Matched Grant from Bell Funds $1M for Affordable Housing

5/16/2024 8:00:00 AM

Bell Bank News

May 27, 2024, marks 25 years of impact for nonprofit developer Beyond Shelter, Inc. And celebrating this important milestone is made all the sweeter by a massive grant of $2.3 million through the Federal Home Loan Bank ( FHLB) of Des Moines, which included a major contribution from Bell Bank.

Based in Fargo, N.D., Beyond Shelter is a nonprofit developer of affordable housing and a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). Bell Bank has worked with Beyond Shelter since Dan Madler started with the nonprofit in 2003, when the bank was still known as State Bank of Fargo.

“Bell Bank has always been there for us,” says Dan, who is chief executive officer for Beyond Shelter.

Through its Member Impact Fund, FHLB offered a leveraged program specific to affordable housing and community development initiatives, with a 3-to-1 match opportunity. Along with several other partners in the region, Bell Bank kicked in $250,000 for Beyond Shelter. With FHLB matching $3 to every $1, the grant from Bell Bank in partnership with FHLB swelled to $1 million. With additional matched grants from other partners, Beyond Shelter received a total of $2.3 million.

“That’s huge,” acknowledges Dan. “We have received prior grants for specific projects, but I have never seen this type of grant run to this level. Almost 50% of the $2.3 million is because of Bell’s generous donation, and I cannot thank Bell and the FHLB enough.”

Specifically, Dan and Beyond Shelter were looking to create a revolving fund for predevelopment – a costly phase requiring due diligence on site selection, land acquisition, then holding the land until the planned affordable housing project is fully approved and funded.

“Predevelopment involves a lot of up-front costs,” says Dan. “This revolving fund will help us research and respond to the market, acquire land when it is available, and handle related holding costs. We can also put more equity down. Eventually, the money comes back and is reinvested for the next project.”

Beyond Shelter has developed affordable housing projects in Fargo and elsewhere in North Dakota, in Moorhead and Fergus Falls on the Minnesota side, and in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Eric Halvorson, Bell Bank’s senior vice president/commercial banking director in Fargo, worked with Madler to secure funding from Bell and FHLB.

“When Dan called, I told him we’d see what we could do,” Eric says. “We know affordable and accessible housing is a continued and growing need, and Beyond Shelter has been doing important work in this area for a quarter of a century. We’re proud to be part of this grant.”

“When I got the call from Eric about how much Bell was going to donate, I almost fell out of my chair,” adds Dan. “I know what it will mean in the long run for what we want to do. This revolving fund will have a meaningful impact on Beyond Shelter’s ability to develop affordable housing for those most in need.”

About Beyond Shelter, Inc.

Beyond Shelter logo

Beyond Shelter, Inc. is a mission-driven North Dakota nonprofit developer of affordable housing and a Community Housing Development Organization (CHDO). The organization has been helping communities meet their affordable housing needs for 25 years, whether for senior housing, permanent supportive housing, family housing, new construction, rehabilitation, preservation or downtown revitalization.

Beyond Shelter structures, coordinates and oversees all aspects of developing affordable housing projects and since its inception has secured more than $250 million to support more than 50 affordable housing projects producing more than 1,500 affordable homes.

About Bell Bank

Founded in 1966 and headquartered in Fargo, N.D., Bell Bank (Member FDIC and Equal Housing Lender) is one of the nation’s largest family- and employee-owned banks, with more than 2,000 employees and $13 billion in assets. Bell, which offers personal and commercial banking, mortgage, wealth management and insurance, has full-service bank locations in North Dakota, Minnesota and Arizona as well as mortgage offices in multiple states.

Driven by a mission of “happy employees, happy customers,” Bell’s award-winning culture includes giving employees money for causes they care about through its Pay It Forward program, which has donated more than $29 million to people and organizations in need since 2008. Bell has been named to USA Today’s Top Workplaces and People magazine’s list of 100 Companies That Care.

About FHLB Des Moines


The Federal Home Loan Bank of Des Moines is deeply committed to strengthening communities, serving 13 states and three U.S Pacific territories as a member-owned cooperative. FHLB Des Moines works together with over 1,200 member institutions to support affordable housing, economic development and community improvement.

FHLB Des Moines is one of 11 regional banks that make up the Federal Home Loan Bank system. Members include community and commercial banks, credit unions, insurance companies, thrifts and community development financial institutions. FHLB Des Moines is wholly owned by its members and receives no taxpayer funding.