Photography by Red Bird Hills

Since 1986

The six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) were created by McKnight Foundation in reaction to the 1986 farm crisis, the worst recession since the Great Depression. The MIFs, started as a “grand experiment,” have become an enormously powerful and valuable regional institution.

Today, SMIF’s mission and logo reflect our commitment to working toward a prosperous southern Minnesota by fostering a culture of collaboration. We are well known for our strong leadership, strategic focus, ability to leverage assets, and mission of building a prosperous and vibrant region. Since 1986, we have worked to identify and leverage our region’s assets to create economic prosperity and community vitality within our 20-county region.

Learn more about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations at