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The F. R. Bigelow Foundation seeks to enhance the quality of life for all in the greater Saint Paul area, fostering a vibrant East Metro region. We are a member of the Minnesota Council on Foundations and embrace the grantmaking principles for Minnesota grantmakers.

Grant guidelines

A note from the Foundation:

In times of crisis, we recognize that the ways we support our community need to be flexible and responsive. Our grant program has been redesigned with that in mind.

The F. R. Bigelow Foundation considers grant applications from nonprofit organizations and public entities fostering a vibrant East Metro region and seeking to achieve racially and economically equitable outcomes in the areas of arts & culture, economic & community development, education & youth development, health, housing and human services.


Our primary geographic focus is the Greater Saint Paul metropolitan area, which includes Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties, with a particular emphasis on serving people who live or work in the city of Saint Paul.

Primary areas of interest

  • Arts & Culture - Strengthening the arts & culture sector to serve all individuals and all communities across the region by supporting capacity building, capital projects and community programs.
  • Community & Economic Development - Building a strong and vital East Metro through community building, physical development and strengthening support for low-income individuals, families and underrepresented communities through workforce development and training.
  • Education & Youth Development - Supporting under-served children, youth and young adults by investing in access to high-quality education and youth development both in and out of school from cradle to career.
  • Health - Increasing health equity through quality, affordable, culturally relevant services, particularly for low-income, uninsured, under-insured and socially marginalized individuals.
  • Housing - Improving access for low-income individuals and families to affordable quality housing, preventing and ending homelessness.
  • Human Services - Investing in basic needs for individuals and families, helping them be safe, stable and independent.

Types of grants available

Our current grant opportunity includes:

  • General operating support for organizations that are seeking to achieve racially and economically equitable outcomes in our primary areas of interest
  • Capital projects located within the East Metro area
  • We will also consider second and third year program grants for current grantees


Grants can be made to 501(c)3 organizations, education or governmental units and religious institutions. Grants can also be made to groups working through an eligible fiscal sponsor.

Current & past grant status

Current grantees are eligible to apply for funding that would begin after the end of their current grant period. For this year only, nonprofits who have had three years of consecutive funding are eligible to apply for one year of general operating support. Questions? Please call your program officer.

Grant requests not accepted

  • Capital projects located outside Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties
  • Programs not primarily serving residents of Dakota, Ramsey and Washington counties
  • Sectarian religious programs or organizations
  • Grants to individuals
  • Medical research

Important dates

Grant applications for this cycle open on June 30 and close on August 4 at 3 p.m. Applicants will be notified if they are being considered for full review by early September. The board meets to make funding decisions in mid-to-late November.

Contact us

Before applying, all interested applicants are encouraged to contact a program officer to ensure that your grant fits the requested need.

Learn more

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Grant deadlines

We have two grant rounds each year. More information can be found on the Grant Resources page.

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Contact us

We strongly encourage you to contact a member of our Program Officer team before submitting an application.

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Apply for a grant

To apply for a grant with F. R. Bigelow Foundation, visit our online grant portal.

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Search what we have funded

Take a look at past grantees from 2018-2019 to see the types of programs and projects we fund.