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Charles K. Blandin Foundation


Last Updated: 2016-06-15

At A Glance

Charles K. Blandin Foundation

(formerly Blandin Foundation)

100 N. Pokegama Ave.

Grand Rapids, MN United States 55744-2739

Telephone: (218) 326-0523


Type of Grantmaker

Independent foundation

Financial Data

(yr. ended 2014-12-31)

Assets: $444,848,406

Total giving: $12,744,981





Additional Contact Information

Additional tel.: (877) 882-2257


Incorporated in 1941 in MN - The grantmaker is a signatory to Philanthropy’s Promise, an initiative of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy (NCRP). By signing on, the grantmaker has committed to allocating the majority of its grantmaking dollars to marginalized communities and at least 25 percent to social justice strategies, such as advocacy, community organizing, and civic engagement

Purpose and Activities

Giving primarily in four areas for rural MN: 1) Community leadership; 2) Economic opportunity; 3) Life-long learning; and 4) Diversity.

Program Area(s)

The grantmaker has identified the following area(s) of interest:

Academy for Community Engagement

The program is designed to bring Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP) and Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program (BRCLP) alumni back together as community cohorts to broaden and strengthen relationships, deepen conversations and share in a learning process with Blandin Leadership Program alumni from around Minnesota. Contact Becky Adams:, tel.: (218)-327-8736 or toll free (877)-882-2257.

Adult Scholarships

The scholarships are available for full-time and part-time study for lower-income individuals who have a commitment to remain in the Itasca County area. Students who plan to attend Itasca Community College (ICC) apply there directly. Students who plan to attend an institution other than ICC apply to Arrowhead Economic Opportunity Agency.

Blandin Community Broadband Program

The foundation supports the active engagement of communities to ensure their telecommunications and technology vitality. The program supports work that increases: 1) Awareness about the value of broadband; 2) Business and residential use of broadband in rural communities; 3) Public and private investment in rural broadband capacity. Grant award amounts range from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on program. Application deadlines are usually in April and June.

Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP)

Since 1985, the program has provided experiential leadership training for over 6,500 community leaders from 400 rural Minnesota communities. The program is designed to develop and sustain healthy community by building on community strengths. It is centered on three core competencies: 1) Framing: Engaging others to identify, choose, and define issues affecting community health; 2) Social Capital: Building a network of relationships for getting things done for a healthy community; 3) Mobilizing: Engaging enough people and resources to get the job done. The program provides eight days of training in a retreat environment at Sugar Lake Lodge in Grand Rapids, MN..

Blandin Educational Awards Program

The foundation awards student grants of $1,000 to $4,000 each year. They are for every student (homeschooled, too) of high schools in the Itasca County area, even if the student is not in the top of his/her class. Applicants must be under age 25 and plan to go to community college, certificate programs, colleges or universities anywhere in the United States. Deadline is May 1.

Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program

Since 2001, the program has provided leadership training to more than 500 leaders in 11 Minnesota Indian Reservations.The program is a residential retreat that follows a model similar to the foundation's Blandin Community Leadership Program (BCLP), but with culturally specific topics and training. Alumni of the program nominate individuals they believe have leadership gifts and the desire to give back to their community.Thirty-six (36) applicants are selected for each cohort; preferably 18 females and 18 males with half between the ages of 18-35 and the other half over age 35.

Grants to Individuals Program

Scholarships for undergraduate and vocational study to recent graduates of high schools in Itasca County, MN. Candidates must be under the age of 25 as of Sept. 1 of the effective school year.

Itasca Community College Scholarships

Needs-based funding available to both traditional (under 25) and adult students. Contact Itasca Community College directly.

Leaders Partnering to End Poverty

The program is designed for community members of all income levels, who are engaged in their community and who are passionate and committed to ending poverty.The program currently consists of seven leadership capacity building sessions spread out over a year with community events planned by program participants in your own community.The foundation covers the cost of the program (tuition, meals, and training materials.) The cost to participants is their time and travel to and from the sessions. If attendance at the program creates a financial hardship, enabling funds are available through the Grand Rapids Area Community Foundation.Contact Becky Adams:, tel.: (218)-327-8736 or toll free (877)-882-2257.

Leadership in Ethnically Diverse Communities

The program develops the leadership capacity of all community members in ethnically diverse communities for the purpose of building intentional inclusion. The program is four sessions spread out over two months. The first session is a two day event, and the remaining three sessions are one day.The foundation covers the cost of tuition, meals and training. The cost to participants is their travel to and from each session. If attendance at the program creates financial hardship, enabling funds are available.Contact Becky Adams:, tel.: (218)-327-8736 or toll free (877)-882-2257.

Matching Gifts Program

The foundation matches the monetary contributions of its employees, trustees, and trustee emeriti to charitable organizations.

Program-Related Investment

The foundation has made PRIs in the form of loans in support of rural economic development, the environment, public policy, and employment programs for people with disabilities. PRIs have provided support for land and equipment acquisition, facility construction and improvement, and operating support.

Fields of Interest

  • Community and economic development
  • Economic development
  • Education
  • Higher education
  • Leadership development
  • Rural development
  • Sustainable development
Population Groups
  • Children and youth
  • Economically disadvantaged people
  • Low-income and poor people

Financial Data

Year ended 2014-12-31

Assets: $444,848,406 (market value)

Gifts received: $20,432,861

Expenditures: $9,962,518

Total giving: $12,744,981

Qualifying distributions: $20,022,050

Giving activities include:

$12,744,981 for grants

$4,748,163 for foundation-administered programs