Peterson, Nolan Announce Funds for Initiative Foundation

Apr 17, 2015 Issues: Congressional Issues, Economy and Jobs

WASHINGTON – U.S. Representatives Collin Peterson and Rick Nolan today announced that Central Minnesota’s Initiative Foundation has been awarded a $250,000 grant from USDA Rural Development’s Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program.

“The work done by the Initiative Foundation is so important to keeping Central Minnesota’s economy on the right path. Through this grant, the Foundation will be able to broaden their assistance to our region’s low-income rural communities and help them take on important economic development projects,” Peterson said.

"This grant and worthy projects it funds will contribute to more jobs, more business activity and ultimately a better quality of life for so many people across our region," Nolan added.

“This grant funding will enable us to serve up to nine additional communities through our Thriving Communities Initiatives (TCI) program while continuing to provide intensive technical assistance to the communities we are already serving,” said Kathy Gaalswyk, Initiative Foundation president. “We are so grateful to the USDA’s Rural Community Development Initiative. They are a key partner when it comes to building the capacity and opportunities for income-eligible rural communities in Central Minnesota.”

The Initiative Foundation, based in Little Falls, is a regional community foundation serving the 14 counties of Central Minnesota. Through grants, loans, leadership development and philanthropic services the Foundation helps local leaders from rural communities carry out action plans that strengthen home towns.

Through past partnerships with the USDA’s RCDI, the Initiative Foundation has increased the capacity of more than 900 local leaders representing 40 low-income rural communities and one federally recognized tribe. These rural leaders have since undertaken an array of housing, facilities, renewable energy, community and economic development projects and have leveraged more than $10 million in additional funding.

RCDI grants support rural housing, community facilities and economic development projects. Funds may be used to develop child care facilities; provide education, technical assistance and training; conduct strategic planning, and conduct other projects that help local communities develop their capacity. Eligible grant recipients are non-profit housing and community development organizations.