Twin Cities Nonprofits Receive $3 Million in Grants from Otto Bremer

Otto Bremer Trust pic
Otto Bremer Trust

A leading charitable trust based in St. Paul, Minnesota, Otto Bremer Trust operates with a commitment to serving the communities of the Upper Midwest under the direction of a leadership team that includes Daniel Reardon. Working with the organization’s co-CEOs and trustees, Daniel Reardon helped Otto Bremer to exceed its previous annual giving records during the 2016 year, with more than $47 million in grant distributions. Grant recipients included three nonprofit organizations within the Twin Cities.

The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund, the Metropolitan Economic Development Association, and Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity made up the three Twin Cities recipients. Contributions amounted to a total $3 million in program-related investments, which included loans and equity investments. Each of the three organizations received $1 million, which went toward specific programs.

The Greater Minnesota Housing Fund used the grant to acquire and preserve 1,000 units of affordable housing, and the Metropolitan Economic Development Association put the funds toward supporting minority entrepreneurs. Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity’s grant will help families with low incomes purchase affordable homes.


Otto Bremer Trust Supports Mankato, Minnesota, Nonprofits


Daniel Reardon Otto Bremer
Daniel Reardon, Otto Bremer

A co-CEO and trustee of Otto Bremer Trust in St. Paul, Minnesota, Daniel Reardon helps lead the trust in its mission of providing financial assistance to nonprofit organizations in the Upper Midwest through grants and program-related investments. In 2016, Daniel Reardon helped guide the organization toward a record year of giving that benefited nonprofits in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Of the $47.3 million distributed, more than $400,000 went toward programs in the Mankato, Minnesota, area.

Mankato-area nonprofits that received grants and program-related investments used funds to launch new programs and maintain existing ones. Funds also enabled recipients to relieve financial stress on regular operating costs, particularly since the grants account for some of the largest contributions the organizations have ever received. Furthermore, many of the awards included undesignated grants that give nonprofits the ability to disperse funds wherever necessary.

The Open Door Health Center received the biggest portion of the $409,125 allotted to the Mankato area. The grant amounted to $150,000, which the organization will put toward opening new dental clinics in the Cottonwood and Clarkfield communities of southwest Minnesota. Other recipients included Leisure Education for Exceptional People, the Mayo Health Clinic System in Mankato, and the Lake Crystal Area Recreation Center.

Otto Bremer- From Bookkeeper to Grantmaker


Otto Bremer Trust pic
Otto Bremer Trust

Daniel Reardon serves the Otto Bremer Trust as co-CEO. Also a trustee, Daniel Reardon has been with the foundation since 1995. Based in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Otto Bremer Trust is one of the largest charitable trusts in the country.

The Otto Bremer Trust was established in 1944 by Otto Bremer, a banker and community leader who came to Minnesota from Germany in 1886. Mr. Bremer first worked as a bookkeeper for the National German American Bank and later became the chairman of American National Bank. Along with his brother, Adolph, Otto owned and managed the Jacob Schmidt Brewing Company. Otto Bremer also served as treasurer of St. Paul, Minnesota, and was an advisor to two presidents, Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Since its inception, the Otto Bremer Trust has granted a half billion dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations throughout Minnesota, North Dakota, and Western Wisconsin, striving to fund projects that help strengthen communities in the Upper Midwest.