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.

Grants

The Westbrook-Walnut Grove YES! team received a grant to build and install a wind turbine at their high school.

The Westbrook-Walnut Grove YES! team received a grant to build and install a wind turbine at their high school.

Grantmaking is a key role of community foundations like Southwest Initiative Foundation. We usually award grants for regional efforts that make rural southwest Minnesota stronger or support a specific area of our work. We also may award grants for local efforts that meet critical needs of people in our region.

Most of our grants are awarded through our more than 120 fund partners. We provide the administrative support that allows local volunteers and families to raise funds and support good work, without worrying about all the paperwork. If you have a fund in your area, they might be a resource for you.

We can award grants to nonprofit organizations, schools, government agencies and projects that use one of these entities as a fiscal partner.

One of the most common questions we’re asked is, “Can I get a grant to start my business?” We don’t award grants to individuals or to start a business. Instead, entrepreneurs can talk to our loan team, and if their plan seems like it could be a fit for Southwest Initiative Foundations, apply for loan assistance.

Check out our most recent edition of Looking Forward, Giving Back to learn more about how Southwest Initiative Foundation and our fund partners are able to award grants through the generosity of our donors.

Types of Grants

2017 Grow Our Own Responsive Grants

Competitive grants of up to $5,000 to help regional nonprofits support youth. Areas of focus include families and parenting, schools, neighborhoods and communities and career on-ramps. Deadline is 5 p.m. June 1, 2017.

2017 Early Care and Education

Competitive grants of up to $5,000 to help regional nonprofits address early care and education. Areas of focus include PreK-3rd grade alignment, social and emotional development, and early care and education. Deadline was 5 p.m. April 21, 2017.

Nonprofit Capacity Building

Competitive grant cycle to build the strength and long-term sustainability of southwest Minnesota nonprofits to deliver quality programming more efficiently and effectively. Application deadline has passed for this grant cycle. 


Local Impact

Responsive grants to helps meet the critical needs of people living in southwest Minnesota.

Regional Impact

Supports projects, programs or organizations that have a widespread impact on southwest Minnesota.

Program

Proactive grants to support Southwest Initiative Foundation partners in programming, from development to project implementation.

Fund Partner

Awards grants with dedicated assets from Southwest Initiative Foundation fund partners. Criteria, application process and selection is managed by local fund partner advisers.

How to Apply

If you believe your project fits within our guidelines and criteria, you may complete our online pre-application questionnaire.

After we receive your questionnaire, here’s how the process works:

  1. You will receive an e-mail confirming our receipt of your pre-application questionnaire.
  2. Our team meets monthly to review and discuss each grant inquiry. After reviewing your completed questionnaire, we will contact you to either invite or decline a full application.                                                                                 If we invite a full application, you are still not guaranteed a grant. This is an indication that we want to hear more about your project because it meets the basic requirements for funding.                                                         If we decline a full application, we will share our reasons and may refer you to other potential funders.
  3. We send you the full application, for you to complete and return.
  4. Upon receipt, your full application is assigned to a staff grant reviewer. They will contact you with questions and schedule a site visit, if deemed necessary.
  5. The grant reviewer will make a recommendation to the president or board of directors, depending on the amount requested.
  6. You will be informed after the final decision is made, which may include a reduction in the amount of requested funding, a full or partial matching challenge, payment schedule or other stipulations.
  7. Once we receive the required documents, the funds will be distributed as outlined in the grant agreement and announced to the media.
  8. Project reports will be required as outlined in the grant agreement. This information may be used as a learning tool to help other organizations and guide future foundation funding.

Remember, the grant process begins by completing the pre-application questionnaire.

For more information:

E-mail Nancy Fasching
Community Impact Director
(800) 594-9480

Additional Resources:
@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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