30 Years of Impact
Over 30 years ago, The McKnight Foundation joined forces with individuals who wanted to strengthen rural Minnesota. Together, they established six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, including our very own Southwest Initiative Foundation.
Since then, SWIF has grown thanks to the innumerable amount of people who lead, support and work with us. Our transformation from a fund to a foundation has allowed us to change the landscape of southwest Minnesota.
Thanks to your trust in our work and your investment in this incredible region, we can continue to support southwest Minnesota in being the best place to grow, learn and live.
- Southwest Initiative Foundation received gifts from 2,392 donors–individuals, families, businesses, counties, cities, organizations and other foundations–who all wanted to give back in Fiscal Year 2016.
- We awarded 391 grants totaling nearly $1.5 million to help nonprofits and communities in our region.
- Our family of 25 community affiliates and 101 funds supported critical local needs and projects.
During the past year, we followed plans already in place and created new plans to guide our future. Each one of you is important to making our work a success and together, we’ve strengthened southwest Minnesota—not just today, but for the next generation, too.
Thank you for trusting our vision and for making it part of your own.
Email or call us at 800-594-9480 to receive a printed copy of our annual report.
Our volunteer Board of Directors, led by Board Chair Robert Thurston, represents the best of southwest Minnesota. They are a committed and experienced group of regional leaders actively involved in serving our mission.After three years of service to our Board of Directors, Bob Taubert of Pipestone retired as of June 2016. We are grateful for his tireless efforts and for his resilient advocacy for our region.
Christie Hantge of Hutchinson was elected to our board effective July 1, 2015.
- Awarded 391 grants totaling nearly $1.5 million to benefit the people and communities of southwest Minnesota.
- Awarded $85,100 in grants for the Nonprofit Capacity Building grant round.
- Awarded $275,960 in grants from the Aging Trust Fund for the Age Friend Communities initiative.
- Awarded $41,500 in matching challenge grant dollars to nine community foundations/affiliate partners. Our match leveraged $83,500 in local giving in just six months.
- Worked with a total of 126 fund partners, 99 of which have a permanent endowment fund. Our fund partnerships ensured a consistent revenue stream through administrative fees into our operating budget, which totaled $167,000 in FY16.
- Created our first million-dollar, endowed donor-advised fund and exceeded our general endowment stretch fundraising goal of $333,333.
- In our Keep it GrowingSM farmland giving program, we currently have 1,650 acres of donated land, with an approximate value of $14.9 million.
- A gentleman from Benson left his entire estate to charity, including a $1 million gift to our partners at the Benson Area Community Foundation.
- Participated as one of 18 community foundations from across the Midwest in Philanthropic Preparedness, Resiliency, and Emergency Partnership (PPREP), a disaster-preparedness, response and recovery
- Reached over $40 million in business loans made since inception. These investments leveraged over $244 million in private and public dollars.
- Made 41 loans totaling over $1.6 million through our Business Finance and microloan programs. These business loans created or retained 131 jobs and leveraged over $1.9 million in private and public investment in our region.
- This past year, Diana Anderson was honored, on two separate occasions, to tell the stories of our Keep it GrowingSM farmland giving and entrepreneurship programs to a national audience at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
- The Regional Workforce Summit was held in October 2015 to attract, develop and retain our region’s advanced workforce by strengthening industry and education partnerships