$7.6 million invested in nonprofit organizations throughout Minnesota

For more information contact:

Ashley Aram


For Immediate Release

December 20, 2018

(Saint Paul, Minn.) The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation recently awarded more than $7.6 million to nonprofits throughout the state of Minnesota. Among the 204 grants made were investments that will increase organizational capacity within nonprofit organizations.

“Minnesota has a vibrant nonprofit sector. Whether as a client, donor, volunteer, employee or board member, it’s likely we’ve all had contact with a nonprofit organization in some form,” said Nadege Souvenir, associate vice president of Community Impact for the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations. “Investing in good means investing in the strength of our nonprofit sector and the potential of emerging nonprofits.”

Of the $2.7 million in grants made by The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations, $30,000 was awarded to Denden Eritrean Youth Development Association of Minnesota (Denden). Funding will be used to hire an Executive Director for Denden - the first-ever paid staff member for the organization. Denden supports positive growth and empowerment of Eritrean American and other East African American youth through tutoring, mentorship, civic engagement, physical fitness and behavioral and mental health awareness.

F. R. Bigelow Foundation’s 77 grants included a $50,000 grant to Foster Advocates. Founded by a former foster care recipient, Foster Advocates seeks to fill a cap in organizations using policy and advocacy to improve foster care and child welfare within Minnesota’s legislature, state departments and county-level welfare agencies. Funding will support the start-up phase of Foster Advocates’ programs and allow for activities like launching and testing a leadership training model, community organizing and hiring a full-time program manager.

Of the 56 grants made by Mardag Foundation, $50,000 was awarded to the Sod House Theater, an organization that works with professional theater artists to create productions for and with communities in Greater Minnesota. Grant funding will support the hiring of a part-time Managing Director who will assist with communications activities and the creation of a sustainable financial model to build future stability for the organization.

All three foundations made grants totaling $150,000 to In Black Ink, an organization that celebrates and publishes literary works by Minnesota writers of African descent. Funding will formalize two paid leadership positions to implement the organization’s four-year development and business plan. This plan includes activities such as creating database of Black writers, editors, illustrators and other publishing professionals and archiving books, spoken word and other literary media in addition to the organization’s publishing work.

About the Foundations

About the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations

We believe in the best of Minnesota and the power of its communities. With roots in Saint Paul and partners across the state, we are Minnesota’s largest community foundation and the partner of choice for thousands of donors, nonprofits and community organizations. We inspire generosity to make Minnesota better for all who call it home. Learn more at spmcf.org.

About F. R. Bigelow Foundation

The F. R. Bigelow Foundation is committed to making the Saint Paul community a better place to live, learn and grow. Frederic Russell Bigelow, fourth president of the Saint Paul Fire and Marine Company (now Travelers), created the Foundation through a trust in 1946. Today, his commitment to strengthening the Saint Paul area lives on through the Foundation. The Foundation is an affiliate of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations. Learn more at frbigelow.org and spmcf.org.

About Mardag Foundation

Established in 1969, the Mardag Foundation is the legacy of Agnes Ober. The Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations that enhance quality of life, inspire learning, revitalize communities and build capacity for the arts across the state of Minnesota. Agnes’ passion lives on through the work of her descendants who serve on the Foundation’s board. The Foundation is an affiliate of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations. Learn more at mardag.org and spmcf.org.

Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundations grant list

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F. R. Bigelow Foundation grant list

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Mardag Foundation grant list

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