This marks a big year for Southwest Initiative Foundation—we’re turning 30! We have a deep history here in Greater Minnesota. We’re one of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations formed by The McKnight Foundation in 1986.
In the mid-80s, Greater Minnesota was reeling with the farm crisis, mines closing, and businesses failing. McKnight leaders wanted to help, but knew that local leaders were best positioned to find solutions that would work in our rural communities.
We all do business lending, community grantmaking, and leadership development. Together, we’ve made more than $430 million in grants and loans. That’s a huge investment into rural Minnesota! And we each have programs specific to our areas, like our Keep It Growing℠ farmland giving program which we’ll be sharing next week at the Linder Farm Network’s Ag Outlook Meetings in Willmar, Marshall and Mankato.
Click around our website to read stories about our impact on families, businesses and communities in southwest Minnesota. You can also check out this fantastic historical piece about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations found the Little Falls-based Initiative Foundation’s IQ Magazine.
I hope you’ll explore the many ways you can be a part of our work for the next 30 years!