Community Foundations

SMIF currently administers 29 community foundations, a type of Affiliate Fund. The community foundations under SMIF’s guidance have granted out over $5.3 million and have netted over $4.2 million in assets to benefit the future of their communities. What have they funded? Everything from technology grants to historic preservation!

Harmony Area Community Foundation (HACF) has granted out over $100,000 for community improvements projects over the past six years, ranging from a free community sound system for events, to historical signage around town. SMIF has contributed $46,000 to their endowment.

With a $2,000 grant from HACF and a $2,000 matching grant from SMIF, four high schoolers from Harmony got first-hand experience in engineering, legal, marketing and retail sales positions in town. The goal of the student internship program is to raise student awareness about entrepreneurship and employment opportunities in the Harmony area, with the hope that kids will move back after college. Read the full story.

"You have to strive to make your community vibrant; it doesn't just happen on its own. A community foundation is one way you can do it. It's a facilitator to connect donors with projects." - Vicky Tribon, Founding HACF Board Member.

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation supports community foundations in southern Minnesota by:

  • Serving as the legal entity 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and fiscal agent
  • Providing oversight and management of fund development and investment policy
  • Providing start-up and staff support and expertise to establish and grow funds, as well as assist in marketing and communications efforts 
  • Providing oversight of grant making activities that are determined by local fund  
  • Complying with all relevant state and federal charitable giving rules and regulations
  • Managing documentation and filing, certified audits, and liability protection
  • Providing ethical and fiduciary responsibility in managing charitable contributions

Read about how the Preston Area Community Foundation is moving the needle on rural philanthropy in their community.

Affiliate Fund Newsletter

SMIF's Community Foundation Partners

The following communities have local funds that are administered with assistance from Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Your generous donation to a local community foundation will support grassroots efforts to make an impact on the lives of those living in our region. Gifts to a community foundation's endowment fund perpetually provide funding for the foundation now and into the future.

For more information on contributing to one of these funds, or establishing a new community foundation, contact Alissa Oeltjenbruns at 507.455.3215 or

Click to learn more about the Community Foundations listed below.

Alden Area Community Foundation

Blue Earth Community Foundation

Byron Community Foundation

Eagle Lake Community Development Foundation

Ellendale Community Foundation

Elysian Community Foundation

Goodhue Area Community Fund

Harmony Area Community Foundation

Henderson Community Foundation

Houston Area Community Foundation

Lanesboro Area Community Foundation

Le Sueur Community Foundation

Mabel Community Fund

Madison Lake Community Foundation

Mapleton Area Foundation

Montgomery Community Foundation

New Prague Area Community Foundation

Our Town USA Community Foundation (USC School District)

Plainview Area Foundation

Preston Area Community Foundation

Rushford Community Foundation

Sleepy Eye Community Foundation

St. Charles Area Community Foundation

Saint James Area Foundation

Spring Valley Area Community Foundation

Wabasha-Kellogg Area Community Foundation

Wanamingo Community Fund

Winthrop Area Foundation

Zumbro Valley Foundation

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