Celebrating 30 Years

For 30 years, South Dakota Community Foundation has been connecting generous people and charitable nonprofits throughout the state of South Dakota.

Every day we work to simplify the philanthropic process and make your charitable donations do more. On the one hand, we help donors take advantage of tax benefits, manage their paperwork, and stay on top of philanthropic trends and legal details. On the other, we focus on growing their charitable dollars through careful investments—so their donations can provide long-term support for charitable causes.

We administer approximately $260 million in assets for more than 800 endowed funds. We provide grants and administrative support to nonprofit organizations and serve as a philanthropic resource for donors, advisors, and nonprofits throughout the state.

The SDCF helps a variety of people, but its purpose is singular—to make South Dakota better for all generations, today and tomorrow. Since 1987, we have helped people reach their philanthropic goals and strengthen their communities.

Our mission is to promote philanthropy, receive and administer charitable gifts and invest in a wide range of programs promoting the social and economic well-being of the people of South Dakota. We care deeply about the people and future of our state. You can learn more about our history, our staff, our board and our partners. You can also access our annual reports and information about South Dakota’s wealth analysis.


As South Dakota eyed its second century of statehood, Governor George S. Mickelson proposed an organization that would not only serve as a foundation for statewide donations, but also provide support and financial assistance to other nonprofits within the state. Owing to his vision, the SDCF was created as a public, nonprofit corporation on November 11, 1987.

To establish the SDCF, the McKnight Foundation and the 3M Corporation issued a $5 million challenge grant to the state of South Dakota in memory of South Dakota-native William L. McKnight. The state of South Dakota committed $2 million to the project. Within twelve months, the SDCF raised the additional $3 million from private donors to fulfill the entire challenge grant.


The SDCF has grown this initial $10 million endowment into approximately $219 million in total assets. Today, we manage 760 endowed funds, and this number continues to grow. Through the continued generosity of South Dakotans and solid investment returns, the people and communities of South Dakota will benefit from the work of the SDCF for generations to come.

30 stories in 30 weeks

On November 11, 2017, the South Dakota Community Foundation turns the big 3-0. Over the past three decades, there has been so much good that has spread across the state thanks to the generosity of donors and the people and organizations they work alongside.

Beginning the week of April 24 and continuing through our anniversary on November 11, we'll be sharing one story each week that celebrates all that has been realized—and all that is possible—thanks to people in our state.

Have a story about the SDCF?

Please share it with us. We'd love to hear how donors, a grant, or a collaboration has lead to more good in our state.

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