Helping Central Minnesota people build and sustain thriving communities

How Can We Help You?

The Initiative Foundation works daily to strengthen the economy and communities of Central Minnesota. Choose an option: Let’s work together to bring greater opportunity and prosperity to all.

Now Hiring

Vice President for Economic Opportunity

Help us—or someone you know—by making a referral as we ramp up our search for a new vice president for economic opportunity. This leadership-level position provides strategic guidance for the Foundation’s entrepreneurship programs—including business lending and support services, and oversight of the Initiators Fellowship and Enterprise Academy programs. The vice president for economic opportunity also shares responsibility for broader efforts to strengthen local and regional economies, build the capacity of local economic development organizations, and advance strategic partnerships.

New & Upcoming Grant Opportunities

Loneliness & Social Isolation

Through a special $100,000 grant round, the Initiative Foundation will offer a limited number of grants for projects, programs, and community-building ideas that bridge differences and bring people together. Grant awards will range from $1,000 to $10,000 for projects that foster genuine, place-based community connects.

2024 PROMISE Act Grants

The Initiative Foundation is pleased to announce $1.1 million in grants for small businesses in Central Minnesota. Thanks to the new PROMISE Act funded by the the Minnesota Legislature, one-time grants ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 will be awarded to businesses to invest in existing operations or planned growth. This program is open to small, rural, and minority-owned businesses. We anticipate opening the application in early March.

Apply: Enterprise Academy

Have a great idea? Want to start or grow your business? Enterprise Academy is the single-largest early-stage entrepreneur training program in Central Minn. St. Cloud and Long Prairie cohorts begin in March.

Apply for a Grant

The Initiative Foundation provides grants to nonprofits and local government units for general, program or capacity-building support. The next round of grant applications are due May 10.

Lending: A Mission to Serve

By providing access to capital and support to borrowers, CDFIs like the Initiative Foundation help to create opportunities for economic growth and empowerment in disadvantaged areas.

Making a Difference in Central Minnesota—With Your Support

Supported by your generosity, the Initiative Foundation since its founding in 1986 has invested multiple millions into Central Minnesota through grants, loans and programming.

$65.1 Million

Through nearly 10,300 grants delivered to schools, nonprofits and local units of government

$490 Million

Leveraged in outside investments through 1,211 loans totaling $66.4 million


People supported through training for nonprofits, community programs, etc.

Latest News

Revitalization Grants Leverage $47 Million in Improvements

Through a yearlong partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), the Initiative Foundation awarded $4.3 million in grants to six communities… Read More

Foundation Awards Nearly $888,000 in Fourth Quarter

The fourth-quarter effort included 14 grants for a total of $441,388 to support businesses in Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Pine River and St. Cloud… Read More

Voerding Named Next Initiative Foundation President

The Initiative Foundation Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that Brian Voerding has been named president of the Little Falls-based organization and will lead… Read More

All News