The 1980s were a bleak time for rural communities. Minnesota’s prime agricultural region was facing its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Farmers were losing land their families had owned for generations. Businesses along Main Streets and industrial parks were closing. Homes were being foreclosed. Families were moving away. People were losing hope.
Minnesota Initiative Foundations
Leaders at the McKnight Foundation based in Minneapolis saw what was happening in Greater Minnesota and wanted to help. After traveling the state to listen, learn and connect, they knew the solutions would come by empowering local communities to chart their own way forward. In 1986, they provided the initial funding to start the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations, and from that effort the Initiative Foundation based in Little Falls was born.
Today, we’re an independent foundation supported by individuals, families, businesses and organizations who want to strengthen Central Minnesota.