GRAND RAPIDS, Minn. – Representatives from Blandin Foundation and the Charles K. Blandin Residuary Trust again head to St. Paul in December to update the Ramsey County District Court on its commitments to the communities of its local giving area (Itasca County, plus neighboring communities of Remer, Hill City, Blackduck and Northome). The public hearing, in front of the Honorable Margaret Marrinan, is at 9:30 a.m. December 15 at Ramsey County Courthouse located at 15 West Kellogg Blvd.
Court review of Blandin Foundation dates back to the wishes of founder Charles Blandin who, in his will, established that the Ramsey District Court would review the distributions and operations of his trust when he was no longer able under the state Charitable Trust laws. Since Blandin’s death in 1958, the C.K. Blandin Residuary Trust (which oversees Mr. Blandin’s estate) and the Blandin Foundation (responsible for distributing the proceeds from the trust) have provided such an overview every three years.
Given its role in oversight of the state’s charities, officials of the Minnesota Attorney General’s office also regularly participate in Blandin Foundation reviews.
The Blandin Foundation also reviews with the court and Attorney General’s office how it is meeting its grant-making commitments in its local giving area. Earlier this year, the Trust and Foundation agreed to and the Court approved an increased minimum for local grant-making—from 55 percent to 60 percent over six-year rolling periods starting January 2015 — and the Court approved a new process for annual, independent-auditor verification of the foundation’s accounting of these grants.
A special section of the Blandin Foundation website is dedicated to key founding documents, reports to the court, independent auditor reports, financial statements, and other information related to accountability. All grants awarded since 1941 also are available at the website. In 2015, the national Foundation Center recognized Blandin Foundation as being among the top 100 of the country’s private foundations for its online transparency. See Blandin Foundation’s profile at www.glasspockets.org.