WINDOM, Minn.— The new Windom Area Foundation is on a mission to connect donors with causes, making the Windom area a great place to live, work, and play. The foundation formed last year in partnership with Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) and is led by a local advisory board tasked with fundraising, grant making and educating the community about the local foundation’s mission and vision.
Inaugural Windom Area Foundation advisory board members are chair Ryan McNamara, co-chair Tony Scott, secretary Rahn Larson, treasurer Justin Schmit, Gerri Burmeister, Anne Foley, Mary Klosterbuer, Mike Nesseth and Peggy Pfeffer. They participated in training last year before launching communitywide fundraising and marketing efforts recently. SWIF has matched the first $25,000 in gifts to the local endowment, pushing the Windom Area Foundation to more than $50,000 raised so far.
Windom Area Foundation is one of 30 local community foundation partners, known as affiliates, supported by SWIF in its region, which includes the 18 counties in the southwest corner of the state and two Native Nations that share this geography. SWIF is known for regional grantmaking, supporting kids and families and business financing, in addition to working with donors and its affiliates. SWIF will handle gift processing and receipting, grant processing, investment management and the 501(c)(3) status necessary for gifts to Windom Area Foundation to be tax deductible.
Through the partnership, Windom’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. Jeff Vetsch, SWIF Community Philanthropy Officer, has guided the local board during the startup process and continues to provide support.
“If you want to be inspired, ask people about their hopes and plans for the places closest to their hearts. I got to hear the passion and big ideas people have for the future of Windom and am excited to see where that leads for this community,” Vetsch said.
Donations to Windom Area 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. Windom Area 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.
Those interested in donating can mail gifts to Windom Area Foundation at PO Box 531, Windom, MN 56101 or visit swifoundation.org/donate to give.
About Southwest Initiative Foundation
Southwest Initiative Foundation 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. In the last 22 years, these partners have awarded thousands of local grants totaling more than $6 million. Learn more at swifoundation.org.
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