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Initiative Quarterly

you believe changing the future takes initiative, then you've come to the right foundation.

Powering Possible.

About Us

The Initiative Foundation is a hybrid workplace. Staff members are in the office on Mondays and available by appointment Tuesday through Friday. Use our staff directory for email and telephone contact information. Thank you for all you do to build a thriving economy, vibrant communities and a lasting culture of generosity in Central Minnesota!

Powering possible to help Central Minnesota
people build and sustain thriving communities

The Initiative Foundation works daily to strengthen the economy and communities of Central Minnesota:

  • Through loans and financing, we invest in businesses that create quality jobs.
  • Through grants and programs, we invest in organizations that make our economy strong.
  • Through donor services and charitable funds, we help people invest in their communities.

We believe that local people have the greatest sum of initiative, knowledge and relationships to achieve a brighter future.

2023 - 2025 Strategic Framework & Priorities


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Since 1986, the Initiative Foundation has invested millions throughout the region through targeted grants and business financing investments. 

The Initiative Foundation History

Formed in 1986 by a partnership of regional leaders and The McKnight Foundation, the Initiative Foundation is one of six Minnesota Initiative Foundations serving Greater Minnesota. In the 1980s, Minnesota faced widespread financial hardships, high unemployment, and shifting rural economies that severely impacted the farming and mining industries.

Independent and responsive to local needs and opportunities, each Foundation was created to strengthen its regional economy and communities. The Minnesota Initiative Foundation partners share ideas while investing in business loans, nonprofit grants, programs, and donor services. The model is unique to Minnesota. No other U.S. state has a similar foundation network that unites community and economic development.

Our Service Area

The Initiative Foundation’s 14-county service area includes Benton, Cass, Chisago, Crow Wing, Isanti, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Pine, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd, Wadena and Wright counties and the sovereign Native nations of the Leech Lake and Mille Lacs Bands of Ojibwe. We are proud to serve more than 750,000 residents. Our region is diverse in its population, environment and economy. Each hometown has its own unique character and local assets.

A Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

In its fourth decade of service to the region, the Initiative Foundation and its staff remain cognizant of the inequities that led to our organization’s creation—and of others that have arisen over time. Reflecting on what challenges and opportunities we are well-equipped to address, along with how we have learned to catalyze positive change, we, the members of the Board of Trustees of the Initiative Foundation, conclude the following: 

The values of diversity, equity and inclusion have long been central to the work of the Initiative Foundation, and dedicated efforts to advance these values make us more effective in accomplishing our mission to empower people to build thriving communities and a vibrant region across Central Minnesota. 

For a full version of the Initiative Foundation’s diversity, equity and inclusion statement, please contact MaryAnn Lindell, director of administration.



MaryAnn Lindell
Director of Administration
Email | (320) 632-9255 



Bob McClintick
Marketing & Communications Director
(320) 247-7132