Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for Coronavirus

Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF) for Coronavirus

Background and Overview

In March 2020, the Minnesota Council on Foundations and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation convened to discuss the impact of a potential coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in the state of Minnesota. The outcome of the discussion led to the inception of the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund (MDRF) for coronavirus, created to support community needs as a direct result of the coronavirus pandemic. The MDRF funds both short and long-term needs that arise within communities, due to coronavirus or future disasters that occur within the state of Minnesota. Funds will be raised through philanthropic entities. To date, $5 million has been raised for this fund.

Funders of the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus include:

  • Ameriprise Financial Foundation
  • Aroha Philanthropies
  • Best Buy
  • Better Way Foundation
  • Blandin Foundation
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • Cargill Foundation
  • Carlson Family Foundation
  • Charlson Foundation
  • Catholic Community Foundation
  • Edward & Markell C Brooks Fund from The Minneapolis Foundation
  • F. R. Bigelow Foundation
  • GHR Foundation
  • Hardenbergh Foundation
  • Hawkins, Inc.
  • John Larsen Foundation
  • Land O'Lakes Foundation
  • Lulu Foundation
  • Mardag Foundation
  • McKnight Foundation
  • Medtronic Foundation
  • Minnesota Vikings
  • Northwest Area Foundation
  • Pohlad Family Foundation
  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • Securian Foundation
  • Stiles Foundation
  • Sundance Family Foundation
  • Target Foundation
  • TCF Bank Foundation
  • The Margaret A. Cargill Fund at the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation
  • The Otto Bremer Trust
  • Thrivent Foundation
  • Wells Fargo Foundation
  • Winnebago Industries Foundation
  • Women’s Foundation of Minnesota
  • Woodbury Community Foundation


About the Minnesota Council on Foundations and Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation Partnership

MCF will host, convene and facilitate strategic decision-making guided by the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus’ governing Advisory Committee. Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation has partnered with MCF to collect and hold fund contributions in the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for coronavirus—until the time of distribution. 

The Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation is the largest community foundation in Minnesota. Established in 1940, the Foundation now stewards $1.6 billion in charitable assets to benefit communities across the state. Each year, the Foundation and its donors make over 8,500 grants to agents and agencies of change in the nonprofit sector. 

MDRF Advisory Committee

The MDRF Advisory Committee will provide recommendations to fund community intermediaries in the state of Minnesota that have existing grant-making processes in place, while Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation holds the final granting authority decision. Funds distributed by community intermediaries, such as local community foundations, Minnesota Initiative Foundations, tribal nations, CDFIs, coalitions, networks, associations, or other intermediaries are intended for, but not limited to, needs that arise for individuals and families due to the impact of coronavirus; nonprofits that are experiencing increased demand for services or are struggling due to social distancing recommendations; and small businesses that have interrupted operations.

Advisory Committee Representatives

  • Blandin Foundation
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation
  • Bush Foundation
  • Duluth Superior Area Community Foundation
  • F.R. Bigelow Foundation
  • Headwaters Foundation for Justice
  • Medtronic Foundation
  • Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
  • Minnesota Council on Foundations (Facilitators)
  • Minnesota Department of Health
  • Minnesota Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
  • Northwest Minnesota Foundation
  • Office of Governor Tim Walz
  • Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation (Facilitators)           
  • Southwest Initiative Foundation
  • The Minneapolis Foundation
  • Willmar Area Community Foundation/CommunityGiving

Quick Facts About the Fund

  • 100% of fund contributions will be distributed to grantmaking organizations for disaster recovery efforts in the state of Minnesota
  • Any remaining MDRF funds will be dedicated to recovery efforts for future disasters in Minnesota, after coronavirus needs are met
  • No fees will be taken by the Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation or the Minnesota Council on Foundations for this work
  • Funds will go directly to community intermediaries, such as local community foundations, Minnesota Initiative Foundations, tribal nations, CDFIs, coalitions, networks, associations, or other intermediaries that have an existing grant-making process in place, as directed by the MDRF Advisory Committee and determined by Saint Paul & Minnesota Foundation.

Understand How the Fund Works

View the MDRF for coronavirus infographic.

Application Process

Organizations interested in applying should download the application form below and email it to coronavirusfund@mcf.org.

MDRF Application (Microsoft Word format)

Note: Funds will be directed to community intermediaries to be distributed via their grant processes to the community. Nonprofits are ineligible to request funds solely for their individual programs and services; grant requests must explain how funds will be distributed to the community through an existing grantmaking process.

Learn More

Philanthropic entities interested in contributing to the MDRF for coronavirus

Contact Susie Brown, MCF President at 612.335.3557. 

Individuals can contribute directly to the Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund here

MDRF Advisory Committee Questions

Contact Katina Mortensen, Director of Public Policy at 612.335.3597. 

MDRF Media or Press-Related Questions

Contact Erin Jordan, Manager of Marketing and Communications at 612.465.0716.

Funder Resources 

Visit MCF's Coronavirus Resources page for more tools available for grantmakers