Jackson County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Jackson County. We’ve awarded 416 grants totaling $1.9 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 35 loans totaling $2.3 million to finance local businesses. Mark Titus of Jackson serves on our board of directors. Chanthavy Singvongsa serves on our Emerging Leaders Cabinet.

McLeod County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of McLeod County. We’ve awarded 371 grants totaling $1.9 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 124 loans totaling $4.6 million to finance local businesses. Christie Hantge of Hutchinson serves on our board of directors. Don Martinez and Karlie Mosher, both of Hutchinson, serve on our Emerging Leaders Cabinet. Office headquarters are in Hutchinson.

Lac Qui Parle County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Lac qui Parle County. We’ve awarded 579 grants totaling $4 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 26 loans totaling $1.8 million to finance local businesses.

Meeker County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Meeker County. We’ve awarded 301 grants totaling $1.9 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 57 loans totaling $2.2 million to finance local businesses. Randy Reinke of Litchfield serves on our board of directors.

Swift County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Swift County. We’ve awarded 510 grants totaling $3.5 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 40 loans totaling $2.7 million to finance local businesses. Jan Lundebrek of Benson serves on our board of directors.

Big Stone County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Big Stone County. We’ve awarded 206 grants totaling $2 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 14 loans totaling $549,800 to finance local businesses.

Kandiyohi County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Kandiyohi County. We’ve awarded 418 grants totaling $3.7 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 117 loans totaling $5.4 million to finance local businesses. Our current board chair is Bob Thurston of Spicer. Patti Loehr-Dols of Willmar also serves on our board. Fardowsa Ibrahim of Willmar, Jonathan Morales of Spicer, Ayan Muktar of Willmar, Chasity Ommodt of Spicer and Robert Valdez of Willmar serve on our Emerging Leaders Cabinet. Jeff Vetsch of New London is on staff.

Chippewa County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Chippewa County. We’ve awarded 523 grants totaling $3.6 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 34 loans totaling $1.3 million to finance local businesses. Janice Nelson of Montevideo serves as vice chair on our board of directors. Scott Marquardt of Montevideo is on staff.

Renville County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Renville County. We’ve awarded 344 grants totaling $2.8 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 69 loans totaling $2.5 million to finance local businesses. Board chair Bob Thurston owns Thurston Genetics in Olivia. Rob Saunders of Bird Island serves as our past board chair. Susie Lang and Rob Thurston, both of Olivia, serve on our Emerging Leaders Cabinet.

Redwood County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Redwood County. We’ve awarded 332 grants totaling $2.5 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 84 loans totaling $3.5 million to finance local businesses. Sarah Warner of Walnut Grove serves on our Emerging Leaders Cabinet.

Yellow Medicine County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Yellow Medicine County. We’ve awarded 434 grants totaling $3.6 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 49 loans totaling $1.9 million to finance local businesses. Theresa Peterson of the Upper Sioux Community serves on our board of directors.

Lyon County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Lyon County. We’ve awarded 492 grants totaling $3.7 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 61 loans totaling $2.6 million to finance local businesses. Mary Maertens of Marshall serves on our board of directors. Jodi Maertens of Ghent is on staff.

Lincoln County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Lincoln County. We’ve awarded 301 grants totaling $2.1 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 39 loans totaling $1.1 million to finance local businesses.

Cottonwood County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Cottonwood County. We’ve awarded 396 grants totaling $2.1 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 44 loans totaling $2 million to finance local businesses.

Murray County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Murray County. We’ve awarded 230 grants totaling $1.6 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 15 loans totaling $822,350 to finance local businesses.

Pipestone County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Pipestone County. We’ve awarded 260 grants totaling $2.2 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 24 loans totaling $1.2 million to finance local businesses.

Rock County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Rock County. We’ve awarded 181 grants totaling $1.8 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 29 loans totaling $2.2 million to finance local businesses. Tim Connell of Luverne serves on our board of directors.

Nobles County

Since 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has invested in the people and places of Nobles County. We’ve awarded 480 grants totaling $2.2 million to support local nonprofits, schools and community projects. We’ve also made 75 loans totaling $4.1 million to finance local businesses. Jordan Huisken and Jessica Velasco, both of Worthington, serve on our Emerging Leaders Cabinet. Amy Woitalewicz of Worthington is on staff.

Keep It GrowingSM Farmland Giving

Johnson family

Southwest Initiative Foundation farmland tenants Zac Walton and Geof and Leann Johnson continue to farm the “Remick property” near Windom.

Farmland giving represents an incredible opportunity for rural philanthropy and is a great tool for landowners.

Southwest Initiative Foundation is well-poised to run Keep It Growing and provide many different options for how to structure a gift of farmland—from an outright donation from the sale of the land to a gift agreement that will keep the land in production for years to come.

We work directly with families and financial planners to help landowners make a truly meaningful gift using our unique program.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Keep It Growing can work for you or your clients, contact us at 800-594-9480 to learn more.

Read how southwest Minnesota families have benefited from our program:

Hear us on the Linder Farm Network

8-21-15 Scott Marquardt
8-14-15 Scott Marquardt

8-7-15 Sandy Ludeman

7-31-15 Diana Anderson

7-24-15 Geof Johnson

7-17-15 Cynthia Huse

7-10-15 Glenn Krog

7-3-15 Diana Anderson

6-26-15 Jackie Turner-Lovsness

6-19-15 Jackie Turner-Lovsness

6-12-15 Jackie Turner-Lovsness
6-5-15 Diana Anderson
5-29-15 Cheryl Glaeser
5-15-15 Cheryl Glaeser
5-8-15 Cheryl Glaeser
5-1-15 Diana Anderson
4-24-15 Jodi Maertens
4-17-15 Jodi Maertens
4-10-15 Jodi Maertens
4-3-15 Diana Anderson
3-26-15 Scott Marquardt
3-20-15 Scott Marquardt
3-13-15 Scott Marquardt
3-6-15 Diana Anderson
2-27-15 Diana Anderson
2-20-15 Diana Anderson
2-13-15 Diana Anderson
1-30-15 Diana Anderson
1-23-15 Diana Anderson
1-16-15 Diana Anderson
1-9-15 Rob Saunders
1-2-15 Diana Anderson

How It Works

How Our Farmland Retention Option Works

There is great flexibility for landowners to retain income for their lifetime and support their heirs while receiving maximum charitable tax benefits. Our farmland retention option keeps land in production, plus it often provides opportunities to maintain important tenant or neighbor relationships or even help support young farm families. Here’s an example of how the program works. Click the image to enlarge.  

Farmland retention greatly impacts rural philanthropy not just through the gift. Wealth is retained by keeping rental income in the region and by keeping wealth created by continued use of the land local. This wealth makes a significant impact on our southwest Minnesota communities.

How To Learn More

If you’re interested in learning more about how Keep It Growing can work for you or your clients, contact us at 800-594-9480.

Staff who work with our Keep It Growing program:
E-mail Diana Anderson
President/CEO

Email Liz Cheney
Community Philanthropy Director

Other Options Provide Flexibility

Flexibility uniquely positions community foundations like Southwest Initiative Foundation to be an attractive partner for farmers and landowners. Donors using Keep It Growing can choose how their gift is structured.

  • You can make a current gift or life estate gift
  • You can have SWIF keep or sell the property
  • You can set up the gift into perpetuity or for immediate use
  • You can determine the purpose of the gift
  1. Named Fund or Donor-advised Fund
  2. Community or Designated Fund
  3. Southwest Initiative Foundation’s General Endowment

We have tools to create sample gift structures based on your preferred gift method and impact. Click here to see an example. Contact us to generate an example based on your or your client’s situation.

Download our Gifts of Real Estate check list to help get the conversation started.

Program History

Southwest Minnesota attorney Patrick Costello saw within his own law practice that many clients were charitably inclined and yet so deeply connected to their farmland and their neighbors that an outright gift of land that would be sold off by the charity was not an attractive option for everyone. Pat wondered if charities might consider keeping and managing the farmland, and knew immediately that community foundations would be best positioned for the opportunity. Rather than liquidating the assets like other charities usually do with gifts of real estate, Pat’s model allows Southwest Initiative Foundation—a community foundation—to receive remainder interest of the donor’s life estate, maintain ownership of the land after the donor passes, and if desired, create a donor designated memorial fund that will support the farmer’s charitable interests. To our knowledge, Southwest Initiative Foundation is the first to create a farmland giving program with the option to keep the land in production. Retaining one of southwest Minnesota’s greatest assets-farmland-through our Keep It Growing program benefits all involved.

  • Landowners receive a tax deduction for the charitable portion of the gift; bypass all capital gains taxes; create stable revenue source for remainder of lifetime; and benefit favorite charities.
  • Tenants continue renting the land and keep wealth generated by the land local.
  • County maintains tax base, as SWIF continues paying property taxes on the land.
  • Southwest Initiative Foundation retains ownership of the land and diversifies its investment portfolio; earns revenue from the rent for the benefit of the southwest Minnesota region and its communities; and serves donors in a meaningful way, helping landowners create a legacy.

@2017 Southwest Initiative Foundation, an equal opportunity provider and employer.

15 3rd Avenue NW
Hutchinson, MN 55350
(320) 587-4848 (Local)
(800) 594-9480 (Toll Free)
(320) 587-3838 (Fax)
info@swifoundation.org

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