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 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.”
“Serving on the Foundation board enables me to support efforts to strengthen our community.”
“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.”
“Anything that can motivate a child’s love of reading deserves support. Read to Lead can be such a vehicle.”
“Thank you to the Women's Fund for supporting our moms and children.”
“The community foundation is specifically created to encourage and nourish the giving spirit in the community.”
“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.”
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:
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.
To reserve the community room, please read and fill out the Community Room Policy Form. Return the form to Ashley Bjordahl at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to:
FM Area Foundation
Attn: Ashley Bjordahl
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.
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: