Blandin Foundation's primary geographic focus is Itasca County (north central Minnesota) and a few neighboring communities. This region was the “wood basket” of the Grand Rapids-based Blandin Paper Company when it was owned by Foundation founder Charles Blandin in the early 20th Century.
While no longer legally connected in any way with the paper company, the communities of Itasca County continue to be the focus of the majority of the Foundation's resources. Blandin Foundation work and giving in the area supports a wide spectrum of partners and initiatives focused on the vibrancy of these communities and the organizations strengthening them.
Blandin Foundation is the largest rural-based and rural-focused private foundation in Minnesota and one of only a handful nationally. The Foundation provides approximately $12 million in grants each year and nationally recognized leadership development, broadband and other programs. The Foundation also convenes rural community leaders around critical issues such as student success, inclusion and economic development. See the Accountability page for more information.
The Foundation’s primary focus is on its partnerships with its “home communities” of Bigfork, Blackduck, Bovey, Calumet, Cohasset, Coleraine, Deer River, Effie, Goodland, Grand Rapids, Hill City, Keewatin, LaPrairie, Marble, Marcell, Nashwauk, Northome, Pengilly, Remer, S. Lake, Taconite, Talmoon, Warba, Wawina, Wirt, and Zemple. Visit the Grant Lists page for lists of recent grants and news about grants awarded in the Itasca area.
Charles K. Blandin
The legacy of Charles K. Blandin stems from a childhood marked with deep poverty, hard work, progress, business success and more. It's a life …
At Home local giving area reports
As part of its commitment to its home community, Blandin Foundation periodically produces a report on its activities and distributes it to res…
Blandin Foundation typically announces the grants it has awarded after each quarterly board meeting. If you have questions, contact Diana Daig…
Invest Early ™
In 2005, Blandin Foundation made a 10-year, $1.5 million commitment to this innovative, collaborative effort that seeks to reach children unde…
We Stand With You: Blandin Foundation statement on inclusion July 2016
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Local news: Blandin Foundation awarded $7.7 million in Itasca area last year
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Local news: Blandin Foundation awards $4.4 million in grants, 328 education grants
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Blandin Foundation and Trust to meet with Court
GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Representatives from Blandin Foundation and the Charles K. Blandin Residuary Trust head to St. Paul on April 21 to…
Looking forward, the Blandin Foundation will continue to create strong rural Minnesota communities in four main ways, with three major areas o…
Over its 75-year history, Blandin Foundation has been an active partner in Itasca County and throughout rural Minnesota. Since Charles Blan…
Everyone can contribute to the success of a child. A strong start in life -- education, nurturing, discovery, growth, work -- sets the founda…
Education Grants - $1,000 - $4,500
Three Blandin Foundation programs exemplify Charles Blandin’s commitment to further the education and work skills of local residents who…
Itasca Area Community Donations $100-$1,000
Blandin Foundation’s Itasca County Area Community Donations are defined by and require the following points: Amount awarded: $100 to …
Community Vibrancy and the Greater Grand Rapids Area: A Study of Resource Intersection and Needs
How does Blandin Foundation best layer its investments for most impact? Blandin Foundation explored this question in its home giving area in …
A lifelong resident of rural Minnesota, Dr. Kathleen Annette is a recognized leader at local, regional and national levels. Kathy grew up o…