A legacy of generosity

Thriving community, an Ober family legacy

Born Agnes Dagmar Maas Elmer in 1887, the founder of the Mardag Foundation experienced profound poverty after the death of her mother when she was just six. Her charitable spirit was rooted in her experiences and stayed with her even as her fortunes changed with the marriage to Saint Paul businessman Edgar Ober.

Agnes understood that few people face the depth of poverty she endured as a child, and that experience was never far from her memory no matter how great her wealth in later years. She and her husband, Edgar, were deeply involved in serving the community.

Today Agnes’ legacy lives on through the work of the Mardag Foundation, who strive to ensure a good life for the youth and at-risk in our community.

101

2016 grants given

Supporting programming for youth, arts, community development and seniors across Minnesota.

2.4M

Dollars awarded

In 2016, Mardag Foundation awarded $2.4M to nonprofits serving Minnesota.

48

Years of generosity

For nearly 50 years, The Mardag Foundation has invested in the well being of at-risk children and seniors.

History and Mission

History

Agnes Ober established the Mardag Foundation in 1969. Today, her descendants continue to honor Agnes' legacy by serving on the Foundation's board. Their leadership guides the work of the Foundation and its strategic focus on enhancing quality of life, inspiring learning, revitalizing communities and promoting access to the arts across the state of Minnesota.

Mission

The Mardag Foundation makes grants to nonprofit organizations that improve the quality of life in Minnesota for children, seniors and other at-risk populations, and for programs in education and arts.

"For over four decades, we have worked to continue the legacy that grandmother gave to her community and state. We hope that the foundation will continue to improve the lives of Minnesotans for many years to come."

Tim Ober

Four Native American children plant seedlings

What we have funded

Ensuring a vibrant Minnesota through revitalized cities, education and arts is our goal.  Find out if Mardag is the right partner for your work.