2020 Initiative Foundation Annual Report

Page 1

Relief, Recovery, Resiliency

A year like no other. 2020 Annual Report

Dear Friends,

From their home offices, supported by a host of technology tools, Initiative Foundation staff collaborated to deliver relief, to aid in recovery efforts and to champion regional resiliency throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to support from individual donors, state and national nonprofits, plus state and federal government entities, the Initiative Foundation team in 2020 had a record-setting year for grant awards and lending initiatives.

• As part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Foundation team, through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED), administered $7.76 million in Small Business Relief Grants to 782 Central Minnesota small businesses. Another $2.7 million in grants were awarded to regional child care providers, nonprofits and more. The effort marked a 415 percent increase in grant distributions over the prior year.

• Over the course of the year, the Foundation delivered 69 loans with a value of nearly $3 million. The effort included 53 loans through DEED and its Small Business Emergency Loan program.

As chair of the Initiative Foundation’s Board of Trustees, I am pleased to present this 2020 annual report. The numbers and statistics on its pages represent real people from 163 hometowns and two native nations who have the grit and determination to make it through the worst of times. A sincere thank you from all of us for making this important work possible. Central Minnesota, we are with you for the long haul.

$14.7M Regional COVID-19 Relief

$7.76M Small Business Relief Grants Awarded to Businesses

$410,000 Granted to Child Care Providers and Schools

1,500-Plus Businesses and Nonprofits Financially Supported

206 Nonprofit Leaders Trained on COVID-19 Recovery Topics

33 Leaders Trained Through Enterprise Academy and Initiators Fellowship Programs

2 2020 Annual Report
Trustees chair On the cover: The faces on the cover of this report represent businesses and organizations from across the region that have been supported by Initiative Foundation relief and recovery efforts. They include Jana Lensing, owner of Gustaf’s Up North Gallery in Lindstrom (upper left); Kathy Bjork of Fine Line Hair Design in Brainerd (upper right); Peter Hansen, owner of Marnanteli’s Pizza in Cold Spring, who sold more than $45,000 in gift cards as part of a Foundation-funded grant initiative to benefit local restaurants and the ROCORI Food Shelf (lower right); and Mateo Mackbee and Erin Lucas of Krewe and Flour & Flower restaurants in St. Joseph.

2020 Financial Summary


Business Financing, Investments, Entrepreneurship Programs


Childcare Solutions, Disaster Response, Energy Transition, Grants, Nonprofit Development, Underserved Outreach


Community Builders, Donor Services, Partner Funds, Planned Giving

Assets Since Inception

Functional Expenses

Investment Total: $525,442 Program Costs (net of grants) $389,072 | 75% Grants $136,370 | 25%
Total Endowment:
$66.1 Million
A complete audit report prepared by Schlenner Wenner & Co. is available upon request. For a summary of the Initiative Foundation’s impact on the region since inception, visit ifound.org/about-us/annual-reports. Investment Total: $4,469,178 Program Costs (net of grants) $1,164,735 | 25% Grants & Fellowships $302,100 | 7% Loans & Investments $3,002,343 | 68% Investment Total: $1,808,606 Program Costs (net of grants) $407,321 | 23% Grants & Scholarships $1,401,285
77% Emergency Relief & Recovery Grants and Administration $9,813,912 Other Program Services $169,397
Other $4.4 Million Business Financing Portfolio $16.2 Million Partner Fund Portfolio (including endowed assets) $23 Million General Endowment $52 Million TOTAL ASSETS (including liabilities) $95.6 Million • Emergency Relief & Recovery $9,813,912 65% • Partner Funds $1,808,606 12% • Economic Development $812,613 5% • Administration $743,399 5% • Business Lending $654,222 4% • Community Development $525,442 3% • Fund Development $455,707 3% • Communications & IQ Magazine $415,185 3% TOTAL EXPENSES $15,229,086 100% 125 100 75 50 25 0 1990 1995 2000 2005 2010 2015 2020 $15.2 Million General Endowment Business Financing Portfolio Partner Fund Portfolio Other


To empower people throughout Central Minnesota to build a thriving economy, vibrant communities and a lasting culture of generosity


INITIATING LEADERSHIP Flagship Programs Prepare Future Greater Minnesota Leaders

As baby boomers march toward retirement—in both their professional and civic lives—a shortage of rural community leaders has been steadily emerging. Two Initiative Foundation programs, the Initiators Fellowship and the Enterprise Academy, are helping to develop future business, nonprofit and community leaders. The two-year Initiators Fellowship serves social entrepreneurs in Central, Northwest, Southwest and West Central Minnesota. Seven Fellows spent 2020 learning and growing their enterprise ventures. At the heart of the Enterprise Academy is a 12-week educational course with follow-on lending and technical assistance for early-stage entrepreneurs. Since its launch in 2018, the program has graduated 84 students who hail from St. Cloud, Brainerd and the Mille Lacs Tribal Economy areas.


SOLVING THE CHILD CARE SHORTAGE Program Sets Building Blocks for Child Care Spots

It is estimated that up to 17,000 Central Minnesota children lack child care—a challenge that affects families, businesses, communities and, ultimately, the regional economy. The Initiative Foundation and its Child Care Solutions program are working to make a difference. Residents, employers and concerned citizens in St. Cloud, Long Prairie, Kanabec County, Morrison County, Brainerd/Baxter and Waverly are partnering with the Initiative Foundation, supported by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development and First Children’s Finance, to find sustainable local solutions. “We know the answers will be different for each community, and we are committed to overcoming the obstacles that exist throughout Central Minnesota,” said Don Hickman, Initiative Foundation vice president for community and workforce development.


GENEROSITY MADE EASY A Call, a Meeting, a Solution

Artesian Homes owners Ellen McGregor and Trish Danielowski wanted to increase their Baxter-area generosity. They just weren’t sure how to get it done. Their financial adviser reached out to the Initiative Foundation for guidance. “A call, a meeting and we had it in place,” Danielowski said. With the creation of the Initiative Foundation-hosted Artesian Homes Charitable Fund, McGregor and Danielowski created a win-win outcome: They gained a tax deduction and benefitted from a streamlined process for making meaningful local grants. Artesian Homes is one of 129 charitable funds managed by the Initiative Foundation. Also joining the Initiative Foundation family of funds in 2020 were the Colette & Paul Cameron Donor Advised Fund; the Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation; the Marie and David Fischer Family Charitable Fund; and Skolmate Fund for the Welfare of Animals.

4 2020 Annual Report

We have an abundance of talented people and job-creating enterprises that contribute to economic growth and vitality.


We are a region of robust, highly engaged communities where people choose to live, work, give and play.

People across our region give generously of their time, talent and resources.


ENTREPRENEURSHIP SUPPORT: Foster growth of businesses by providing training, financing and technical assistance, with an emphasis on underserved communities and social enterprise ventures.

WORKFORCE, CAREER DEVELOPMENT: Tap under-utilized pools of talent and support career exploration and skill development in high-demand fields.

CHILDCARE AVAILABILITY: Inspire regionwide innovation and coordinate with partners in support of economically sustainable, quality child care solutions.

WORKPLACE BEST PRACTICES: Model best practices through a holistic approach to diversity, equity and inclusion; workplace wellbeing; organizational culture; and other operational activities.

NONPROFIT CAPACITY BUILDING: Provide training to anti-poverty organizations, other nonprofits aligned with our mission, and Foundation Partner Fund volunteers and board members to enhance their regional impact.

NONPROFIT AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT INNOVATION: Use training, technical assistance and grant funding to support innovative early-stage projects that foster inclusive engagement and development of emerging leaders.

Grow endowments and secure major gifts by cultivating donor relationships and making direct asks from person-toperson and across multiple forms of media.

LEGACY GIVING: Preserve and grow the region’s wealth by encouraging bequests and maintaining and initiating regionwide relationships with priority stakeholders.

INTEGRATED IMPACT: Multiply impact by seeking opportunities for coordination across Innovation Fund grant-making, Foundation programming and hosted Partner Funds, and by connecting with external grant-makers.


• Business Financing and Technical Assistance

• Enterprise Academy

• Grants for Career Exploration, Workforce Development

• Initiators Fellowship


• Childcare Solutions

• Disaster Response

• Energy Transition

• Grants

• Nonprofit Development

• Underserved Outreach


• Community Builders

• Donor Services

• Hosted Partner Funds

• Planned Giving

Opposite page: Top: The 2020-2021 cohort of the Initiators Fellowship. Middle: Child Care Solutions pilot projects are making a regional difference. Bottom: Ellen McGregor of Artesian Homes (center) with Stifel Financial Adviser Kurt Nelson (right) and Initiative Foundation External Relations Officer Mike Burton. 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.


Initiative Foundation Program & Endowment Contributors 2020

Your support of the Initiative Foundation’s endowment and programs is the financial backbone of our long-term success. The endowment provides resources each year for staff to work with local leaders to encourage economic development, help businesses get started or expand, provide workforce and leadership skills and pioneer child care solutions to help communities thrive.

President: $50,000+


Bush Foundation

Center for Disaster Philanthropy

Community Development

Financial Institutions Fund

Granite Partners, LLC

Loren & Kathryn Morey

McKnight Foundation

Minnesota Council on Foundations

Minnesota Department of Education, Governor’s Emergency Education Relief Fund*

Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development*

Minnesota Department of Human Services

Neighborhood Development Center

Otto Bremer Trust


St. Paul & Minnesota Foundation

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Rural Community Development Initiative

U.S. Small Business Administration


Executive: $30,000+

Blandin Foundation

Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council

Sherburne County

Leader: $15,000+


Cass County

Compeer Financial

Great River Energy

Wells Fargo Foundation

Director: $9,000+


Crow Wing County


East Central Energy

Minnesota Power Foundation

Southwest Initiative Foundation

Stearns County

West Central Initiative

Associate: $6,000+

Bremer Bank

Isanti County

Maggie & Matt Varilek

Morrison County

Pine County

Schlagel, Inc.

Stearns Electric Association

Todd County

US Bank Foundation

Wright County

Entrepreneur: $3,000+

Anderson Brothers Construction Company

Chisago County

City of Baxter

City of Becker

City of Brainerd

City of Elk River

City of Little Falls

City of Milaca

City of St. Cloud

City of Wadena

Connexus Energy

Consolidated Telecommunications Company

Crow Wing Power

Diane Wojtanowicz

Farmers & Merchants State Bank Charitable Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation

Kanabec County

McDowall Company

Mille Lacs County

Oracle Netsuite Social Impact

St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health System

Investor: $1,000+

American Heritage National Bank

American National Bank of Minnesota


Arvig Communication Systems


Benefit Innovations

Cambridge Medical Center on behalf of Allina Health System

Central MN Noon Optimist Club

Charlotte Stephens

Citizens State Bank of Waverly

City of Albertville

City of Annandale

City of Big Lake

City of Cambridge

City of Clarissa

City of Crosslake

City of Eden Valley

City of Lake Shore

City of Long Prairie

City of Maple Lake

City of Melrose

City of Monticello

City of Mora

City of Nisswa

City of Pierz

City of Pine City

City of Princeton

City of Rockford

City of Sandstone

City of Sartell

City of Sauk Centre

City of Sauk Rapids

City of St. Joseph

City of St. Michael

City of Staples

City of Waite Park

Clifton Larson Allen, LLP

Clow Stamping Company

David & Kim Ellingson

David Monroy

Dick & Mimi Bitzan Family

Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation

Don & Deanna Engen

Don Hickman & Sandra Kaplan

Edelweiss Cabinetry, Inc.

Falcon National Bank

Father Kevin Anderson

First Bank & Trust

First National Bank North

First National Bank of Milaca

First State Bank of Wyoming

First Western Bank & Trust

Frandsen Bank & Trust, Baxter, Crosslake, Nisswa, Foley, Braham, Forest Lake & Pine City

Gene & Kathy Bechtold

Harvest Bank

James & Wendy Shear

Jeff & Laurie Wig

Jeff Fromm

Jo & Larry Korf

John & Bonnie Schlagel

John E. Babcock

Joseph Nayquonabe & Christina


Kimberly & Denise Slipy

Kristi Westbrock & Mike


Linda Eich DesJardins & Joseph



Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Long Prairie Packing Company

Ludmila Voelker

Lynn & Darren Bushinger

Marco Technologies, LLC

Martin Paradeis

Michael & Kathleen Burton


Monroy Law Office, PLLC

Neal & Kathy Gaalswyk

Neighborhood National Bank


Park Industries, Inc.

Patrick Edeburn

Pequot Tool & Manufacturing, Inc.

Pine Country Bank

Rick & Helga Bauerly Family

Fund of the Central Minnesota

Community Foundation

Rita & Everett Sobania

RiverWood Banks

Robert Shadduck Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation

Schlenner Wenner & Co.,

St. Cloud

Sherburne State Banks & Sentry


Stearns Bank NA

Steve & Leila Shurts

Teri & Tom Hoggarth

The Bank of Elk River

The Saint Paul and Minnesota Foundation

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative

Traci Tapani

Wadena County

Wadena State Bank

West Central Telephone Association


Wyoming Machine, Inc.

Friend: Up to $1,000

Abdi Daisane & Fadumo Hassan

Allison & Pete Norgren

Alpine Cabinetry, LLC



Anthony & Marie Wagner

Becker True Value Hardware

Betty & Clifford Johnson

Bill & Sarah Israelson

Bob & Lisa McClintick

Bob & Terri McLean

Brad & Christine Hoheisel

Braden & Cherie Moore

Brett & Leah Anderson

Carl & Jenny Newbanks

Catherine Adamek

Chad & Jody Longbella

Charles & Kathryn Black Lance

Charles & Lori Herrig

Chris Fastner & Kathy HakesFastner

Chuck Deutsch

City of Albany

City of Backus

City of Belgrade

City of Bertha

City of Braham

City of Breezy Point

City of Brooten

City of Cass Lake

City of Center City

City of Cokato

City of Cold Spring

City of Delano

City of Eagle Bend

City of East Gull Lake

City of Emily

City of Fifty Lakes

City of Foley

City of Genola

City of Grey Eagle

City of Hackensack

City of Hanover

City of Harding

City of Henriette

City of Hewitt

City of Hinckley

City of Holdingford

City of Howard Lake

City of Ironton

City of Isanti

City of Isle

City of Jenkins

City of Kimball

City of Lindstrom

City of Longville

City of Manhattan Beach

City of Montrose

City of Motley

City of Onamia

City of Otsego

City of Paynesville

City of Pease

City of Pequot Lakes

City of Pillager

City of Quamba

City of Randall

City of Remer

City of Rice

City of Richmond

6 2020 Annual Report

City of Riverton

City of Rockville

City of Royalton

City of Rush City

City of Sebeka

City of South Haven

City of Swanville

City of Upsala

City of Verndale

City of Wahkon

City of Waverly

City of Wyoming

City of Zimmerman

Coralee M. Fox

Dan & Marie Bullert

Dan Weber

David & Janet McNair

David Gruenes

David Wall

Dianne C. Tuff

Dickran & Ann Tashjian

Don & Maudella Albright

Dr. Paul Van Gorp & Roberta


Dr. Robbyn Wacker & Jani


Dusty Dembouski

Edward & Yvonne Yunker

Elizabeth Larsen & Walter


Gary & Marilyn Williams


GlobalGiving Foundation, Inc.

Greg & Jane Achterling

Greg & Karen Van Zuilen

Greg & Sarah Anderson

Greg Spofford

Happy Dancing Turtle

Heather Hoskins

Hunt Utilities Group, LLC

Interest for Others Foundation

Irene Wolf

James & Paula Christensen

James Fornell

James M. Thares

Janet & Tim Wensman Family

Fund of the Central Minnesota

Community Foundation

Jeremy & Barb Larson

Jerome & Roberta Takle

Jerome Norberg

Jessica & Michael Bitz

Jessy Beto

Joe Mulford

John & Lissa Sumption

John Wertz & Margaret


Jordan & Connie Moe

Joyce Nikolai

Julie & Kevin Nelson

Julie Miller

Kasey & Jackie Stevens

Kelly & Carie Verley

Kerie & Jeff Thoma

Kevin & Lisa Six

Kevin & Mary Beth Egan

Kim & Sally Johnson

Kristin & Bruce Lindner

Laura Larson

Lee & Vicki Morgan Fund of The Dayton Foundation

Lois A. Manske

Manfred and Brenda


Marilynn V. Wilson

Marjorie Dahlager

Martha Steele

MaryAnn & Peter Lindell

Mayer, Porter & Nelson, Ltd.

Michele & Zachary Miller

Midwest Security & Fire

Mike & Dorothy Simpson

Mike Kneeland

Molly Tolzmann

Nancy Shallcross

Nathan and Kathryn Bjorge

NextEra Energy, LLC

Noel Harness

Pat & Guy Spence

Randall State Bank

Ray & Gwynne Gildow

Raymond & Helen Garland

Rebecca Lourey

Robert & Marilyn Obermiller

Robin and Ben Skinner

Ronald & Judith Kidder

Rosemary Brabec

Sally Ihne

Santo Cruz

Sara McKeever

Steve & Carmen Penick

Steve & Katy Botz

Thomas & LaRae Foehrenbacher

Thomas & Michelle Matchie

Tim & Kelly Nelson

Tom & Gail Honek

Tom & Geri Staley

Wayne & Lori Wolden

Western Bank

Yadira & Richard Frey

Zachary & Jessica Tabatt

* Indicates grants where the Initiative Foundation distributed federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act funding from state and local partners.


Your Region. Your Initiative. Your Foundation.

The Community Builders Circle is comprised of businesses and individuals who contribute $1,000 or more per year to support the Initiative Foundation’s general endowment or programs. When you become a Community Builders Circle member, you widen the circle of the Initiative Foundation’s work, driving economic progress and community vitality in Central Minnesota.



Anderson Brothers Construction Company

Arvig Communication Systems

Bremer Bank

Central MN Noon Optimist Club

Clow Stamping Company

Compeer Financial

Connexus Energy

Consolidated Telecommunications Company

Crow Wing Power DeZURIK, Inc.

East Central Energy

Falcon National Bank

First National Bank of Milaca

Granite Partners, LLC

Great River Energy


Long Prairie Packing Company

McDowall Company

Minnesota Power Foundation

Schlagel, Inc.

Sherburne State Banks & Sentry Banks


St. Cloud Hospital/CentraCare Health System

Stearns Bank NA

Stearns Electric Association

US Bank Foundation

Wells Fargo Foundation


American Heritage National Bank

American National Bank of Minnesota BankVista

Benefit Innovations

Cambridge Medical Center on behalf of Allina Health System

Citizens State Bank of Waverly

CliftonLarsonAllen, LLP

Edelweiss Cabinetry, Inc.

Farmers & Merchants State Bank

Charitable fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation

First Bank & Trust

First National Bank North

First State Bank of Wyoming

First Western Bank & Trust

Frandsen Bank & Trust, Baxter, Crosslake, Nisswa, Foley, Braham, Forest Lake & Pine City

Harvest Bank

Little Falls Area Chamber of Commerce

Marco Technologies, LLC


Monroy Law Office, PLLC

Neighborhood National Bank


Park Industries, Inc.

Pequot Tool & Manufacturing, Inc.

Pine Country Bank

RiverWood Banks

Schlenner Wenner & Co., St. Cloud

The Bank of Elk River

Todd-Wadena Electric Cooperative

Wadena State Bank


Wyoming Machine, Inc.



John E. Babcock

Maggie & Matt Varilek


Father Kevin Anderson

Anonymous Donor

Rick & Helga Bauerly Family Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation

Gene & Kathy Bechtold

Kristi Westbrock & Mike Bjerkness

Dick and Mimi Bitzan Family Fund of the Central Minnesota Community Foundation

Michael & Kathleen Burton

Lynn & Darren Bushinger

Linda Eich DesJardins & Joseph


David & Kim Ellingson

Don & Deanna Engen

Kathy & Neal Gaalswyk

Don Hickman & Sandra Kaplan

Jo & Larry Korf

Joseph Nayquonabe & Christina


Martin Paradeis

John & Bonnie Schlagel

Steve & Leila Shurts

Kimberly & Denise Slipy

Rita & Everett Sobania

Charlotte Stephens

Ludmila Voelker

Jeff & Laurie Wig

7 Our Supporters Continued


8 2020 Annual Report
ASSETS 2019 2020 Cash and Cash Equivalents $ 2,879,875 $ 4,166,001 Restricted Cash 732,333 744,359 Investments - Short Term 1,619,287 3,441,999 Pledges Receivable, Current 339,723 318,271 Programs Contributions Receivable 75,000 1,500,000 Grants Receivable 537,648 661,150 Loans Receivable, Current 948,146 1,288,538 Interest Receivable 39,925 43,909 Prepaid Expenses 47,260 123,444 Other Receivables, Current 40,741 22,937 Total Current Assets $ 7,259,938 $ 12,310,608 INVESTMENTS 58,978,829 65,041,635 PROPERTY AND EQUIPMENT, NET 1,699,121 1,655,329 OTHER ASSETS Pledges Receivable, Less Current Portion and Net of Allowance for Doubtful Accounts and Discount of $3,267 and $7,551 $ 99,832 $ 53,463 Loans Receivable, Less Current Portion and Net of Allowance for Loan Losses of $867,830 and $983,743 Respectively 7,546,886 8,296,441 Investments in Unlisted Securities 5,998,214 8,053,986 Other Receivables, Less Current Portion and Net of Allowance for Doubtful Accounts of $245 and $0 Respectively 14,025 16,282 Charitable Gift Annuities 192,688 205,739 Total Current Assets $13,851,645 $16,625,911 TOTAL ASSETS $81,789,533 $95,633,483 LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS CURRENT LIABILITIES Accounts Payable $ 49,151 $ 38,579 Accrued Interest Payable 13,533 3,995 Accrued Expense 284,223 278,716 Annuities Payable, Current 16,453 8,453 Deferred Revenue 126,385 583,989 Unpaid Grant Obligations 195,414 490,230 Rural Economic and Community Development Loan Payable, Current 122,049 123,282 Notes Payable, Current 17,244 153,525 Total Current Liabilities 824,452 1,680,769 LONG-TERM LIABILITIES Annuities Payable, Less Current Portion $ 69,991 $ 72,313 Deferred Revenue - 33,375 Refundable Advance – Affiliated Funds 1,418,058 1,506,813 Rural Economic and Community Development Loan Payable, Less Current Portion 994,148 870,829 Notes Payable, Less Current Portion 2,173,450 3,184,445 Total Long-Term Liabilities 4,655,647 5,667,775 TOTAL LIABILITIES $ 5,480,099 $ 7,348,544 NET ASSETS Without Donor Restrictions Board Designated for Endowment 30,359,056 35,040,237 Undesignated 11,224,462 14,076,889 Total Without Donor Restrictions 41,583,518 49,117,126 With Donor Restrictions 34,725,916 39,167,813 Total Net Assets 76,309,434 88,284,939 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS $81,789,533 $95,633,483



(Totals stated in millions)

Net assets—the difference between total assets and liabilities—have grown from $59.1 million in 2016 to $88.3 million as of Dec. 31, 2020, representing a nearly 50 percent increase.

9 Without Donor Restrictions With Donor Restrictions Total
2016 2017 2018 2019 2020
REVENUES McKnight Foundation $ 3,000,000 $ – $ 3,000,000 Governmental Grants 157,395 9,414,907 9,572,302 Contributions and Grants 1,020,692 4,091,873 5,112,565 Revolving Loan Interest 601,144 – 601,144 PPP Loan Forgiveness 426,700 – 426,700 Fee for Service, IQ Advertising and Other Income 163,055 38,133 201,188 In-Kind Gifts – 750 750 Investment Income 2,089,555 616,280 2,705,835 Unrealized Gain on Investments 4,052,336 1,488,809 5,541,145 Membership Dues – 5,075 5,075 Special Events and Workshop Registrations 6,570 31,317 37,887 Net Assets Released from Restriction 11,245,247 (11,245,247) –Total Revenues 22,762,694 4,441,897 27,204,591 EXPENSES Support Services Administrative 743,399 – 743,399 Total Support Services 743,399 – 743,399 Program Services Leadership and Community Development 525,442 – 525,442 Economic Development 812,613 – 812,613 Fund Development 455,665 – 455,665 Communications and IQ Magazine 415,185 – 415,185 Endowment 42 – 42 Business Loan Funds 654,222 – 654,222 Partner Funds 1,808,606 – 1,808,606 COVID-19 Relief Funding 9,813,912 – 9,813,912 Total Program Services 14,485,687 – 14,485,687 Total Expenses 15,229,086 – 15,229,086 CHANGE IN NET ASSETS 7,533,608 4,441,897 11,975,505 NET ASSETS - BEGINNING OF YEAR 41,583,518 34,725,916 76,309,434 NET ASSETS - END OF YEAR $49,117,126 $39,167,813 $88,284,939
$59.1 $66.6 $64.2 $76.3 $88.3
complete audit report prepared by Schlenner Wenner & Co. is available upon request. For a summary of the Initiative Foundation’s impact on the region since inception, visit ifound.org/about-us/annual-reports.


The Initiative Foundation and its hosted Partner Funds awarded more than $1.9 million to nonprofits and local units of government in 2020 through 601 grants with a primary focus on COVID-19 relief and recovery efforts. Additional grants were awarded to close opportunity gaps and to increase the economic and social well-being of our region. For a comprehensive listing of grant awards, including crucial Partner Fund grants and scholarship awards, visit ifound.org/community/grants.

• Amherst H. Wilder Foundation, St. Paul

• Anna Marie’s Alliance, St. Cloud*

• Asamblea De Derechos Civiles, Waite Park*

• Avivo, Minneapolis

• Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud

• Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud*

• Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, Brainerd*

• Brainerd Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Education Association, Brainerd*

• Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation, Brainerd*

• Bridges of Hope, Brainerd*

• Central Lakes College Foundation, Staples

• Central Minnesota Islamic Center, St. Cloud

• Chisago County Economic Development Authority, North Branch*

• City of Cold Spring*

• City of Little Falls

• College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph*

• Community Connection Allies, Bruno*

• Community Growth Fund, Inc., Long Prairie

• Community Giving, St. Cloud

• Crow River Trail Guards, Inc., Paynesville

• Employment Enterprises, Inc., Little Falls*

• Family Pathways, North Branch*

• Family Safety Network of Cass County, Inc., Walker*

• Feeding Area Children Together, St. Cloud*

• First Children's Finance, Minneapolis

• Friends of Linden Hill, Inc., Little Falls

• Funders Network for Smart Growth & Livable Communities

• Greater Minnesota Partnership, St. Paul

• Greater St. Cloud Development Corporation

• GPS 45:93, Pine City

• Healing Opportunity Provided Equally, Aitkin*

• Higher Works Collaborative, St. Cloud*

• Homeless Helping Homeless, St. Cloud*

• Horizon Health, Inc., Pierz*

• Islamic Center of St. Cloud*

• Junior Achievement of the Upper Midwest, St. Cloud

• Kanabec County, Mora

• Kanabec County Family Services, Mora

• Kinship of Morrison County, Little Falls*

• Lakes & Pines Community Action Council, Inc., Mora*

• Latino Economic Development Center, St. Paul*

• Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, Cass Lake*

• Leech Lake Financial Services, Cass Lake

• Long Prairie Area Chamber of Commerce*

• Love INC-Heartland, Delano*

• Milestones, Waite Park

• Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Onamia*

• Minnesota Council of Nonprofits, St. Paul

• Minnesota Council on Foundations, Minneapolis

• Native Governance Center, St. Paul

• New Pathways, Inc., Cambridge*

• North Branch School District*

• North Star Family Advocacy Center, Braham*

• Northeast Entrepreneur Fund, Inc., Little Falls

• Onamia School District*

• Pine Habilitation and Supported Employment, Inc., Sandstone*

• Pine River Area Developmental Achievement Center, Inc., Pine River*

• Pine River-Backus Family Center*

• Princeton Parent Teacher Organization*

• Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud

• Rivers of Hope, Monticello*

• RiverWorks, Rockford*

• St. Cloud Area School District

• St. Cloud Technical & Community College Foundation

• Salem Lutheran Church, Deerwood

• Sauk Rapids-Rice School District

• Second Harvest North Central Food Bank, Inc., Grand Rapids*

• Sherburne County, Elk River

• Sourcewell, Staples

• Southwest Regional Development Commission, Slayton

• Sprout, LLC, Little Falls

• Staples Area Food Shelf*

• Staples Economic Development Authority

• Stearns County Human Services, St. Cloud*

• STRIDE Academy, St. Cloud*

• Trinity Lutheran Church of North Branch*

• Tusen Tack, Braham

• Wadena County Developmental Achievement Center, Inc., Sebeka*

• Walker Area Food Shelf, Inc.*

• Wright County Community Action, Inc., Maple Lake

*Indicates grants related to COVID-19.

A grant to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe supported the COVID-19 Food Initiative to get food to those who needed it. As of early 2021, nearly 16,000 boxes of food had been delivered around the region. “The only qualification for getting the food box was needing it,” said Mike Auger, director of gaming operations who oversaw the distribution.

The Initiative Foundation is certified as a Community Development Financial Institution by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and proudly bears certification from the U.S. Small Business Administration as a Community Advantage Lender. The Foundation meets rigorous national standards established by the Council on Foundations, has attained the highest four-star rating on financial health, accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator and is recognized for meeting standards for accountability and openness through the Charities Review Council.

10 2020 Annual Report


The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. Initiative Foundation staff supported the distribution of grants through a range of programs.


By The Numbers

782 Total Grants Awarded

$7,760,000 Total Dollars Awarded

536 Grants to Micro Businesses

369 Grants to Woman-Owned Businesses

53 Grants to Veteran-Owned Businesses

93 Grants to BIPOC-Owned Businesses


Small Business Relief Grants

The Initiative Foundation partnered with the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) to distribute 782 Small Business Relief Grants throughout Central Minnesota. Each $10,000 grant helped a local business weather the effects of the pandemic.

St. Mary's Early Learning Academy in Pine City received a Small Business Relief Grant to cover tuition loss due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Initiative Foundation assisted Pine County in distributing $1.62 million in CARES Act grants to 244 businesses and organizations. To see the full list of grants, visit ifound.org/covid-19/pine-county-grantees. Dan Bullert, Initiative Foundation business finance manager, delivers a check to Global Center Mall owner Nasir Khan. As part of the state’s effort to provide grant relief to small businesses, the Global Center on Third Avenue North in St. Cloud was one of 12 statewide cultural mall grant recipients. Khan and 16 tenants received a total of $110,000 in relief grants. Includes Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) small business and cultural mall relief grants distributed by the Initiative Foundation.


In August 2020, the Initiative Foundation was awarded $416,000 in funding from the Minnesota Department of Education and the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief fund to support vulnerable children affected by COVID-19. A total of $260,000 was awarded to 33 child care and early childhood providers. The balance will be distributed in 2021.


• Lora's Daycare, Foley


• Lynette K. Nichols Family Daycare & Preschool, Jenkins

• Little Feet Daycare, Heather Rader, Motley


• Brainerd Family YMCA

• Ellen Thomes, Brainerd

• Precious in His Sight, Rachel Christensen, Brainerd


• Building Blocks for Life Preschool, Cliss Loescher, Cambridge


• Ogilvie School District


• Boys & Girls Club of the Leech Lake Area, Cass Lake



• Mille Lac Health System, Onamia


• Horizon Health, Pierz

• Karla Schuett Childcare, Little Falls

• LaaLaa's Daycare, Latasha Nelson, Little Falls

• Licensed Family Child Care Association of Morrison County, Little Falls

• Little Falls School District

• Lola's Child Care and Preschool, Lola Lilga, Little Falls

• Nicole's Daycare, Nicole Miller, Hillman

• Patricia Orth, Patty's Child Care/Preschool, Randall

• Pierz School District


• Pine Children's Early Learning Center, LLC, Pine City


• Promise Neighborhood of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud


• Future Building Blocks, St. Cloud

• Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Cold Spring

• Mary Lembcke, Richmond

• Playhouse Child Care Center, Inc., Kristen Vosberg, St. Cloud

• Too Much Talent, TauNita Herring, St. Cloud

• United Way of Central Minnesota, St. Cloud


• Beth Marie Bundy, Long Prairie

• Michelle Reimer Daycare, Long Prairie


• Little Red Wagon Daycare, Cindy Ehrmantraut, Sebeka

• Verndale Family Life Church


• Amy VanHouten, Ostego

Outside of region for in-region training:

• First Children's Finance, Minneapolis

In March 2020, at the onset of the pandemic, Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz asked each of the six Minnesota Initiative Foundations to provide immediate relief to child care providers caring for the children of essential workers. With available funds—including $53,500 from the Initiative Foundation and another $100,000 from the Minnesota Council on Foundations and its Minnesota Disaster Recovery Fund for Coronavirus—the Initiative Foundation delivered 110 grants to support home- and centerbased child care operations across Central Minnesota. Collectively, these grants totaled $153,500 and helped sustain care for more than 2,420 children of essential workers. To see the full list of grantees, visit ifound.org/covid-19/emergency-child-care-grantees.

12 2020 Annual Report
Jennifer Chilton of Finlayson received a $1,000 emergency grant to sustain her home-based child care operation. “The Initiative Foundation grant was amazing,” Chilton recalls. “Any amount of money helped.”


The Foundation, through partnerships with financial institutions, economic development organizations and local units of government, supported 16 lending clients in 2020 with non-disaster gap loans valued at $1.84 million. The effort leveraged $23.5 million in outside capital and contributed to job creation (81) and job retention (146). Several of the loans were awarded to graduates of the Foundation’s Enterprise Academy program.

• AW Enterprises, Ironton

• Baby’s on Broadway, LLC, Little Falls

• Crow Wing Food Co-op, Brainerd

• Dubow Textile, Inc., St. Cloud

• Falls Acquisition Company, Inc., Little Falls

• Fi6ures, LLC, St. Cloud*

• Flour & Flower Bakery, LLC, St. Joseph

• Glockenspiel, Inc., Lindstrom

• Honest Office Cleaning, St. Joseph*

• Karlsburger Foods, Monticello

• Krewe Restaurant, St. Joseph

• Mako Store Company, St. Cloud*

• SBS Logistics, LLC, Waite Park*

• S Cubed Holdings, LLC, Elk River

• Systematic Technologies, Rice

• TrippleS, St. Cloud*

*Indicates loan awarded to Enterprise Academy program graduate.

Lending Regional Map


The Initiative Foundation assisted in awarding loans to 53 businesses as part of the Small Business Emergency Loan program to react to the COVID-19 closures. These loans resulted in $1.2 million in regional economic stimulation.

• 208 Hair Lounge on Main, LLC, Cambridge

• Anytime Fitness, Sauk Rapids

• Bayview Bar & Grill, Onamia

• B & T Bootleggers, Inc., Pierz

• Betabfit Personal Training and Consulting, LLC, Princeton

• Bullfrog Bar and Grill of Hoffman, LLC

• Bullfrog Bar and Grill of Upsala, LLC

• Custom Cut and Color Family Salon, Monticello

• Cynthia's, LLC, Upsala

• Dairy Queen, Mora

• Dojo Karate, Elk River

• Dong Khanh Select Buffet, LLC, St. Cloud

• Downtown Beauty, Delano

• Fantastic Sams, Albertville

• Fantastic Sams, Clearwater

• Fantastic Sams, Monticello

• Foley Fitness, LLC

• Frey, Inc., Clear Lake

• Globe Enterprises, Inc., Waite Park

• Great Nails MN, Inc., Elk River

• Green Market, LLC, Waite Park

• Hair Haven/Benet Place Salon, St. Cloud

• Hemker Park & Zoo, LLC, Freeport

• Jill's Café, Richmond

• Jimmy John's, Ostego

• Jody's Total Hair Care, Princeton

• Lee's Family Hair Care, Foley

• Made Your Way, LLC, Pierz

• McDonald Pizza Ranch, LLC, Elk River

• Milk & Honey, LLC, St. Joseph

• Momentum Fitness Endeavor, LLC, Ostego

• Nails 4 You, Waite Park

• Northern Lights Ballroom & Banquet Center, Inc., Milaca

• Main Street Hair Design, Ironton

• Pizza Ranch, Monticello

• Rafferty's Pizza of Brainerd, Inc.

• Redhead Creamery, LLC, Brooten

• Rookies Sports Bar, Inc., Albany

• Red Rooster Bar & Grill, Pierz

• Salons by JC, Waite Park

• Salon Ebb, Barnesville

• Space Aliens Grill & Bar, Albertville

• Studio Blue Salon and Spa, LLC, Stacy

• The Academy of Elk River, Inc.

• The Fine Line Hair Design, Inc., Brainerd

• The Wax Pot,

• Tiny's Tavern,

• TNT Enterprises Group, LLC, Cambridge

• Trouble's, Howard Lake

• Whitehorse St. Germain, Inc., St. Cloud

• Wildflower Nail Spa, Sauk Centre

• YClub, Inc., Garrison

• Yo's Clinic, Sartell

Ayan Danan, owner of Honest Office Cleaning, received an Initiative Foundation loan through her participation in the Foundation’s Enterprise Academy program. She is pictured with Abdi Daisane, Enterprise Academy program officer, and her husband at a February 2020 loan closing meeting. Sauk Centre Lastrup
Central Minnesota Benton 5 Cass 1 Chisago 1 Crow Wing 6 Isanti ............................... 3 Kanabec 1 Mille Lacs 2 Morrison 9 Sherburne 11 Stearns 20 Todd................................. 1 Wright 9
For an historic listing of county-by-county investment and impact, please visit ifound.org/central-minnesota-counties.
6 9 1 3 1 20 5 11 1 1 2 9


The Foundation in 2020 hosted 129 Partner Funds with a value of $22.6 million. These funds allow donors to focus on local charitable needs while leaving the administrative tasks to Initiative Foundation staff.


• Big Birch Lake Endowment Fund

• Big Fish Lake Association Emergency Fund

• Brainerd Public Schools Foundation Early Childhood Fund

• Bridges Manufacturing Workforce Development Fund

• Central Minnesota CEO Fund

• Conservancy Endowment Fund of the Northern Waters Land Trust

• Conservancy Fund of Big Fish Lake

• Conservancy Fund of Roosevelt and Lawrence Area Lakes Association

• Conservancy Fund of the Rice Lake Association

• Conserved Property Stewardship Fund of the Northern Waters Land Trust

• Darling Church Memorial Fund

• EAA Chapter 551 Fund

• Early Childhood Partnership for Isanti County Fund

• Fish Trap Lake Endowment Fund

• Friends of Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge Fund

• Gull Chain Preservation Endowment Fund

• Jim & HK Stuart Memorial Fund

• Land and Waters Preservation Trust

• Legal Defense Fund of the Northern Waters Land Trust

• Minnesota Pioneer Park Endowment Fund

• Morrison County Food Shelf Fund

• Onamia Early Childhood Endowment Fund

• Operational Reserve Fund of the Northern Waters Land Trust

• Partnership in Life Fund (Horizon Health)

• Paws and Claws Animal Shelter

• Sacred Heart-Knights of Columbus Fund

• Salem Community Outreach Foundation

• Stanback-Bittner Fund of the Northern Waters Land and Trust

• Thrive Fund

• Wadena City Library Endowment

• Wright County Historical Society Fund


• Todd-Wadena Economic Development Loan Fund

• Menahga Economic Development Loan Fund

• Princeton Economic Development Loan Fund


• Black Oak Getty Community Foundation

• Cambridge Area Community Foundation

• Cambridge Area Economic Development Fund

• Delano Area Community Foundation

• Greater Pequot Lakes Community Foundation

• Greater Pine Area Endowment

• Hackensack Lakes Area Community Foundation

• Longville Area Community Foundation

• Mille Lacs Area Community Foundation*

• Morrison County Area Foundation

• Rum River Community Foundation

• Staples Motley Area Community Foundation

• Three Rivers Community Foundation



• Hanowski Family Fund

• Julius and Tracy Kurpius Fund

• Lake Region Conservation Club

• Mark Wood Foundation

• Scott & Jane Stuart Memorial Park Fund

• Skolmate Fund for the Welfare of Animals*


• Anderson Brothers Family Fund

• Artesian Homes Charitable Fund

• Betty and Larry Nelson Family Fund

• Bob and Marsha Bunger Family Endowment Fund

• Bruce and Diane Gohman Fund

• Central Minnesota Builder’s Association Fund and Initiative

• Chuck Christian Community Spirit Fund

• Colette & Paul Cameron Donor Advised Fund*

• Corey Borg-Massanari Foundation*

• Edeburn Family Fund

• Gaalswyk Family Fund

• Granite Partners Fund

Partner Funds


• James and Susan J Kurpius Family Fund

• John and Bonnie Schlagel Endowment

• Josh Richardson Family Fund

• Loren & Kathy Morey Family Fund

• Marie and David Fischer Family Charitable Fund*

• Mel and Jeanette Beaudry Fund

• Nancy and Thomas Adams Family Charitable Fund

• Patrick and Jane Mitchell Family Fund

• Paula and Chad Becker Fund

• Playing it Forward: The Kenneth and Evelyn Pinckney Young Musicians’ Fund

• Prairie Lights: Pioneering Yesterday and Today

• Shawn Grittner Memorial Fund


• Albany Area Education Foundation

• Becker Education Foundation

• Braham Area Education Foundation

• Cuyuna Lakes Education Foundation

• Lake Region Christian School Education Foundation

• Little Falls Education Foundation

• Patriot Foundation

• Pillager Education Foundation

• Royalton Education Foundation

• Sauk Rapids-Rice Education Foundation


• Chisago Lakes Initiative Fund

• Early Childhood Fund for Morrison County

• Family Farm Fund

• Housing Fund of the Greater Mora Area

• Innovative Schools Project Fund

• Manufacturing Fund of Central Minnesota

• Memorial Hospital Foundation (Serving Greater Isanti County)

• The Initiators Fund

• The Lakes Area Medical Development Fund

• Women’s Leadership Fund


• Cambridge Area Disaster Preparedness and Relief Fund

• Central Minnesota Emergency Relief and Recovery Fund*

• Delano Area Emergency Fund

• Sourcewell Region 5 COVID-19 Relief Fund*


• Alternative Sources of Energy Fund

• Archie and Isabelle Powell Family Memorial Scholarship Fund

• Bachman Engelking Scholarship Fund

• Bert and Helen LeBlanc Legacy Scholarship Fund

• Betty Ford Menzel Scholarship Fund

• Beverly M. Pantzke Scholarship Fund

• Bob and Pauline Johnson Memorial Scholarship Fund

• Bob Wright Memorial Scholarship Fund

• Dorn Family Fund

• Fregin Foundation

• H. Eugene Menzel Scholarship Fund

• Holdingford Scholarship Endowment

• Irene Myres Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund

• Little Falls Scholarship Fund

• Madden’s Pine Beach Scholarship Fund

• Pillager Scholarship Fund

• Silver Lining Scholarship Fund

• Staples Knights of Columbus Council #1803Lloyd & Marion Giddings Scholarship Fund

• William & Ethel Nelson Zimmerman Memorial Scholarship Fund

• ZES Scholarship Fund


• Game Changers

• National Loon Center Project Fund

• Sartell DOGPAC Fund

• Sauk Rapids-Rice ISD47/YouthPrise Special Project Fund

• Veterans Art Monument Fund

• Veterans Art Monument Fund - Phase II (St. Cloud)

*Indicates new funds created in 2020.

In 2020, the Initiative Foundation worked with nine communitybased organizations to create COVID-19 relief and recovery funds. These funds awarded more than $238,000 to 130 Central Minnesota businesses and organizations.

14 2020 Annual Report
Regional Map Central Minnesota Benton 4 Cass 14 Chisago 2 Crow Wing 22 Isanti 8 Kanabec 2 Mille Lacs 5 Morrison 32 Pine 1 Sherburne 8 Stearns 12 Todd ................................ 7 Wadena 3 Wright 5 Outside of Area 4 14 22 32 2 8 2 3 12 4 8 5 7 1 5



Jessy Beto Program Specialist

Kate Bjorge Community Philanthropy Manager

Daniel Bullert Business Finance Manager

Mike Burton External Relations Officer

Lynn Bushinger Chief Financial & Operations Officer, Treasurer

Abdi Daisane Enterprise Academy Program Officer

Chris Fastner Initiators Fellowship Program Manager

Yadira Frey Office & Facilities Coordinator

Brenda Gugglberger Development Specialist

Don Hickman Vice President for Community & Workforce Development

Barb Larson Accounting Specialist

Laura Larson Entrepreneurship Specialist

MaryAnn Lindell Executive Administrator

Hannah Mayhew Enterprise Academy Intern

Bob McClintick Marketing & Communications Director

Michele Miller Controller

Braden Moore Accounting Manager

Carl Newbanks Grants & Development Manager

Allison Norgren Marketing & Communications Specialist

Robin Skinner Three Rivers Community Foundation Administrative Assistant

Kimberly Slipy Information Systems Administrator

Kasey Stevens Accountant

Zach Tabatt Nonprofit Development Program Officer

Kerie Thoma Program Specialist

Matt Varilek President

Carie Verley Finance Specialist

Jeff Wig Vice President for Entrepreneurship

Traci Tapani Board Chair Wyoming Machine Santo Cruz CentraCare Health Julie Nelson Mayer, Porter & Nelson, LTD Kim Ellingson Board Vice Chair Bremer Bank Teri Hoggarth Edward Jones Tim Nelson Isanti County Brett Anderson Sentry Bank David Monroy Monroy Law Office, PLLC Robbyn Wacker St. Cloud State University Rick Bauerly Granite Partners Joe Mulford Pine Technical & Community College Dan Weber Sherburne County Jessica Bitz Falcon National Bank Joe Nayquonabe Jr. Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures Kristi Westbrock Consolidated Telecommunications Company

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