The Southern Minnesota Initiative Foundation works under a guiding principal that collaboration is a necessary component in creating communities that propel growth. During the last year, the foundation celebrated three decades, besides launching a new brand. So, the foundation decided to switch things up, by upping the monies available through its annual 'One Big Thing' grant, which rewards a single deserving entity, or regional project, that the foundation deems as having a positive impact on the social and business fabric of the community.
This year, the foundation made awards available to two deserving entities, culled from the foundation's 23 Early Childhood initiatives and its 26 community foundations. These entities were tasked with explaining how their projects would improve their overall community. They also had to explain how their work exemplified the foundation's mission of fostering collaborative efforts.
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Dr. Rajiv Shah, the Administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) leads the U.S. government’s efforts to end extreme poverty. He chose to participate in the impact investing conference at the Vatican and met with Pope Francis directly to address world poverty, the future of impact investing, and promotion of resilient, vibrant democratic societies worldwide.