January 6, 2022

FCI earns a $500,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust with the purpose of re-granting those funds to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations addressing issues of health equity.


forward community investments logo | Otto Bremer Trust logo

Forward Community Investments (FCI) earns a $500,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust (OBT).

Madison, WI – FCI is delighted to share they have received a $500,000 grant from the Otto Bremer Trust with the purpose of re-granting those funds to Wisconsin nonprofit organizations addressing issues of health equity.

Working with the Otto Bremer Trust, the focus of these grants will provide much-needed funds to mission-driven nonprofits working on the issues of health equity which could include expanding access to affordable housing, early childhood education, workforce training, and health services while revitalizing neighborhoods and rural communities. This award will allow FCI to provide some of the largest grants ever awarded in its 27-year history.

“We are excited to have the opportunity to lift up organizations across Wisconsin with the funds needed to advance health equity. Our ability to make larger grants will undoubtedly create far-reaching impacts for the communities and individuals these organizations serve.” Explains Ryan Zerwer, FCI’s President & CEO.

While FCI’s primary focus is lending to nonprofit organizations throughout Wisconsin, FCI has granted over $1.1MM to 337 nonprofit/community change-makers since 2012. In 2020 and 2021 FCI provided timely grants totaling over $300,000 to smaller nonprofit organizations that had to alter their program delivery systems as a result of the pandemic.

The Otto Bremer Trust, which has granted over $200MM to organizations across Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin is an ideal partner and shares many of the same values as FCI. OTB is a unique organization spanning banking, investments, and philanthropy. Each serves a specific purpose, and they all work together to deliver impact for the communities they serve. One hundred percent of their assets are put to work for their mission.

“Forward Community Investments was chosen for an OBT emergency fund grant because it is infusing much-needed capital into economically underserved communities in urban and rural areas of Wisconsin,” said Brian Lipschultz, Co-CEO and Trustee, Otto Bremer Trust. “The grants they are providing have reached dozens of nonprofits that have not been able to take advantage of public financial support, allowing FCI to have even more impact in communities across the state.”

FCI is elated to distribute these grant funds to the amazing organizations that are working towards making Wisconsin a more equitable and inclusive place for everyone. Details regarding the upcoming grants cycle will be made public shortly. To ensure you and your organization receive updates on FCI’s grant opportunities, please subscribe to our distribution list here.

About the Otto Bremer Trust
The Otto Bremer Trust is a bank holding company and a private charitable trust based in Saint Paul, Minn., that works at the intersection of finance and philanthropy. Created in 1944 by Otto Bremer, it is today one of the nation’s largest philanthropic organizations and is committed to supporting a better quality of life for residents of Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. OBT is the majority owner of Bremer Financial Corporation, a regional financial services company; manages a diversified investment portfolio; and operates Community Benefit Financial Company, a financial resources subsidiary. Since its founding, OBT has invested more than $841 million in people, places, and opportunities in the Upper Midwest. Visit ottobremer.org.

About Forward Community Investments
FCI is an investor, connector, and advisor for organizations and initiatives that reduce social, racial, and economic disparities in Wisconsin communities. We envision an equitable and inclusive Wisconsin built on cooperative social action. In its capacity as a statewide community development financial institution (CDFI), FCI infuses capital into economically underserved communities and neighborhoods. www.forwardci.org; https://www.facebook.com/forwardcommunityinvestments  


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