What’s your story of belonging in southwest Minnesota?
We all have one, and woven into it are the reasons we came, or stayed, or left — but still hold this place close in our hearts. My story, like many, started with a job offer. I grew up in western South Dakota, and after pursuing higher education, I came to Minnesota for my career, spending time at a community newspaper and in healthcare. I’ve always loved the spirit of innovation and collaboration that defines small towns, and I felt at home almost instantly. Each of us has that power to help others—regardless of their background—to be seen, embraced, welcomed and included in our community.
How we experience our communities is part of a bigger story. For the last 35 years, Southwest Initiative Foundation has been helping write southwest Minnesota’s success story. As we celebrate and look back, one thing that strikes me is the impact we’ve made together. Since our founding in 1986, we have distributed more $97.8 million through our grantmaking and business finance programs. Our pandemic response was a big part of that bold investment, with our COVID-19 response and recovery efforts alone exceeding $15 million. Despite a trying year, there is so much good that has happened here. Thank you for lending a hand to neighbors and looking out for one another in hard times. Your support makes the difference.
It’s an honor to be part of the incredible network of people working daily to keep southwest Minnesota strong and vibrant. This is a special place to belong.
Thanks to support from our donors and friends, this year alone we …
- Awarded 1,181 grants totaling $7,479,496 from all our funds to nonprofits and communities in our region
- Closed 44 new loans totaling $1,421,884 to support businesses in southwest Minnesota
- In partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), distributed $4.9 in Small Business Relief Grants, helping 476 small businesses primarily located in southwest Minnesota. See a map of these businesses
Read stories of impact from southwest Minnesota
- Estate gift means farmland can keep growing and giving back September 16, 2021
Every farm has a story. Neil Kruse wants to see the next chapters for his family’s farm keep the r [...]Read more
- Elevate Business Academy graduates first class of entrepreneurs July 6, 2021
Five local entrepreneurs celebrated a step toward their small business dreams as they graduated from [...]Read more
Grants from All Funds
Investing in what our kids need to succeed
|$1,037,010||Vibrant and Welcoming Communities|
|$212,540||Early Care and Education|
|$4,765,000.00||Pandemic Business Recovery|
|$44,600.00||Pathways to Meaningful Work|
Loans Closed, By Industry
Supporting economic growth and vibrant communities
|$75,000 Real Estate|
The notes to these statements are an integral part of the financials. Please email us or call us at 800-594-9480 to request our complete audited financials. Note: Our fiscal year 2021 runs from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021.