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Enhancing the quality of life, inspiring learning, revitalizing communities and promoting access to the arts across the state of Minnesota is our family’s legacy - past, present and future. We are a member of the Minnesota Council on Foundations and embrace the grantmaking principles for Minnesota grantmakers.

Grant guidelines

The Mardag Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations and public entities located within and serving residents of Minnesota. The geographic focus of our grantmaking is the East Metro area of Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties, as well as Greater Minnesota. 

We have established four priority focus areas and will consider proposals that address one or more of these areas.

Primary areas of interest:

If you are representing an arts or cultural organization, Mardag Foundation recommends, but does not require, that you complete a Cultural Data Project data profile for your organization. For more information, visit

Applications considered for:

  • Capital projects, program expansion and special projects of a time-limited nature
  • Start-up costs for promising new programs that demonstrate sound management and clear goals relevant to community needs
  • Support for established agencies that have temporary or transitional needs
  • Funds to match contributions received from other sources or to provide a challenge to raise new contributions

Applications not considered for:

  • Programs exclusively serving Minneapolis and the surrounding West Metro area
  • Scholarships and grants to individuals
  • Ongoing annual operating expenses
  • Sectarian religious programs
  • Federated campaigns
  • Conservation or environmental programs
  • Events and conferences
  • Programs serving the physically, developmentally or mentally disabled
  • Health care programs
  • Legal programs
  • Capital campaigns of private secondary schools.*
  • Capital and endowment campaigns of private colleges and universities.*

*The Foundation will review, on their own merits, grant applications received from private secondary schools and private colleges and universities for purposes not excluded above.

Learn more

This is our community impact team

Contact our team

We strongly encourage you to contact a member of our Program Officer team before submitting an application.

Boy jumping into a lake

Apply for a grant

To apply for a grant with Mardag Foundation, visit our online grant portal.

Bridges over the Mississippi River in Saint Paul

Grant deadlines

We have two grant rounds each year. Round 1 has an early January deadline with a decision in May. Round 2 has an early July deadline with a decision in November. Applications open eight weeks before the deadline. The application deadline for Round 2 is July 11, 2017 at 3 p.m.

Fresh tomatoes and other produce in a market

Search what we have funded

Take a look at past grantees to see the types of programs and projects we fund.

Grant resources

Below are some key resources for grant applicants

Grantee portal instructions and FAQ

Read our Grantee Portal user instructions and find answers to frequently asked questions.

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Sample application questions and budget

See sample application questions and budget requirements before you apply.

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Download our interim report form

Current grantees can use this link to download our interim report form.

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Download our final report form

Current grantees can use this link to download our final report form.

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