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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

We offer general operating, program and some capital support.


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.


The Mardag Foundation has three focus areas and will consider proposals that address one or more of the following.

  • Improving the lives of low-income Children, Youth and Families that lack access to critical opportunities and resources that they need
    • Mardag Foundation seeks to support organizations focused on eliminating barriers and increasing access to equitable opportunities for children, youth and families.

    • This round, priority will be given to organizations working with marginalized communities (especially Black, Indigenous and communities of color) at the intersections of education, basic needs, mental health, access to healthcare, pathways to employment, and stable and affordable housing.

  • Supporting older adults across Minnesota who lack access or have barriers to critical opportunities to thrive and create community connections
    • The Foundation supports organizations directly serving low-income older adults who may also be experiencing other forms of marginality (e.g., BIPOC, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.).

    • Priorities include meeting basic needs, improving the well-being and quality of caregiving, addressing isolation and mental health issues, services to help older Minnesotans age in place and/or in safe and stable housing, and intergenerational programming.

  • Building capacity to improve community vitality through Arts and Culture
    • The Foundation shares Grantmakers in the Arts’ view that “[a]ll peoples, their cultures, and their art contribute to the meaning and understanding of our humanity and should be honored and celebrated.”

    • Priority will be given to arts and culture organizations that seek to amplify narratives and voices across BIPOC communities and other communities experiencing marginalization (e.g., older adults, people with disabilities, low-income children/youth/families, members of the LGBTQ+ community, etc.).

    • Please note that the Foundation has not historically supported specific productions, performances, exhibits, artist fees, etc. through this application-based process.


All applicants will need to register to use GranteeView. We encourage all prospective applicants to complete registration early.

Grants can be made to 501(c)3 organizations, education or governmental units and religious institutions.

While an organization may be eligible to apply, attention and preference will be given to organizations:

  • prioritizing those experiencing the most marginalization, especially due to race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, age, ability, immigration status, etc.
  • whose work is informed, formed and led by the people most impacted by it.
  • working with Minnesotans outside the Twin Cities Metro Area.
  • seeking multi-year grants, which will place a priority on sustaining the work supported by the Foundation.

Download Spring 2023 eligibility & priority details

Current & Past Grant Status

Current grantees are eligible to apply for funding that would begin after the end of their current grant period. Nonprofits that have received three years of consecutive funding are eligible to apply for a grant. Questions? Please contact a member of our Grant Team.

Types of Grants Available

The Foundation WILL consider grant applications for:

  • General operating support
    • These grants provide flexible funding for nonprofits in which at least 50% of the organization’s services benefit residents in the East Metro and/or Greater Minnesota.

    • To be eligible for general operating support, organizations must explicitly state that 50% or more of their work is conducted in the East Metro or Greater Minnesota.

  • Capital projects
    • Capital projects serving 50% or more in the East Metro or Greater Minnesota, likely payable over multiple years.

    • These grants are designed to support your organization’s investment in buildings, facilities and equipment. Foundation investments are typically limited to buildings owned by nonprofits or held by long-term lease agreement.

    • These grants are generally paid over multiple years.

  • Program support
    • These grants are designed to provide support to a program or project serving 50% or more East Metro or Greater Minnesota residents. The Foundation will consider proposals for established and/or new programs/projects.

    • Any organization is eligible for this type of grant (regardless of overall geographic focus), but the project or program must serve 50% or more East Metro and/or Greater Minnesota residents.

    • Priority will be given to organizations based in Minnesota.

Grant Requests Not Accepted

The Foundation WILL NOT consider grant applications for:

  • Organizations using fiscal sponsors
  • Programs exclusively serving Minneapolis and the surrounding West Metro area
  • Scholarships and grants to individuals
  • Sectarian religious programs or organizations
  • Federated campaigns
  • Events and conferences
  • Capital campaigns of private secondary schools
  • Capital and endowment campaigns of private colleges and universities

Important Dates

Register for GranteeView: All grant applicants must register for GranteeView to apply for a grant. Registration is open now and registration instructions are available.

We have two grant rounds each year. Grant applications for the 2023 Grant Round, Round 1, will be accepted Jan. 9, 2023 - Feb. 1, 2023, at 3 p.m.

More information can be found on the Grant Resources page.

Contact Us

Before applying, all interested applicants are encouraged to email a member of our Grant Team to ensure that your grant fits the requested need.

Learn more

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Grant deadlines

We have two grant rounds each year. More information can be found on the Resources page.

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Contact us

We strongly encourage you to contact a member of our Grant Team before submitting an application.

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Apply for a grant

To apply for a grant with Mardag Foundation, visit our online grant portal. You are encouraged to begin the portal registration process early.

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Search what we have funded

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