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ndation invests tion and promotes on a better place to

A NOTE FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR During my tenure on the Board and in the past year serving as Chairman, it’s been remarkable to see the dedication of not only Northwest Minnesota Foundation staff, but the partners and community leaders they work with every day to make a difference for our region.

Quality of Place is now embedded in our mission. As we build upon the great successes of Quality of Place we plan to be bolder and more focused—to have an even greater impact on the region we call home. Living our values of strategic collaboration, integrity and responsibility, and boldly making a difference, our work will be driven by an all-encompassing purpose: building better lives. Working towards this purpose we’ll be offering expanded resources, new tools and enhanced solutions that enable individuals and communities to reach their full potential. For fifteen years the Northwest Minnesota Foundation and our community and component funds have been the seed capital for projects to move forward through loans, grants and other funding. Last year, in addition to the grants awarded by NMF, the component and community funds provided over $1.8M in grant making—providing a direct impact on our region and your communities. I ask that as citizens of the region, you consider the NMF endowment in your gifting. A gift to the NMF endowment means that local dollars will be available for reinvestment in local initiatives for years to come. I am energized by the rollout of the Foundation’s new programs and focus on Building Better Lives. I invite you to join us as we continue to make our region vibrant with thriving economies and quality amenities. Thank you for choosing to live and work here and for your support!

Our Mission:


The Northwest Minnesota Foundation invests resources, facilitates collaboration and promotes philanthropy to make the region a better place to live and work.

Pete Haddeland


July 1, 2018 - June 30, 2019

A NOTE FROM OUR BOARD CHAIR As I write this message, I am wrapping up my time serving as the NMF Board Chair, and it is also the end of my tenure as a board member. For the past 8 years I have seen this organization grow and change. We’ve welcomed new staff and added capacity to better serve the region, and as you’ll see in this report, 2019 was a great example of what we can accomplish when we pair the right resources with the right partnerships to address critical issues that Northwest Minnesota is facing. This year, NMF began navigating a new strategic framework. The Foundation completed its first year of a six-year strategic framework with a check-in planned after three years. The planning document builds on NMF’s history of quality of place while targeting specific issues important to the region. We focused on the key issues of child care, housing, children and families, and community development. Many of our programs have overlapping efforts that complement broader strategic goals. For example, the success of the Child Care Finance Program was due to efforts from our Entrepreneur Development Program lending staff and our child care program staff working together. Similarly, the Children and Families program was focused on serving homeless youth while the Communities Thrive program leaned heavily on child care, housing, and lending staff throughout the year. Engrained throughout our program work was engagement of the Philanthropic Services team providing guidance and leveraging the component funds. I invite you to review the outstanding impact we were able to make in our first year of this strategic framework in this report and also on our website at We also saw many towns in our region demonstrate the power of community philanthropy and show what great things can be accomplished when local dollars are invested back into the places we live and work. Our component funds grew to 390 funds – up 15 funds from last year and totaled more than $36.1 million in assets. Other notable successes included the completion of the Carnegie Library (Bemidji), Life Care agency fund topping the $1 million mark, continued growth of the Hallock Community Fund, and Ada-Borup raising significant funds for improvements at the Tony Sipe baseball field. A gift to the NMF endowment fund means that resources will be available for reinvestment in local initiatives for years to come. 2019 was a true testament to how giving locally can build better lives for Northwest Minnesota. I invite you to join us as we continue to make the region vibrant with thriving economies and quality community assets. Thank you for choosing to live and work in Northwest Minnesota and for your continued support of the Foundation. Sincerely,








$2,752,034 GRANTED OUT

3,807 275 grants, 250 TOTAL DONORS scholarships

A complete list of FY19 Donors, Financials and Board Members can be found on our website at $ $4,246,930 TOTAL DONATIONS


Angel Baby Fund, Warroad Schools Project Fund, Lois Ludwig Memorial Scholarship Fund, Herbert and Vivian Olson Children’s Reading Program Fund, Jim Stordahl Girls Basketball Scholarship Fund, Jim Stordahl Boys Basketball Scholarship 410 Fund, Jim Stordahl Wrestling Scholarship Fund, Potato Lake Aquatic Species Project Fund, TOTAL FUNDS Middle River Legacy Fund, Roseau Rams Hockey Association Scholarship Fund, Old Bemidji High School Remembered Fund

BEMIDJI CARNEGIE LIBRARY RENOVATION $1,811,910 529 COMPONENT PROJECT COMPLETED IN 2019 FUND GRANTS *A complete list of FY18 Donors, Financials & Board Members is found on our website at under “About Us.”

The Friends of the Carnegie Library Fund was established at NMF in 2012 in an effort to save and restore the Carnegie Library in Bemidji. The building was established by Andrew 11 NEW FUNDS Carnegie in 1908, and it is one of 3,000 Carnegie Libraries worldwide. Bemidji’s Carnegie Library was at risk of being torn Baby Fund down due to poor conditions and lack ofAngel usage. Bad Axe Lake Charitable Fund

A number of concerned community members rallied together to ensure this critical piece of the Casstaway Charitable Fund town’s history wasn’t erased. They used their fund at NMF as a vehicle to collect donations Cynthia L. Renfrow Endowment from Fund Bemidji community members and beyond. The group’s tenacious spirit and commitment to Cynthia L. Renfrow Community preserving this historical building led them to secure more than $2.2 million in donations and Projects Fund grant funding. The renovation project was completed in the summer of 2019, and the Bemidji Darlene “Sue” Olson Dickson and Carnegie Library is now open to the public and offers a community space where Everett James Olsonresidents Scholarshipcan Fund come together for events and educational opportunities. It now hasFertile an elevator to increase Lions Scholarship Fund accessibility to both levels, and it also houses a number of office spaces that are leased out to Larry and Ila Hagen Family local businesses and organizations. Scholarship Fund Marion Dessert Memorial Fund

To learn more about how you can support more projects like this in the region, Olson Charitable Fund visit

Warroad Entrepreneur Incubator Fund

COMMUNITIES THRIVE The city of Halstad is a community that is used to coming together when it means finding creative solutions to problems at hand. That’s why they were one of two communities selected to participate in NMF’s Communities Thrive program. When Halstad’s only grocery store in town closed in 2018, the Cenex Station adjusted its inventory to make shelf space for grocery basics such as milk, bread and eggs. The next nearest grocery store is a 15-20 minute drive. In an effort to find a long-term solution to this problem, John Hinkley decided to step in and use his business as a vehicle to expand his offerings. Hinkley moved to Halstad in 1993 to purchase the hardware store. The current store is in a 120-yearold building that has served Hinkley’s business well over the years, but is in need of a facelift. When he first got involved with Halstad’s Communities Thrive program, he connected with NMF staff to create a new business plan. Using loan funding that is provided through the Communities Thrive program, Hinkley will be building a new facility to house his hardware store, but it will also serve as a grocery store and a public broadband access point. He plans to have tables and chairs set up in the store so area residents can come in to connect to Wi-Fi on their mobile devices and laptops. The new location will live on the corner of highways 200 and 75, a point of major traffic flow through the city. Read the full story about Halstad on our website at

The community of Warroad was also selected for the Communities Thrive program. A few of those projects included support for the Lao Assistance Center for healthy living and youth activities, new benches downtown, a Folk School startup, and a safe harbor planning project. In 2019, NMF awarded $50,000 to seven projects through the Communities Thrive program. Additionally, the Warroad Area Community Fund (WACF) granted a total of $152,275 to 22 local groups and organizations. To celebrate this investment, The WACF held a joint reception with NMF at the Warroad Senior Living Center on June 19th to celebrate the grant recipients. Brenda Baumann and Mark Bertilrud, WACF advisory committee members, presented the WACF grant awards and Nate Dorr, NMF vice president for advocacy, presented the NMF Communities Thrive awards. “This year we gave out more grant awards than we’ve ever done in the past,” said Brenda. “We live in an amazing community. This money has been raised by area donors and is now going directly back to support projects that enhance the quality of life for all Warroad residents.” Learn more about Warroad’s Communities Thrive projects on our website at www.nwmf. org/who-we-are/annual-report.

CHILD CARE Communities across Northwest Minnesota are experiencing a child care availability crisis that is impacting businesses and employers, children and families, and community prosperity. NMF created a Child Care program to take action on this issue. Our initiatives took off quickly as staff worked to match the region’s needs with available resources. NMF’s Child Care Finance Program offers forgivable loans up to $5,000 to child care providers if they remain in business over a five-year period. Those forgivable loans totaled a $142,000 investment in 30 child care providers in this first year, resulting in 305 new child care slots. Additionally, a total of $47,600 was invested through NMF’s low-interest (0.5%) child care loans, which helped retain 163 child care slots. Many of the loans went to play equipment, fencing, and facility upgrades. In all, direct NMF investments and staff involvement can be attributed to 593 child care slots. NMF’s work has also contributed to 1,100 new or retained child care slots in the region in 2019 through efforts in which NMF served as a collaborative or resource connector.


Child care providers received business financing and cash flow management assistance


In capacity building grants were provided to three child care related businesses

$300,000 In external funding secured to mobilize partners and providers

Special thank you to our Child Care program partners who made this work possible: X X X X

First Children’s Finance Peacemaker Resources Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota Foundation Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development


Wells Fargo Diverse Community Capital Program Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Care Aware Minnesota Tribal Resources for Early Childhood Care

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES The Children and Families program builds off NMF’s long history of supporting our most vulnerable populations. The major push in this area came from a Homework Starts with Home grant secured from Minnesota Housing Finance Agency and Heading Home Collaborative. This was a collaborative effort targeting homeless youth in Beltrami County with four focus areas: mental health, life skills, addiction, and support systems. Steering committee partners include Bi-CAP, TrekNorth, Beltrami County Health and Human Services, Boys & Girls Club of the Bemidji Area, Sanford Behavioral Health, Village of Hope, HRA of Bemidji, Evergreen Youth and Family Services, Red Lake Homeless Shelter, Bemidji Area Schools, Headwaters Regional Development Commission, and Project Graduate 100%. Other efforts in this program included outreach to White Earth Reservation and Red Lake Nation to promote collaboration and build children and family supports.

HOUSING The NMF Housing program offers planning and convening grants with the goal of increasing housing availability in the region. Two grants were made totaling $9,000. One grant was made to the Beltrami County HRA ($4,000) for planning, and another was made to the Gary School District ($5,000) for a feasibility study of the former Gary school building. Staff also spent a considerable amount of time meeting with housing partners and facilitating the regional Housing Action Network. NMF also led a Bemidji-based Rapid Response to Homelessness coalition after advocates grew concerned about the impact of cold weather early in the season. This effort engaged 100 organizations through monthly meetings and work groups. NMF dedicated $44,000 in grants to four organizations to support an overnight shelter, two daytime drop-in centers, and a youth shelter. This impacted 263 homeless individuals and 1,079 services were accessed. The primary goal was that no person would die as a result of exposure to the elements. That goal was met. Rural homelessness in our region is not always visible, but we know their stories must be told.

ENTREPRENEUR DEVELOPMENT The Greenbush Grocery Store is a family-owned, community-minded grocery store striving to make a positive change in rural and community development. Corey Christianson, co-owner, is committed to providing the Badger-Greenbush area with fresh and healthy food options. Christianson’s family also owns KC’s Country Market which opened in 2011 in Badger. After spending several years abroad, Christianson moved back to his hometown with the dream to open a grocery store of his own, the same way his parents did for 17 years. Christianson values the Badger/Roseau area for its exceptional schools and strong community that he sees as a great place to raise a family. After seeing the success of KC’s Country Market, Christianson decided to purchase the Greenbush Grocery Store to increase the accessibility of healthy food options. He came to NMF for a microloan in December 2018 to fund his business expansion. Having the two locations has been especially beneficial for senior residents, given the harsh winter we experienced in 2018 to 2019. Making a trip to the grocery store for food and household needs no longer requires being on the road for up to 30 minutes in poor conditions. Christianson is passionate about his fellow community members having access to quality, healthy food. He even made a trip to Saint Paul to testify in front of the MN House Agriculture and Food Finance and Policy Committee in February of 2019. He believes that local grocers are vital components of any small town economy.

THE NUMBERS FY19 Annual Report – Foundation Financial Information


TOTAL ASSETS As of June 30, 2019

$ 3,981,817


Program Contributions



Investment Income


Endowment Contributions

$391,292 Other

11% 3%


EXPENSES Programs Administration Fundraising

$5,918,736 $1,013,697 $206,640



GRANTS Child Care Communities Thrive Homelessness Innovation IDEA Competition Housing Training

$107,000 $60,000 $44,000 $30,000 $22,500 $8,000 $2,300



ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENTS Entrepreneur Development Loans Child Care Finance Program Business Technical Assistance Regional Housing and Investment Loans

$378,703 $189,600 $40,641 $293,040

Economic Development Total




MAILED FROM ZIP CODE 56601 PERMIT NO. 36 201 3rd Street NW, NW Bemidji, MN 56601 201 3rd Street Bemidji, MN 56601


Our Mission:

The Northwest Minnesota fou resources, facilitates collabora philanthropy to make the regio live and work.


July 1st, 2017 – June 30th, 2018

Profile for Northwest Minnesota Foundation

NMF FY19 Annual Report  

NMF FY19 Annual Report