The Otto Bremer Trust invested $71.29 million in grants and program-related investments in 2020 to more than 900 organizations in Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota and Wisconsin.

In southeastern Minnesota, 61 organizations received investments totaling $3.35 million. In Steele, Rice, Le Sueur and Waseca counties, 14 organizations were recipients of grants and program-related investments over the course of the year that totaled $762,500.

These investments were made in a broad array of organizations throughout the region whose work includes addressing basic needs, providing access to health services, offering vocational training, and supporting new and existing business — all a part of building strong communities.

Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Southern Minnesota — $50,000

Free Clinic of Steele County – $20,000

Hospitality House of Owatonna, Inc. — $30,000

Let’s Smile, Owatonna — $30,000

Owatonna Healthy Seniors Program — $45,000

Rachel’s Light, Owatonna — $12,500

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation — two grants, $100,000 and $50,000

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation – program related investment of $400,000

United Way of Steele County — $25,000

Aging Services for Communities, Montgomery — $50,000

BEST of Waseca — $10,000

Laura Baker Services Association, Northfield — $25,000

Northfield Healthy Community Initiative — $50,000

Northfield Retirement Community Foundation — $5,000

Ruth’s House of Hope, Faribault – two grants, $7,250 and $2,800

More than $25 million of the total was a direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its devastating impact on regional communities, as well as the challenges of systemic racism that must be addressed. 

“Little did we know that 2020 would become one of the most critical years in OBT’s history,” said Brian Lipschultz, co-CEO and trustee. “Our grant making and emergency fund distributions were more essential than ever before and provided badly needed financial support as well as a ray of hope during these challenging times.”

The total represents OBT’s 10th consecutive year of record charitable distributions. Over just the past decade alone, the Otto Bremer Trust has distributed more than $466 million to nonprofit organizations that help millions of citizens in the region access critical resources and opportunities for a better life.

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