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

Powering Possible.

About Us

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.

2020 - 2022 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 MIF partners share ideas while investing in business loans, nonprofit grants, programs, and donor services.  The MIF 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 tribal 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. 

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