Grant application process

Connecting with our rural communities to support young minds, invest in our current and future workforce, create vibrant culture and vital communities, improve health and human services, and protect our natural resources.

We provide financial support to established, publicly supported charitable and educational organizations that directly impact the communities we serve. View our service area here

The organizations, programs, and projects we fund align with one or more of our priority areas. Collaborative efforts and initiatives that fit more than one of these areas will receive greater consideration for funding.

Priority funding areas:

  • Community, civic, and cultural development
  • Education
  • Environment
  • Health and human services
  • Organizations without 501(c)(3) status. (Exceptions include public and private educational institutions, volunteer fire departments, and rural EMT services.)
  • Requests from outside our service area.
  • Individuals or employee salaries.
  • Lobbying, political, or fraternal groups.
  • Requests for doors, windows, roofs, or heating systems.
  • Programs that pose a potential conflict of interest to the company.
  • Religious organizations, unless the organization is seeking charitable funds in the direct interest of the entire community and not to promote a particular faith.
  • Fundraising events, social events, or goodwill advertising.
  • General operating support for educational institutions.

How to apply

Applications are closed for 2022. Please revisit this page in 2023 to apply for a grant in the new year.

If you're new to GrantsConnect, the system that hosts our grant applications, click sign up and create a free account to get started. Once your application is submitted, you can go back to check the status at any time. 

The Foundation's Selection Team and Board of Directors review applications quarterly (February, May, August, November). Please submit your application prior to the first of the month in which you’d like your application reviewed. For example, to be considered for a grant in May, you must submit your application no later than May 1.

Colleges and universities also may complete an online application through our Scholarship Program to request funds for student scholarships. The Foundation does not award scholarships directly to students.

Be prepared to include:

  • A list of your organizations officers and board of directors.
  • An overview of the project for which you’re requesting a grant.
  • A summary of how your request fits one or more of our priority funding areas.
  • An outline of your anticipated impact and how you plan to measure that impact.
  • A description of your organization, its history, and the physical location(s) it serves.
  • A commitment to completing a Minnesota Common Report Form after fulfilling your project's objectives.
  • Your organizations tax exempt status letter under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Service Code.

Contact us

Have questions about the application process or what our Foundation funds? Please reach out.
Phone: 218-739-8200

Please note that the Otter Tail Corporation Foundation is a separate foundation of our parent company, Otter Tail Corporation.