Rural Philanthropic Leader You Should Know:
Blandin Foundation


We feature some of the leading rural funders—both big and small—that work with communities over long timeframes and with highly respectful and engaged strategies. Our April feature is the Blandin Foundation—a funder based in rural Minnesota that works closely with rural communities throughout the state.

Blandin Foundation stands with communities and leaders across rural Minnesota as they design and claim healthy, inclusive futures. This includes:

Building Capacity of Local Leaders

Community leadership programs offered by Blandin Foundation help rural leaders develop and enhance the skills, knowledge and relationships they need to build and sustain healthy communities. Since 1985, the flagship Blandin Community Leadership Program and Blandin Reservation Community Leadership Program have provided training to more than 7,000 leaders in more than 500 rural Minnesota communities.

Bringing People Together

Blandin Foundation convenes people around issues critical to rural Minnesota’s vitality. We have engaged at the state level on issues that pave the way for topics of importance in rural Minnesota — early childhood education and care, broadband, and the Census. Through a variety of research projects, such as the Rural Pulse, the Foundation seeks and amplifies the voices of rural residents.

Providing Grants

Blandin Foundation makes money available for a range of community initiatives. The largest area of focus addresses work that expands opportunity, especially for people who have been persistently excluded, by improving and aligning education and economic systems.

Located in Grand Rapids, Minn., Blandin Foundation is focused exclusively on rural communities and is the largest rural-based private foundation in Minnesota. For more information, visit