Celebrate the Local Impact
of Community Foundations

The Winona Community Foundation is proud to lift up a nationwide celebration, Community Foundation Week, that recognizes the increasingly important role Foundations play in fostering local collaboration and innovation to address persistent civic and economic challenges.

For more than a century, community foundations have served as a trusted partner and resource whose effect can be seen in the lives of millions and in the vibrant neighborhoods that continue to thrive through their mission-driven work. During this time, community foundations come together to share and reflect on the stories of impact over the past year.

Locally the Winona Community Foundation has accomplished important work in 2020 including:

  • Granting out $1.2 million to eligible, 501(c)3 nonprofits.
  • Providing $45,200 in Community Grants to eight area nonprofits to repair homes, support nutritious meals for seniors, support students with school supplies for school, and to make an event more inclusive and accessible.
  • Creating a COVID-19 Relief Fund to address a need for emergency funds and assistance in our local community. This fund supports individuals with financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Adapting the cycle 2 Community Grant priorities and granting $49,812 to eight area nonprofits who suffered losses of income or increased demand in services due to the pandemic.
  • Hosting and supporting the Winona Nonprofit Alliance, a collaborative effort of more than thirty nonprofits in the Winona area.
  • Honoring legacy by establishing funds for individuals who left gifts in their will.
    • The Donna Helble Literacy Fund supported the Friends of the Winona Public Library’s project: Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library.
    • The Ramona L. Jezewski English Fund will support local charities indefinitely.

“We are more determined than ever to bring our community partners together to find innovative and effective solutions for some of our most challenging social problems and advance the most promising of opportunities to benefit our residents,” shares Nancy M. Brown, President/CEO of the Winona Community Foundation.

Community foundations are independent, public entities that steward philanthropic resources from institutional and individual donors to local nonprofits and represent one of the fastest-growing forms of philanthropy. In 1987, the Winona Community Foundation, was incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and received its first gift of $2,000 that same year. Today, the Winona Community Foundation has more than $14 million in assets under management in both Foundation controlled and donor advised funds. The Foundation connects donors with causes they love through wise giving vehicles and granting and supports local non-profits through our Community Grant program.

As community foundations find solutions for communities large and small, urban and rural – it is the collective work of these organizations that will have the most profound impact. This was most evident amid this year’s coronavirus pandemic where over $1 billion was distributed nationwide by community foundations in response to the crisis. At the Winona Community Foundation, $190,000 was raised for COVID-19 Relief and $60,000 already given directly to individuals in need. Additionally, community foundations went beyond the money to help their communities adapt during this critical time—supporting charities, schools, nonprofits, and small businesses through partnerships with public institutions in cities, states, and in cooperation with the federal government.

Community Foundation Week was created in 1989 by former president George H.W. Bush to recognize the work of community foundations throughout America and their collaborative approach to working with the public, private, and nonprofit sectors to address community problems.