Friday, April 19, 2024

Keeping local wealth local

For 15 years, Minnesotans have been showing up on Give to the Max Day, raising nearly $300 million over the past decade and a half. The thing I love most about Minnesota’s “Giving Holiday” is that all dollars raised stay local, as each donor can select which Minnesota-based non-profit they would like to support.

Every year, Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF) and the 32 Community Foundations under our umbrella, are so thankful for all the donors that show up, making a direct impact on the communities across our region.

“Keeping local wealth local” has always been a goal of SMIF. By 2030, over $7 billion in wealth is expected to transfer. With this seismic shift, “keeping local wealth local” is as important as ever. When a donor gives to SMIF, a Community Foundation, or other neighborhood non-profits, their dollars stay in their communities, making a huge difference close to home.

As we approach holiday season, I always look forward to shopping small businesses in our region because I know that they are the backbones of our local economies. But that is not the only way to support our region. When we come together to volunteer for a Community Foundation event, paint a mural, or tackle a community project, we are enriching not only our lives but the lives of future generations, all in the place we call home. And when we focus our philanthropic goals locally, our dollars go straight to our communities, helping them flourish.

Another aspect on my mind when I think of the transfer of wealth is estate planning. Up to 70% of people do not have a will. This not only complicates things for families when a loved one dies, but it also prevents potential donors from leaving a legacy. That is why SMIF partners with FreeWill, a free online tool that anyone can use to create a legally binding will.

Nicole Griensweic, executive director of Region Nine Development Commission (RNDC) based in Mankato, recently shared with us her thoughts on giving. “There are a lot of professionals and even younger professionals, like myself, who maybe haven’t thought about writing a will… Leaving a planned gift isn’t just for millionaires, this is about whoever is able to leave any funds. It’s a good feeling knowing that whatever funds you are able to leave are going to go somewhere where it will be helpful. It’s really important to make that plan and to help organizations expand and continue to grow and thrive.”

As I am out and about in the region, I see firsthand the impact of SMIF’s work in Early Childhood, Entrepreneurship and Community Vitality. Anyone can be a philanthropist- the size of the gift does not matter. What matters is that we all support the causes and places that matter the most to us.

As always, I welcome your comments and questions. You can reach me at timp@smifoundation.org or 507-455-3215.

 

Tim Penny is the president & CEO of Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation. Tim represented Minnesota’s First Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1982 — 1994.

 

Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation (SMIF), a donor-supported foundation, invests for economic growth in south central and southeastern Minnesota, serving a 20-county region including 175 communities and one native nation. The Foundation has provided more than $162 million in grants, loans and programming within the region during the past 37 years. SMIF’s key interests include entrepreneurship, early childhood development and community vitality. To learn more about our work and mission, visit www.smifoundation.org. ?

 

 

Dodge County Independent

Dodge County Independent
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Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
301 S. Mantorville Ave.
Plaza 57 • Suite 200
Kasson, MN 55944

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