Otto Bremer Trust makes $47M in grants and PRIs in 2016

Monday, January 30, 2017

The Otto Bremer Trust today announced that it awarded $47.3 million in grants and program-related investments in 2016 to more than 550 organizations in Minnesota, North Dakota and western Wisconsin. This is the largest annual distribution total in the history of the organization.

Otto Bremer Trust’s (OBT) mission is to invest in people, places and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Founder Otto Bremer created a unique model integrating finance and philanthropy to set the stage for long-term sustainable commitment to the region. OBT has grown its assets from $2 million in 1944 to nearly $1 billion in 2016, while investing over $600 million in thousands of nonprofit organizations over the years. Over the past five years, OBT has made average annual distributions of $42 million. As the majority owner of Bremer Bank, OBT is acutely aware of the significant challenges facing financial services institutions. With assets now in excess of $10 billion, Bremer Bank is one of the largest banks in the region with a presence in more than 90 communities. Over the past few years, OBT has increased its commitment to more innovative financial structures, often combining grants and program-related investments (PRIs) in order to support organizations that can use those funds to further invest in critical organizational infrastructure and long-term vision. Of its 2016 total distributions, OBT completed $6.4 million in program-related investments.

For a full list of grants and program-related investments made during 2016, please visit

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