Community Benefit Financial Company Emergency Fund

In response to COVID-19, the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT) established a $50 million emergency fund through its Community Benefit Financial Company (CBFC) subsidiary to provide financial support to Minnesota, Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Montana nonprofits and other community organizations impacted by and responding to the pandemic.

The emergency fund has already distributed grants and loans to more than 300 organizations in our four-state region. We thank the community for sharing their needs and appreciate the patience shown as we worked to be responsive to requests. Now that many organizations have stabilized from initial challenges, we believe requests for assistance can be most efficiently handled through our regular grantmaking process. For more information, please visit How to Apply for a Grant.

This second phase of work by the fund focuses on deploying capital to rebuild community assets, such as damaged infrastructure, small businesses hurt by the economic crisis, and investments to replace or retain critical services. We will do this by assembling a network of intermediaries, including community development financial institutions (CDFIs), community development corporations (CDCs), and other lenders in OBT’s four-state region who can efficiently deploy capital in accordance with the fund’s stated purpose.

If you are a CDFI, CDC, or other lender in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, or Wisconsin— particularly those focused on serving vulnerable and underserved populations—and are interested in partnering with CBFC on this important work, following is additional information on becoming a lending partner.

Qualifications

While all CDFIs, CDCs, and other lenders in our four-state region are welcome to apply to be an intermediary, under IRS regulations, the use of funding must advance the charitable objectives of the Otto Bremer Trust. An application does not guarantee funding; applications will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Application process

The first step in the application process is to submit an initial inquiry. This brief questionnaire will provide CBFC with information about your organization including location, populations served, and high-level financial data.

If your organization is selected for further consideration, CBFC will email you with further application instructions. CBFC will make funding decisions on a rolling basis and will provide funds as soon as practicable following the execution of a loan or grant agreement.

Submit your initial inquiry here.

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