Pequot Lakes knitting
The Patriot Foundation gave a $1,200 grant so fifth-grade students could learn to knit.

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 as part of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development’s (DEED) Minnesota Main Street Economic Revitalization program. These grants leveraged $11.7 million in local investment.

Since the start of the project in January 2023, the Foundation has awarded nearly $4.3 million to established corridors in Brainerd, Cold Spring, Little Falls, Long Prairie, Pine River and St. Cloud. This investment is anticipated to have a total economic impact of $47 million. See the full list of grantees.

Initiative Foundation Partner Funds during the fourth quarter awarded 110 grants totaling more than $304,000. Among other efforts, these grants supported an inclusive playground, a senior lunch program, and two archery programs. See the full list of grantees.

The Initiative Foundation through its Innovation Fund also awarded 20 grants totaling more than $142,500. The grants support a proposed Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe wild rice processing facility, a young professionals network, and an accounting software transition for a nonprofit. See the full list of grantees.

“During the fourth quarter of 2023, the Initiative Foundation and its Partner Funds were honored to support organizations doing good and important work in Central Minnesota,” said Brian Voerding, Initiative Foundation president. “It’s inspiring to consider all of these grants and to think about the difference each organization is making in the lives of the people and communities they serve.”

View the summary below for highlights of fourth-quarter 2023 Initiative Foundation and Partner Fund grants. For a more comprehensive listing, visit

Initiative Foundation Awards

The following organizations were among those receiving Initiative Foundation grants during the months of October, November and December 2023:

  • Ogilvie Tower Museum: $2,500 to develop a fundraising plan.
  • Horizon Health, Inc.—PEARLS Depression and Social Isolation: $5,000 to support the Program to Encourage Active, Rewarding Lives (PEARLS). PEARLS educates older adults about depression and helps them develop the skills they need for self-sufficiency and more active lives.
  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe—Wild Rice Processing Plant: $10,000 to support planning for a wild rice processing plant.

See the full list of grantees.

Partner Fund Awards

The Initiative Foundation hosts a variety of Partner Funds endowed by families, businesses, nonprofits and volunteer-led groups. The following grants were among those made by our Partner Funds during the months of October, November and December 2023:

  • Mille Lacs Area Community Foundation: $500 to the Isle Area Pickleball Association.
  • Sauk Rapids-Rice Education Foundation: $650 for yearbook cameras for middle school students.
  • Patrick & Jane Mitchell Family Fund: $5,000 to Terebinth Refuge for operating expenses.

See the full list of grantees.

To support efforts like these, or to create your own Partner Fund, visit