Governor Dayton proclaims March 2, 2016 as Minnesota Initiative Foundations Day

Governor Dayton proclaims March 2, 2016 as Minnesota Initiative Foundations Day

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., March 2, 2016 – Governor Mark Dayton’s office has proclaimed March 2, 2016 as “Minnesota Initiative Foundations Day”. The Proclamation celebrates the 30th year of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations working and investing in Greater Minnesota.

In 1986, The McKnight Foundation created six independent, regional foundations; vested them with local leadership; and empowered them to respond to emerging challenges in the state’s rural communities struggling to deal with deep declines in the farming, wood products, and mining industries. McKnight broke new ground; the Minnesota Initiative Foundations were philanthropic pioneers in using a combination of grantmaking, program development, and business lending to promote wellbeing in their rural regions for the long term.

“The Minnesota Initiative Foundations 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,” states Kate Wolford, President.

In the 30 years since, the Northwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Northland Foundation, Initiative Foundation, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Southwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation, and West Central Initiative have each shaped their own strategies to address changing needs in their respective regions. Collectively, they have:
• Awarded more than 32,000 grants totaling in excess of $190 million;
• Provided more than $240 million through 4,400 loans to local businesses, helping to create and retain nearly 45,000 jobs in Greater Minnesota; and
• Stewarded endowment assets totaling more than $275 million to serve as philanthropic resources for the future of Minnesota’s rural communities.

“I’m proud of what we have accomplished in partnership with community members, funders, donors, volunteers, and civic leaders,” said Tim Penny, President of the Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. “It is a privilege to live, work, and contribute to the quality of life in Greater Minnesota, and we’re looking forward to the next 30 years.”

Find more details about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, the story of their first 30 years, and contact information at

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