West-Central Minnesota Wins Big Through Endowment Challenge

This past January, awards season wasn’t just in Hollywood. In west-central Minnesota, West Central Initiative (WCI) awarded a share of $75,000 to 15 of its component funds for successfully meeting WCI’s 25th Anniversary Endowment Challenge.

In the spring of 2011, WCI—a regional community foundation that serves nine Minnesota counties—launched the challenge to encourage its component funds (funds set up by and for communities and organizations, and administered by WCI) to create or increase a permanent endowment fund by raising at least $10,000 by the last day of the year. The winners, who shared equally in the $75,000 prize ($5,000 each), included charitable funds for schools, communities, libraries, a prairie wetlands learning center, and a YMCA.

“Even though we didn’t have trophies to hand out, we still want to recognize the outstanding performance of the advisory committees of these funds,” said Kim Embretson, WCI’s vice president of development. “Because of their efforts, donations made to their permanent endowment funds stay invested to keep producing income for grants year after year. This will have a huge impact on the region for generations to come.”

WCI administers more than 70 component funds to help communities, organizations, agencies, families, and businesses meet charitable needs. The foundation invests resources in local communities and promotes philanthropy using the tools of economic and community development. Learn more at www.wcif.org.

Kim Embretson and Tom McSparron are WCI’s donor services team.

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