GLENCOE, Minn.— Glencoe has a new permanent resource to respond to needs and opportunities in the community. The Glencoe Area Community Foundation, formed in partnership with Southwest Initiative Foundation, is led by a local advisory board tasked with fundraising, grantmaking and educating the community about the local foundation’s mission and vision.
Inaugural advisory board members are chair Rachel Schuette, vice chair Sharon Hoese, treasurer Kelly Rach, secretary Amanda Ortloff, Lennie Albers, Myranda VanDamme, Lynn Exsted and Craig Miller.
“With all the exciting potential on the horizon for Glencoe, it seemed like the perfect time to start something like this,” said Hoese, a long-time Glencoe resident and key booster for the initial effort to launch the Glencoe Area Community Foundation.
Momentum from the recent Blandin Community Leadership Program cohort inspired Hoese to reach out to others in the community, and she soon had more than 25 individuals and organizations interested in helping form a local foundation. An initial group fundraising effort secured $6,700, above the $5,000 minimum needed to partner with Southwest Initiative Foundation. Glencoe Area Community Foundation is one of 28 local community foundation partners, known as affiliates, supported by Southwest Initiative Foundation in its region, which includes the 18 counties in the southwest corner of the state and two Native Nations that share this geography.
Southwest Initiative Foundation is known for regional grantmaking, supporting kids and families and business financing, in addition to working with donors and its affiliates. Since its founding in 1986, Southwest Initiative Foundation has distributed more than $6.5 million in McLeod County through its grantmaking and business finance programs. That includes a grant from the foundation to the City of Glencoe last year to develop a plan for guiding downtown improvements in the areas of promotional events, tourism and civic infrastructure.
Southwest Initiative Foundation will handle gift processing and receipting, grant processing, investment management and the 501(c)(3) status necessary for gifts to Glencoe Area Community Foundation to be tax deductible. Through the partnership, Glencoe’s advisory board members have access to technical and professional support in areas such as strategic planning, board development, fundraising, marketing and public relations, and grantmaking.
Through the end of the year, local advisory board members will participate in training and work on the new foundation’s mission and vision before launching a larger fundraising effort. Jeff Vetsch, SWIF Community Philanthropy Officer, has been guiding the new board through the startup process and serves as the foundation contact.
“The work of community foundations is about giving. Giving out grants yes, but also giving donors a meaningful place to express their generosity,” Vetsch said “It’s been inspiring to see community members pitch in to get this local community foundation off the ground in Glencoe. They’re off to a strong start.”
Those interested in donating to the new community foundation can mail gifts to Glencoe Area Community Foundation at PO Box 294, Glencoe MN 55336 or visit swifoundation.org/donate to give. Southwest Initiative Foundation will match gifts to the local community foundation up to $25,000 over the next two years.
Donations to Glencoe Area Community Foundation support an endowment fund, which acts like a savings account for the community. The principal is never spent; as the endowment grows, earnings are granted into the community. Glencoe Area Community Foundation can also be a tool to raise dollars for specific community projects and oversee donor-advised or other types of funds created by local donors.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a nonprofit community foundation connecting people, investing in ideas and building communities to create a southwest Minnesota where all people thrive. SWIF launched its local community foundation program in 1999 to give southwest Minnesotans a way to support the charities and the places that were important in their lives, and to retain wealth in this rural region. Today, the foundation’s 28 affiliate partners advise 108 funds (including endowment, operating, project and designated funds) with assets totaling $9.2 million. In the last 20 years, these partners have awarded more than 2,400 local grants totaling $6.6 million. Learn more at swifoundation.org.
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