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Here to Help

Community Engagement Manager
Jenny Krikava


[email protected]

Otto Bremer Trust Community Responsive Fund

Families of Funds


We’ve been selected by the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) to serve as a partner for the Trust’s Community Responsive Fund 2024 Pilot Program.   

OBT has given us $3 million to administer and distribute grants of up to $75,000 to eligible nonprofit organizations serving residents in our service region of Calumet, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca and the Neenah/Menasha area of Winnebago counties. 

About Otto Bremer Trust

The Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) is a private charitable trust based in St. Paul, MN, created in 1944 by business and community leader Otto Bremer. It is committed to supporting a better quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $1 billion in people, places, and opportunities in its region. Learn more at by visiting the Otto Bremer website.

About the Pilot Program  

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, theres been a growing need for supporting residents and services across communities in the four-state region served by OBT. Recognizing this, OBT is embarking on a one-year trial program to test and learn from a grantmaking partnership approach, aiming to navigate the evolving philanthropic landscape with greater insight and community engagement.    

At the heart of this pilot is OBT’s belief that intermediary partners deeply rooted in communities are best positioned to identify and invest in approaches that are not only relevant and timely but also highly effective. We’re one of six intermediary partners selected across OBT’s four-state region and among two in Wisconsin.   

What We Fund

Focus Areas  

Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) Community Responsive Fund grants will focus on supporting eligible nonprofit organizations that align with at least one of the fund’s focus areas:


Focuses on short-term assistance through food shelves and outreach programs, cash or vouchers, auto repair, refugee resettlement efforts, transitional housing programs, and homeless shelters.


Focuses on building strong community assets, such as small business development, diversity initiatives, community planning, long-term housing programs, transportation, literacy, and adult education.​ 


Focuses on medical, dental, vision services; wellness programs for families and the elderly, particularly supporting services in underserved and rural communities.​ Also includes early education and parenting programs, physical and mental health services, youth support and enrichment, post-secondary education, and job skills. 


Focuses on supporting organizations working to bring stability to individuals and families facing disruptive forces in life.​ Grants include those that address domestic violence and sexual assault prevention and recovery, disaster response, economic stabilization, and helping people navigate the judicial and legal system.​  


Criteria for nonprofit organizations serving residents in our service region to apply and receive grants  include the following: 

    • Organization or program purpose aligns with OBT Trust Instrument funding areas (see above) and addresses relevant community priorities. 
    • Organizations and programs that provide direct service to address immediate needs within their communities. 
    • IRS determined 501(c)3 organizations, no fiscal sponsorships. 
    • Work to influence public policy is not allowed. 
    • One-time, special projects, or capital requests are discouraged. 
    • Grants for regranting entities to further redistribute funds are not allowed. 

Range of Grantmaking: Single year grants up to $75,000 

Accepting Applications: March 11 – April 30, 2024 at 11:59 p.m. 


  • "Am I able to apply if I have an existing grant from OBT?" A current grant with the Otto Bremer Trust will not preclude you from applying for the Community Responsive Fund. Organizations who have an existing grant from OBT can also apply to the Community Responsive Fund. 

  • "If I’m eligible to apply to the Community Responsive Fund, can I also apply for other funding through the Otto Bremer Trust?" A grant through the Community Responsive Fund will not preclude you from applying with the Otto Bremer Trust. The Otto Bremer Trust continues to make grants through its own processes, please check their website for eligibility. 

NOTE: Applications submitted through other Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region grant cycles may also be referred for funding consideration at the discretion of Community Foundation staff. 

To Apply

  1. To see if you qualify for a grant from the Community Foundation, carefully review our general grant policies . These policies include important information such as which types of organizations can receive grants, our nondiscrimination policy, faith-based funding policy, etc.  

  1. All requests to the Otto Bremer Trust Community Responsive Fund should be submitted via our online Grant Portal. Start from our Grant Portal landing page where you will find information on registration, FAQ’s, and helpful tutorials.  

  1. Once logged in, click on the “Apply” tab, and search for “Otto Bremer Trust Community Responsive Fund” to complete a brief eligibility quiz.  

  1. If eligible, you may submit an application. 

Grant Decision and Distribution  

We will select grantees for final approval by Trustees of the Otto Bremer Trust. 

All grant decisions will be communicated to recipients by June 30, 2024, with grant distributions to recipients completed by July 31, 2024.   

Additional Information


We’re happy to help! Please reach out and connect with us. 

Jenny Krikava

Community Engagement Manager
[email protected]

Links And More 

Visit our Helpful Resources for Nonprofits web page. 

News For Grantseekers! 
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