Connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities
This issue of Looking Forward, Giving Back celebrates our mission statement — connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities — showing how it builds on our history even as it leads us forward with bold intention through the work of Grow Our Own. We’re looking to the future from a position of strength in our communities, with all the assets in southwest Minnesota that position our kids and families and communities to do well. Let’s build on what’s good. Let’s connect to others who care about southwest Minnesota so that together we can invest in ideas that make it even better.
In fiscal year 2018 …
- Southwest Initiative Foundation received $3.1 million in gifts to all our funds from the people, businesses and organizations that care about southwest Minnesota and make our work possible.
- We awarded 568 grants totaling $1.6 million to help nonprofits and communities in our region.
- Our family of 26 community affiliates and 105 funds supported critical local needs and projects.
Donors and friends make this work possible with their support. Thanks to each of you!
Looking Forward, Giving Back
Learn about the impact of giving and grantmaking in our southwest Minnesota region by reviewing our latest edition of Looking Forward, Giving Back, including the following stories:
- Connecting People: Gary and Nancy Geiger
- Investing in Ideas: Ellen Juul
- Building Community: Granite Falls Area Community Foundation
- A southwest Minnesota where all people thrive, Diana Anderson
Our volunteer Board of Directors, led by Board Chair Janice Nelson, represents the best of southwest Minnesota. They are a committed and experienced group of regional leaders actively involved in serving our mission. Tim Connell, Luverne, and Jan Lundebrek, Benson, retired from our board after a combined 12.5 years of service. Their leadership guided us through exciting and meaningful change, while their insights led to new and positive ideas. We appreciate their investment in southwest Minnesota!
Tom Brakke of Deephaven, Abdirizak Mahboub of Willmar and Kathy Wehking of Hector were elected to our board of directors in fiscal year 2018.
In 2018, we welcomed staff member J. Pablo Obregón in the newly created position of Community Engagement Officer. In his role, Pablo provides guidance, research and community engagement for SWIF’s intergenerational, leadership and Grow Our Own initiatives across the region.
The notes to these statements are an integral part of the financials. Please email us or call us at 800-594-9480 to request our complete audited financials.
- Awarded 568 grants totaling $1.6 million.
- In support of Grow Our Own, awarded 32 grants totaling $105,800 to targeted, impact-focused programs that close the opportunity gap.
- Members of our Emerging Leaders Cabinet directed $26,000 in Community Impact Grants based on their knowledge of needs in their local communities. (Read more about these grants.)
- Sent thank you packets to 393 child care providers for Child Care Provider Appreciation Day, May 11, 2018, as part of our commitment to supporting quality, affordable child care, a critical part of our economy and communities. (Read more about the celebration.)
- Made 41 loans totaling $2.1 million through our Business Finance and Microenterprise Loan Programs.
- Made our 1,000th loan, which went to FBT Sawmill in Steen (Rock County). (Read more about this milestone.)
- Became a member of West Central Angel Fund I, LLC based in Willmar and the Worthington Investment Network, LLP, two locally led investment funds that align with SWIF’s priorities for entrepreneurship, business finance and regional economic development.
- Became the first Greater Minnesota foundation to officially join the Minnesota Impact Investing Initiative (MI3). This the impact investing collaborative of Minnesota-based foundations is led by Minnesota Council on Foundations. (Read the press release.)