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How to Start a Fund

Giving back to your community should be an enjoyable experience, and that’s why we make giving as easy as possible. We meet personally with donors to determine goals and create a fund that makes sense for you.

We are highly flexible in our ability to accept complex gifts and have seven types of funds to choose from. Any fund can be established in your name or the name of your family, organization, or anyone you wish to honor. All grants from the fund you establish – today and in the future – are awarded to charities in the name of that fund. It’s a great way to be involved with, and be remembered for, your community investment.

Here Are Four Easy Steps To Setting Up A Fund:

Decide When to Give

You can create your fund now, establish it in your will, or create it through a trust arrangement that benefits your family and charity. Tax deductions are earned at the time of your gift, while grants awarded from your fund will continue in the future.

Decide What to Give

Almost any kind of asset can be used to start your fund, such as cash, publicly traded securities, closely held stock, interests in limited partnerships, real estate, life insurance, tangible personal property and private foundation assets. We can also discuss other options with you, such as bequests, charitable remainder unitrusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable lead trusts, pooled income funds, charitable gift annuities, life income and deferred charitable gift annuities.

Choose the Name of Your Fund

Most of our funds are named after the donor or the donor's family or as a memorial to someone special. Every grant from the fund will carry this name helping carry on your legacy of giving back. If you prefer anonymity, you may choose a name that reflects your fund's charitable purposes.

Choose a Type of Fund

We offer a variety of fund types that are flexible to meet our donors' charitable interests. You can open a permanently endowed fund with a minimum contribution of $5,000. Funds must reach $25,000 within five years. Once the fund reaches $25,000, gifts of any size are accepted. We also offer options for non-endowed funds.

Let us know if you want to set up a charitable fund by filling out the form below. That is fine if you don’t have answers to all the questions! Fill out what you can, and we will be in touch, or feel free to contact our Director of Philanthropy, Lexi Oestreich, directly at or 701.234.0756.

Learn More

You have the power to make a positive impact in two ways. You can donate to one of our 500 existing funds, or you can contact us to create a charitable fund that matches your values. Whichever route you choose, we are humbled by your trust and grateful for your kindness and generosity.

“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 Former 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

“Support through the FM Area Foundation and its supporters has created an immeasurable impact on our work — delivering hope and fostering a sense of belonging for so many in our community going through a tender time in life. This ripple of kindness is cultivating joy and shared connection in our community, just because, and only made possible through generous donors. What a beautiful gift to know your community cares about you!”

Kelly Krenzel Hope Blooms

Contact Our Staff

Lexi Oestreich
Director of Philanthropy
Eric Wilkie, MS, CFRE, CAP®
Executive Director