To unlock the power of central Minnesota people to build and sustain thriving communities.
Who We Are
The Initiative Foundation exists for one purpose, to improve the quality of life in central Minnesota. At the core of our work is the belief that local people possess the talent, passion and ability to achieve a brighter future. Our programs and investments strive to give every person an opportunity to contribute to a shared vision and plan of action that strengthens community character and relationships.
Because quality of life is determined by many factors, and each community has its own assets and challenges, we intentionally pursue a broad spectrum of focus areas. We believe the following elements represent the most effective use of our resources to achieve long-term results:
- Leadership Training - Build the skills and confidence of established and emerging servant leaders as they guide their community or organization toward a shared vision and plan of action.
- Financial Investments - Nonprofit grants and business investments that advance the shared vision and plan, foster relationships, inspire volunteerism and generate local financial support.
- Staff Assistance - Provide ongoing support, encouragement and expert consulting to leaders and volunteers as they implement their shared vision and plan.
- Resource Referral - Connect leaders and volunteers to other sources of assistance and funding.
Created in 1986 by a partnership of local people and The McKnight Foundation, the Initiative Foundation is one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations (MIFs) serving greater Minnesota. The MIFs were originally formed to address economic issues related to rural flight, poverty and downtown decline, which were prevalent during the mid-1980s.
Today, the MIFs work to make the six regions outside the metropolitan area stronger and more prosperous. Each foundation's priorities are decided by the people in its own region, with grants and loans supporting such issues as economic development, leadership development, community building, and families, youth and seniors.
> MIF Fact Sheet
In 2010 the Initiative Foundation joined the ranks of only 200 nationally accredited community foundations in the United States. What does this mean? Service. Integrity. Trust. For those we serve and those who invest in us.
The National Standards Seal by our name indicates official confirmation from the Council on Foundations that we have met the most rigorous standards in philanthropy. It affirms our commitment to financial security, transparency and accountability. It says our grantmaking includes an open, competitive process designed to address the changing needs of our community.
The National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations Program was established in 2000 in cooperation with the Council on Foundations. The 43 National Standards require that the Initiative Foundation document its policies in donor services, investment management, grantmaking and administration and submit its organizational and financial policies and procedures to a rigorous peer review.