients will be selected by the North Dakota Community Foundation with final approval by Trustees of the Otto Bremer Trust.
  • Grant awards can be of varying amounts, up to  $75,000
  • Grantees must complete NDCF’s final report and share impact data with NDCF and OBT.

Further guidance regarding activities that align with OBT Trust Instrument by which applications will be judged, rated, and awarded:

Activities for which you should NOT apply:

  • Work to influence public policy 
  • One-time, special projects, or capital requests are discouraged.
  • Grants for regranting entities to further redistribute funds are not allowed.
  • Requests for projects outside of North Dakota
  • Annual fundraisers and benefit events (e.g., we do not offer sponsorships)
  • Debt reduction
  • Endowments
  • Animal welfare
  • Animal-based therapy programs
  • Primary medical research
  • Sporting teams and events
  • Core K-12 academic curriculum and staff
  • One-time experiences, such as camps, trips, conferences, and events
  • Religious programs for the purpose of religious education or proselytization
  • Historical preservation and interpretive centers
  • Municipal infrastructure projects, including emergency response equipment, parks, and playgrounds
  • Programs principally focused on the arts, including books, theatrical productions, museums, film, video, and other media projects.
  • Programs principally focused on environmental appreciation, enhancement, or preservation.

Step 2 - Register

Log in to our Grants Portal or create a new account if you are a new applicant. 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. 

Click on the button to go to NDCF's Grants Portal

Step 3 – Complete Your Application

After registering or logging in, follow the Apply tab at the top of the page. Scroll through the list and click “Apply” to the right of the grant program entitled "OBT - Community Responsive Fund". You will be able to save your application and return later to complete it. The deadline for submitting an application is April 30. Any applications still in draft mode after April 30 will be deleted. 

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

The Grants Review Committee will review all applications in May, and you will be notified whether your request was approved or denied as soon as feasible. Grant checks are expected to be mailed sometime in June.

Please read all guidelines before submitting an application.