Community Prosperity

Rural communities have the resources to invest in themselves, and our local community fund model gives them the tools to do it. Five of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations facilitate local community funds. These funds, also known as local community foundations, have supported local food shelves, Veterans memorials, downtown enhancement projects, farmers’ markets, scholarship programs and more. Their versatility allows them to leverage resources wisely in responding to the unique needs of their town.


Community Funds

Retaining Local Wealth

Retaining wealth in rural Minnesota is central to our approach. A recent study by the University of Minnesota Extension Department of Community Development estimates that capturing 5 percent of the 10-year “transfer of wealth” potential in our state could create $3.9 billion of new endowments. And over 20 years, this could support grantmaking of $4.6 billion. The study also highlights the importance of community-based philanthropy in a time when traditional sources of funding like local taxes, federal and state funding and support from local businesses are under increasing pressure and are not always available when communities need them the most.

In our community fund model, fundraising, marketing and grant recommendations are completed by a local board, ensuring decisions are made by those who understand the community best. The Minnesota Initiative Foundations provide expertise and resources to each community foundation, including administrative support, technical and professional assistance, investment management and 501(c)(3) public charity infrastructure. This infrastructure allows our partners to fundraise for future needs and for current projects and initiatives that improve the quality of life in their hometowns.

In addition to local community foundation affiliates, we support 925 other partner funds, including scholarship and designated funds.

The Power of Collaboration

We believe in the power of collaboration. By making a way for people to give back, local community foundations create a ripple effect of positive change, strengthening not just individual towns but entire regions throughout the state.