Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation Awards $73,400 in Grants

Eight Organizations Receive Small Town Grants

OWATONNA, Minn., October 24, 2018 – Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) recently approved eight grants totaling $73,400 to support small towns of 5,000 or less in SMIF’s 20-county region.

The Small Town Grants Program seeks to build sustainable and vibrant communities by engaging community members, enhancing existing leadership and creating opportunities for new leadership to emerge. Rather than funding one-time projects, the program seeks to build collaborative efforts and partnerships that will perpetuate collaboration for future work.

The 2018 Small Town Grant award recipients are:

  • $5,900 to Dodge Refreshed for the development of community events, including a Farm-to-Table dinner and a 5K run/walk, in Dodge Center.
  • $10,000 to Harmony Economic Development Authority to promote outdoor recreation, music and the arts, and tourism with the creation of a musical instrument-themed park at Harmony’s Trailhead Park.
  • $10,000 to the City of Kiester to engage the community in a visioning process to develop an action plan for Kiester’s future.
  • $10,000 to the City of La Crescent to engage the community in a branding process to reflect a shared vision that celebrates the community as a destination point for the tri-state area and beyond.
  • $10,000 to the Plainview Economic Development Authority to develop a community planning team that will organize monthly community meetings focused on problem-solving and inclusive, consensus driven decision-making.
  • $10,000 to the Spring Valley Economic Development Authority to support a business incubation and acceleration program as well as an activity space in the downtown that attracts all members of the community, new leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • $7,500 to the Preston Economic Development Authority to develop resources on the City website that will aim to promote housing development opportunities in Preston.
  • $10,000 to Saint James Public Schools to support a strategic planning process for the newly created Uniting Cultures/Uninendo Culturas group which works towards tolerance, acceptance and celebrating diversity so that all feel a sense of belonging and community pride.

“For the past 32 years, we’ve seen people come together to enhance their communities,” said SMIF President and CEO Tim Penny. “SMIF’s Small Town Grants program is intended to put air under the wings of some of those ideas, whether the community needs help with strategic planning, funds to implement a project or a stipend to support a leadership development program.”

For more information on SMIF’s grantmaking, contact Jennifer Heien at jenniferh@smifoundation.org or 507-214-7040.

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