Governor Dayton Proclaims March 2, 2016, as Minnesota Initiative Foundations Day

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Governor Mark Dayton’s office has proclaimed March 2, 2016, as “Minnesota Initiative Foundations Day”. The Governor’s Proclamation celebrates the 30th year of the Northwest Minnesota Foundation working and investing in the twelve counties of northwest Minnesota, alongside the five other Minnesota Initiative Foundations serving Greater Minnesota.

In 1986, The McKnight Foundation created the Northwest Minnesota Initiative Foundation as one of six independent, regional foundations vested with local leadership and empowered to respond to emerging challenges in rural communities throughout greater Minnesota. The Minnesota Initiative Foundations were philanthropic pioneers in using a unique combination of grantmaking, program development, and business lending to promote long-term wellbeing in their regions.

“The Minnesota Initiative Foundations stand collectively among The McKnight Foundation’s proudest and farthest reaching legacies—both for the progress they have made and for the promises they hold,” states Kate Wolford, president of McKnight.

During the 30 years that have passed, the Northwest Minnesota Foundation, Northland Foundation, Initiative Foundation, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation, Southwest Initiative Foundation, and West Central Initiative have each shaped their own strategies to address changing needs in their respective regions. Together, they have …

  • Awarded more than 32,000 grants totaling in excess of $190 million
  • Provided more than $240 million through 4,400 loans to local businesses, helping to create and retain nearly 45,000 jobs in Greater Minnesota
  • Stewarded endowment assets totaling more than $275 million to serve as philanthropic resources for the future of Minnesota’s rural communities

“The impact each Minnesota Initiative Foundation has had in their respective region is outstanding,” said NMF President Nancy Vyskocil. “We strive each year to fulfill the original mission of the McKnight Foundation and make our region a great place to live and work and we can do so because of their continued support.”

Find more details about the Minnesota Initiative Foundations, the story of the first 30 years, and contact information at




The Northwest Minnesota Foundation is a public, charitable foundation serving 12 counties of Northwest Minnesota by investing resources, facilitating collaboration and promoting philanthropy.