Initiative Foundation to Receive $1 Million

Monday, October 5th, 2009 at 5:22 am

The Initiative Foundation will receive $1 million in federal funds in order to help central Minnesota nonprofits that serve families in economic distress.

The two-year grant, one of only two awarded in Minnesota, is being administered through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Strengthening Communities Fund, created by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  The fund awarded a total of $34 million to 35 organizations nationwide.

The foundation will use its grant funds to provide leadership training, consulting and grants to critical nonprofits that are challenged by increased demands for emergency services.  More than 30,000 displaced workers have placed unexpected pressure on central Minnesota nonprofit resources and staff, the foundation said.

“At a time when most nonprofit budgets are cut to the bone and leaders are looking for ways to make ends meet, this will pump over $600,000 back into area nonprofits in grant funding alone,” said Cathy Hartle, Initiative Foundation senior program manager. “In addition to the grants, nonprofits will be able to benefit from an excellent set of workshops and assistance. We’re excited to be one of the organizations chosen for this role.”

More than 80 nonprofits will receive assistance to help people secure and retain employment, earn higher wages, obtain quality jobs, and gain greater access to government benefits and tax credits.  The foundation will also deploy 20 Volunteers in Service to America (VISTA) members to help families in poverty.

“I think this grant is another positive sign of hope—that people do care, that there are reinforcements arriving, and that better times are ahead,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation president.  “We are proud to be trusted with public dollars, and we are excited to put them to work in our region.”

The foundation will hold meetings to provide more information about the workshops, assistance and grants later this year.  For more information, contact Cathy Hartle at (877) 632-9255 or visit

Established in 1986, the Initiative Foundation directs local generosity to create quality jobs, strengthen nonprofits, and provide a variety of leadership programs that enable citizens to build healthy communities.

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