About Us


Today, the foundation manages over $100 million in assets and has granted more than $80 million to create stronger, more vibrant communities.

The FM Area Foundation is a nonprofit community foundation created by and for the people of Cass County, North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota. The FM Area Foundation helps people give back to the causes they care about and ensures the community’s needs are addressed now and in the future. Working in partnership with individuals, families, businesses, and professional advisors, the FM Area Foundation manages more than 440 charitable funds and provides grants to qualified nonprofit organizations and causes.


We help donors maximize their philanthropy to create a vibrant community full of opportunities for everyone.


In the next 10 years, our vision is to bring our total contributions to the nonprofit community to $250 million.


The FM Area Foundation is accredited by the Community Foundations National Standards Board. The National Standards ensure the values of community foundations are demonstrated through their commitment to legal compliance, philanthropic best practices, and excellence that benefits communities.


Show your support

We can do so much more for our communities by working together. If you want to make a difference close to home, you can join like-minded supporters and give to one of our 400+ charitable funds, each with its own unique story and purpose.

“We wanted the scholarship to live on as a legacy for Norman and I in our communities to encourage a young person as they seek their dreams.”

Agnes Liudahl Donor

“Serving on the Foundation board enables me to support efforts to strengthen our community.”

Morrie Lanning Board Member

“We are thrilled to engage our daughters as future advisors to our fund. Knowing there will always be a family member to guide our charitable intent makes us feel great.”

Mike & Peggy Bullinger Donors

“Anything that can motivate a child’s love of reading deserves support. Read to Lead can be such a vehicle.”

Noel & Judy Fedje Donors

“Thank you to the Women's Fund for supporting our moms and children.”

Jeremiah Program Program

“The community foundation is specifically created to encourage and nourish the giving spirit in the community.”

Art Cupler Founder

“Thanks to support from the FM Area Foundation, we completed two major projects. We're very grateful for the Foundation’s generosity as these projects support our mission to preserve and maintain the historic facility.”

Emily Beck Fargo Theatre

    Our History

    It started with a name, a little money, and some very big plans.

    The FM Area Foundation’s history goes back to 1960 when a visionary group of community-minded leaders came together to create a community trust to support charitable, educational, and cultural purposes in Cass County, North Dakota, and Clay County, Minnesota. A well-known Fargo attorney, Art Cupler, led the effort to create the community trust.

    The purpose of the FM Area Foundation was to be a reservoir in which citizens, whether of large or small means, can make a lasting contribution for the betterment of the community in which they win their livelihood and a facility for carrying out the wishes of the donors interested in public and private philanthropy in the Fargo-Moorhead metro area.

    The original 1960 Resolution and Declaration of Trust includes three objectives:

    1. The medium by which persons of large or small means may devote funds to the public welfare;
    2. The means for accumulating a fund, the income of which will be available for assisting charitable institutions;
    3. A means of perpetuating the donor’s act since the donor’s identity and name may be coupled with the gift, and thus their charitable act is never forgotten.

    Art and his wife, Clara, later left gifts through their wills to create the foundation’s first scholarship fund, which continues to provide financial support to students in the area today.

    Envisioned as a vehicle for long-term philanthropy that allows residents to give back and support the needs of the community, the FM Area Foundation was originally operated through local bank trust departments. In 1986, the first full-time staff member was hired.

    In 2011, the foundation shifted from its long-standing trust format to a hybrid corporate entity. This change creates more flexibility for donors by allowing them to recommend their own fund manager.

    Throughout the years, families, individuals, nonprofits and businesses have created, and contributed to, more than 400 charitable funds – many of them permanent funds – to help create the community we all want to live in. Today, the foundation has approximately $100 million in assets, has made grants totaling $54 million, and manages more than 400 charitable component funds.  

    Many community foundations across the nation are stepping into new roles as they keep pace with the changing needs of local donors, nonprofits, and residents. They are starting to incubate social enterprises, facilitate community dialogue and find innovative ways to address community needs. The FM Area Foundation is no exception. As a permanent foundation for Cass and Clay counties, we look forward to continuing to support community philanthropy for generations to come.

    "The Fargo-Moorhead Area Foundation is a tremendous example of what good can be achieved when a few people combine their time, talent, and courage and take a few small steps towards a great, new and unchartered journey. The FMAF is a significant contribution to making this the great community that it is."


    Reserve The Community Room

    The community room is free to nonprofits and other civic organizations.

    To reserve the community room, please read and fill out the Community Room Policy Form. Return the form to Jamie Olson at jamie@areafoundation.org or mail to:

    FM Area Foundation
    Attn: Jamie Olson
    409 7th Street South
    Fargo, ND 58103

    Please return the form at least five days before your event. Reservations are made on a first-come, first-served basis. You will be contacted for reservation confirmation. *Please note that submitting this form does not constitute approval of the request.


    Use Our Community Room

    The FM Area Foundation offers a free, professional meeting space for nonprofit organizations to hold meetings, small events, and trainings.

    Our community room is available for nonprofit organizations to reserve.

    The Brad and Carol Schlossman Community Room is for charitable and service organizations. We do not rent this space out for private parties or groups doing direct sales. Organizations may reserve the space for the following times:

    The Room Comfortably Seats 20 People And Offers:

    Contact Our Staff

    Jamie Olson
    Administrative Assistant