Community-informed solutions and bold partnerships among $6.4 million granted to community organizations by The Saint Paul Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation

For more information contact:

Seena Hodges, associate vice president of strategy and communication

For Immediate Release

December 14, 2017

(Saint Paul, Minn.) The Saint Paul Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation recently awarded more than $6.4 million to nonprofits across Minnesota. Among the 190 grants made are organizations that enhance their community’s well-being through unique and innovative partnerships.

“At The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations, we believe that strong community partnerships are an integral part of creating positive, sustainable solutions to community problems,” says Ann Mulholland, vice president of Community Impact of The Saint Paul & Minnesota Community Foundations. “As we continue to address racial equity, access to education, affordable housing and other community issues, partnering with the agents and agencies of change that do the work and have a deep understanding of their community is the best way to create an environment whereby all Minnesotans thrive.”

Creating strong, effective partnerships with nonprofits is an essential role foundations play in their communities. The Saint Paul Foundation, F. R. Bigelow Foundation and Mardag Foundation have built legacies based not only on the value of partnership, but the value of true collaboration – putting community experts in the driver’s seat when proposing solutions to community challenges.

Of the $2.4 million in grants made by The Saint Paul Foundation, African American Leadership Forum (AALF) was awarded $75,000. AALF is a movement of more than 1,200 African American leaders in the Twin Cities focused on economic development, education and health and wellness. The Foundation’s grant will provide start-up funds for a culturally-sensitive trauma informed mental health care program. This program will create new partnerships with community health organizations and service providers to increase awareness and availability of currently, culturally-informed mental health care as well as provide training for health care providers.

F. R. Bigelow Foundation’s 69 grants included a $20,000 grant to Alliance for Metropolitan Stability. The Alliance is a coalition of community-based organizations and advocacy groups focused on racial, economic and environmental justice as well as health equity. The Foundation’s grant will support the Alliance as they lead a partnership between nonprofits and city and county officials to secure the best possible development options for low-wealth residents and residents of color at the former Ford Plant site in Saint Paul and the Twin Cities Army and Ammunition Plant site in Arden Hills. The Alliance will also support equitable hiring practices for the construction phases of both projects.

One of the 59 grants awarded by Mardag Foundation will give HealthEast Foundation $20,000 for the East Side Table Senior program. HealthEast will partner with two senior-serving organizations to increase access to healthy food and decrease social isolation among low-income seniors living independently on the East Side of Saint Paul. This innovative partnership will pilot a make-at-home meal kit for seniors, host free intergenerational community meals and host educational presentations on how to eat healthfully on a fixed income.

All three foundations made grants totaling $120,000 to Saint Paul Public Schools, Independent School District #625 for the Innocent Classroom project. Innocent Classroom trains teachers on ways to ensure all students are free from harmful stereotypes and expectations that can have repercussions in the classroom. The District is partnering with Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood to strengthen the implementation of Innocent Classroom practices at current district schools, and add news schools in the Saint Paul Public Schools system to the program.

About the Foundations

About The Saint Paul Foundation

Since 1940, thousands of generous individuals committed to the Saint Paul area have made charitable gifts to The Saint Paul Foundation. Today, the Foundation is the state’s largest community foundation. Guided by the legacy of its earliest donors, the Foundation today helps donors achieve their charitable giving goals and have long-lasting impact in the community. Learn more at

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. Learn more at

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. Learn more at

The Saint Paul Foundation grant list

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F. R. Bigelow Foundation grant list

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Mardag Foundation grant list

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