Funding will support work in southwest Minnesota over next five years
The McKnight Foundation recently approved a grant to the Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) totaling $6 million over the next five years to further the organization’s mission and impact in the region. In 25 years, The McKnight Foundation has contributed more than $40 million to SWIF, who has in turn leveraged those resources to contribute more than $54 million in southwest Minnesota.
As announced at SWIF’s 25th Anniversary Banquet May 20, The McKnight Foundation commends SWIF for its leadership, hard work and partnerships to serve the people of southwest Minnesota.
“The Minnesota Initiative Foundations hit the ground running in 1986, and they haven’t slowed down,” said Kate Wolford, President of The McKnight Foundation. “Every year, they forge dynamic new collaborations and help define the spirits of giving, of innovation, and of engagement that are hallmarks of our state. They stand collectively among The McKnight Foundation’s proudest and farthest reaching legacies — both for the progress they have made and for the promises they hold.”
The award follows McKnight’s two-day site visit to the region in April. The funding is structured as annual contributions of $1 million for five years to the SWIF General Endowment, beginning July 1, 2011. The award also includes a challenge grant, where McKnight will match gifts to the SWIF General Endowment dollar-for-dollar up to $1 million over five years.
“We thank The McKnight Foundation for their continued partnership,” said SWIF President/CEO Sherry Ristau. “Their tremendous support since founding the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations has been a true catalyst to all areas of our work. This announcement means great things for the future of our region.”
SWIF is one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations created in 1986 as a partnership between The McKnight Foundation and the citizens of Greater Minnesota. Set up as independent nonprofit philanthropic organizations with local boards of directors, the six foundations are: the Northland Foundation in Duluth; the Northwest Minnesota Foundation located in Bemidji; West Central Initiative based in Fergus Falls; the Southwest Initiative Foundation based in Hutchinson, the Initiative Foundation in Little Falls; and the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation based in Owatonna. For more information about The Minnesota Initiative Foundations, visit www.greaterminnesota.net.
The Southwest Initiative Foundation is a regional community foundation dedicated to advancing southwest Minnesota through leadership, relationship building, program development and philanthropy. The Foundation has contributed more than $54 million through its grant and loan programs in southwest Minnesota. It has also helped more than 525 businesses start or expand through its business finance programs, which have created or retained more than 8,000 jobs. The Southwest Initiative Foundation is an equal opportunity provider. To learn more, visit www.swifoundation.org.