As part of the leadership team, Jennifer leads the Foundation’s fundraising and communications efforts to help increase awareness and financial support for SMIF. Nelson has been with the Foundation since 1999 and been in a leadership role since 2012.

Jennifer has extensive knowledge and experience in fundraising, stewardship and communications, as well as the ability to build strong partnerships — both internal and external. Working closely with staff, board and partners she has steadily increased program and endowment funds for the Foundation as well as supported the Affiliate Fund Program focused on the growth of financial resources for our communities.

Jennifer holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from St. Olaf College, Northfield, Minn. She is a graduate of the Blandin Community Leadership Program and Brisk Walk Through The Basics — seminar on planned giving, as well as completed course work in grant writing through Indiana University Center of Philanthropy Fund Raising School. Nelson was recently nominated and selected to serve on the Minnesota Planned Giving Council.

What is one of your favorite southern Minnesota festivals/events?
I love the Uptown Art Fair or any of the craft beer/wine/cider festivals.

What makes Greater Minnesota "greater"?
The wide open roads with very little traffic and beautiful scenery.

jennifern@smifoundation.org