Transparency

More on our founder's intent and how our work carries it forward today.

Blandin Foundation receives its funding from the C.K. Blandin Residuary Trust and is steward of the proceeds from that trust. In turn, the Foundation distributes those proceeds to communities across rural Minnesota – especially in the Grand Rapids area of north-central Minnesota.

The Foundation applies a number of tools to align activities with its mission and vision of healthy vibrant rural communities, evaluate its work, and hold the board, management and staff to high standards of performance. In addition to compliance with accounting best practices and IRS rules (see Financial Reports page), the following are guideposts for Blandin Foundation accountability.

Charles Blandin’s Legacy

Charles K. Blandin established the Blandin Foundation in 1941 to distribute profits from his paper mill. Though the Foundation’s mission, vision, resources and work have evolved in the more than 75 years since, documents illustrating Mr. Blandin’s intent continue to guide Blandin Foundation trustees and management.

 

2008 – Restated bylaws

2006 – Restated articles of incorporation

1990 – Order reflecting growth in assets and scope

1956 – Amendment to Foundation articles of incorporation

1941 – Blandin Foundation certificate of incorporation

 

1953 – Codicil 3 to CK Blandin will

1952 – Codicil 2 to CK Blandin will

1951 – Codicil 1 to CK Blandin will

1949 – Last will and testament of Charles K. Blandin

Upholding Our Commitment to Our Partners

Mr. Blandin required that the Ramsey County District Court review the accounts of the Residuary Trust. Every three years, the Residuary Trust reviews its accounts and disbursements before a judge. The next court review is slated for 2018.

In 2003, the court appointed a Special Master with legal and accounting expertise to verify that the Foundation is dedicating at least 55 percent of grantmaking in its home communities of the Grand Rapids area. This was the latest in a series of court actions that have assisted the Foundation in its service to Itasca area communities and rural Minnesota. A series of reports have been prepared by the Foundation and the Special Master as part of this commitment.

At the April 21, 2015 hearing, the court concluded that the Foundation and Trust, with guidance from the Special Master, has developed a robust system for reporting on its activities, and verifying that reporting by an external auditor. On April 28, 2015, the court discharged the special master, and approved the transition to the independent self-reporting system. In addition, the Foundation will now distribute 60 percent of its grantmaking in its home communities.

2016 – Independent self-reporting process

2015 – Order discharging Special Master, approving independent self-reporting process, and establishing local grantmaking at 60 percent

2015 – Order approving accounts for 2009-2011

2015 – Foundation statement of appreciation to Special Master Ulmen

2015 – Petition to discharge special master and approve verified self-reporting process submitted to Ramsey County district court for consideration at April 21 hearing

2007  – Amended order appointing special master

2004 – Order appointing special master

2003 – Stipulation and order setting 55 percent grantmaking in Itasca area

2000  – Order affirming the Grand Rapids area as the Foundation’s perpetual and primary focus

1990 – Order reflecting growth in assets and scope

If You Have Questions or Concerns About Our Local Giving

Blandin Foundation greatly values its relationship with the local community, and will listen to understand and be responsive to your questions or concerns. You may contact the Foundation directly with concerns about the level of grant making in our home giving area or the Foundation’s tax and financial reporting. The Foundation’s CEO will respond to you within 10 business days. Questions and concerns are shared with our board of trustees quarterly, and kept on file for at least two years.

Email: kathy.annette@blandinfoundation.org

Phone: 218-326-0523 or 1-877-882-2257

Mail or in person: Blandin Foundation, 100 North Pokegama Ave., Grand Rapids, MN 55744

If you have questions and concerns about the Foundation CEO, contact board chair Brian Nicklason.

If you have questions about members of the board of trustees, contact the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, which oversees the state’s charities.

Best Practices in Philanthropy

Blandin Foundation is a member of the Minnesota Council on Foundations (MCF) and the national Council on Foundations (COF).

As such, we recognize the importance of basing our work on principles that reflect the important role that philanthropies play in the communities they serve, that this role is sustained by public trust, and that certain obligations follow from that trust.

Blandin Foundation uses the following to guide our operations:

Member

Member

Glass Pockets

We are also proud to have earned a Glass Pockets designation by the Foundation Center.

Evaluating Our Work and Impact

Since 2007, Blandin Foundation has committed to building an organization-wide assessment system that contributes to improved performance and adaptation to a changing world. In 2013, Blandin Foundation engaged evaluation expert and author Michael Q. Patton to take its assessment work to a new level.

The resulting developmental assessment model, the Mountain of Accountability, is designed to strengthen the work of the foundation, and provides a framework through which all of the various assessments the Foundation implements might work together.

In addition, the Foundation shares information about its work with the residents of the Itasca area via our At Home local giving area reports.

Mountain of Accountability

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At Home Local Giving Area Reports

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Policies and Procedures

The Foundation has established policies and procedures for its operations. If you do not see information about the policy or procedure you seek, you may contact Janet Borth, director of human resources, with questions about staff policies and procedures, or Chris Jenkins, director of finance, with questions about financial policies and procedures.