Grant Guidelines

Enhancing 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.

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Program Overview

Mardag Foundation believes that our community should not only benefit from our work, but inform and form it as well. Creating solutions to today’s issues requires a collaborative approach. Our work is also rooted in a commitment to racial equity.

Each year, we consider where we can make the most impact as we listen to our nonprofit partners share their greatest needs and challenges. We recognize our partners are in the best position to determine internal priorities — and flexibility is essential.

To better focus on organizations in the strongest position to benefit our Greater Minnesota and East Metro populations, in 2024 we will be offering general operating support to organizations that primarily serve Greater Minnesota and/or the East Metro and capital support to organizations with capital projects located in Greater Minnesota or the East Metro AND primarily serving Greater Minnesota and/or the East Metro. Program/project support will not be available in 2024.

Our general focus areas remain unchanged. We offer general operating and some capital support in three focus areas: Children, youth and families; older adults; and arts and culture organizations.


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.

Funding Priorities

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. 

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

Mardag Foundation supports organizations directly serving low-income older adults who may also be experiencing other forms of marginality (e.g., Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQIA+ 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 & Culture

Mardag Foundation shares Grantmakers in the Arts’ view that “all 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 LGBTQIA+ community, etc.) through the arts.

Grant Application Resources

Grant resources include key dates, application questions and instructions on how to register for and use GranteeView, our grant application portal.

See Grant Resources

Grants Team

Before applying, all interested applicants are encouraged to email a member of our Grants Team to ensure that the grant program fits your needs.

Meet the Team


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 people experiencing the most marginalization, especially due to race, ethnicity, gender identity or sexual orientation, age, ability, immigration status, etc.
  • Where work is informed, formed and led by the people most impacted by it.

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

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. Please contact a member of our Grants Team with questions.

Contact our Grants Team

Types of Grants

We 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. Any organization meeting this threshold is eligible for general operating support (including organizations that have never previously received support from Mardag Foundation).

Capital Projects

Capital projects must be located in Greater Minnesota or the East Metro AND 50% or more of all services provided by the entire organization must benefit Greater Minnesota and/or East Metro (Washington, Dakota and Ramsey counties) residents.

Grants are designed to support 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.

Grant Requests Not Accepted

The Foundation will not consider grant applications for:

  • Organizations using fiscal sponsors
  • Organizations 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
  • Program/project specific requests

How to Apply

We have two grant rounds each year.

View Key Application Dates

1. Talk to the Grants Team

Before applying, all interested applicants are encouraged to email a member of our Grants Team to ensure that the grant program fits your needs.

Contact Our Grants Team

2. Find Application Materials

Review grant round dates, application questions and other materials to help you apply.

View Grant Resources

3. Register and Apply

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

Go to GranteeView