Minnesota Initiative Foundations
In the early 1980s, declines in cornerstone industries like farming and mining were stripping rural communities of people, jobs, and hope. Believing that the people of rural Minnesota were best positioned to make decisions for themselves, the McKnight Foundation joined forces with Greater Minnesota leaders to take action. McKnight envisioned a regional strategy that would encourage local giving and local responsibility for the long-term welfare of each region. The experiment worked.
Today, the Minnesota Initiative Foundations are strong, independent entities that are built to respond to regional needs and opportunities. Each foundation is independent and serves its region with unique grants, business loans, leadership programs and donor services. They continue their legacy of helping people to help themselves.
The foundations make grants to nonprofit or public organizations, such as social service providers and schools. These organizations often work in partnership with local governments, business groups, or religious congregations to improve the quality of life in Greater Minnesota communities.
Impact At a Glance:
The Minnesota Initiative Foundations have served to strengthen communities, families and regional economies. From 1986-2008, their measurable investment impacts include:
· 19,360 nonprofit grants totaling $120.4 million
· 3,410 business investments totaling $174.5 million
· 37,420 quality jobs created or secured
The foundations collaborate with banks, investors, business operators, and local, state, and federal financing programs. Because their structure and philosophy permit risk-taking and encourage innovation, the foundations can often provide the gap financing that gets a project off the ground. They help create and expand businesses with strong prospects for the future and with jobs at a wage level that can support a family.
The Minnesota Initiative Foundations depend on local contributions to meet local needs. McKnight matches gifts to their permanent endowments, providing a financial base that will enable them to serve their regions long into the future.
Today, the foundations also receive support from governments, other foundations, businesses and individuals who wish to invest in the future of their communities. Since their inception, they have earned $211 million in McKnight support and $144.7 million from other sources.
Visit your foundation’s website to learn how you can support the initiatives in your area.