Southwest Initiative Foundation

Southwest Initiative Foundation offers unlimited possibilities to southwest Minnesota through leadership, program delivery and philanthropy.

Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF) is a single connection offering unlimited possibilities to grow and promote people, businesses, entrepreneurs and communities in rural southwest Minnesota.

We were established in 1986 by The McKnight Foundation in response to the economic crisis of the 1980s. Greater Minnesota was struggling to survive and McKnight was one of the first to take notice and take action. They created six Minnesota Initiative Foundations to deliver an economic counterpunch and become leaders of Minnesota’s rural resurgence.

Today, SWIF is an accomplished independent rural regional community foundation and a permanent, trusted resource impacting our region.


From 1986-2014, SWIF has:

  • Awarded $38 million in loans, assisting 630 businesses and creating or retaining 8,000 jobs
  • Awarded $26 million in grants to nonprofits to support important services and projects
  • Established 24 local community foundations, more than 80 designated funds, 16 Early Childhood Initiative coalitions, and more than 50 Youth Energy Summit teams


We focus on making the biggest impact through initiatives and grantmaking while helping each community prosper.

How do we support communities?

  • We process many gifts and grants.
  • We organize and support community leaders.
  • We invest in businesses and provide business lending.
  • We help businesses grow and improve.
  • We share southwest Minnesota stories and promote our region.


Our giving options and your generosity make this possible!

Visit our website at for more information about our work and partnerships.

© 2017 GiveMN | A registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.