Mankato Area Foundation Announces New In-Kind Donation

MANKATO, MN (May 11, 2015)—Mankato Area Foundation (MAF) announces a generous in-kind contribution made by Ridley Inc. to the new Center for Nonprofits, recently named Shared Spaces. Nancy Zallek, Executive Director of MAF, said she was thrilled by the generosity of this local company.“Ridley’s generous gift will provide enough high-quality furniture to outfit the entire building. Eight nonprofit organizations and approximately 35 nonprofit employees will now have an even nicer space to call home. Some of the furnishings are destined for shared conference rooms, which will also help us provide a welcoming space for nonprofit gatherings and broader community conversations.”

Shared Spaces is a new concept in this community. With the support of nine key community-minded donors, the Foundation purchased the Blethen Gage and Krause building earlier this year to convert it into a home for local nonprofit organizations. “We have been overwhelmed by the support this project has received. In addition to those who stepped up to fund the initial purchase, we are very grateful for the financial and in-kind contributions that are coming in to support needed renovations,” Zallek added. “Our goal in creating the Center for Nonprofits is to enhance and support the visibility, interactions, professionalism, and effectiveness of our local nonprofit sector. When Steve Van Roekel, CEO of Ridley Inc., heard about the concept he was very enthusiastic about helping us toward that goal.”

“We’ve been involved with the nonprofit community for many years and we’ve witnessed the vital work they do in this community,” said VanRoekel. “When I talked with Nancy regarding the Center, the timing was perfect. Ridley will be relocating later this year to the office tower being built by Tailwind Group on the corner of South Riverfront Drive and Cherry Street. Our current furniture will no longer work in our new space but it was in such beautiful condition, we wanted it to go to a good home. Our employees were enthusiastic about gifting it to this new building and the nonprofit tenants.”

Zallek also explained that the goal was always to provide furniture for these organizations, but this had seemed cost-prohibitive. “Not only did we want to have a similar look throughout the building, we wanted to give the tenants the professional furnishings they deserve. This in-kind contribution represents more than $30,000 in repurposed furniture that will be greatly appreciated by all of the organizations and by visitors to Shared Spaces.”

The Shared Spaces Center for Nonprofits, a Mankato Area Foundation initiative, is intended to be the new home of the following participating organizations: Greater Mankato Diversity Council, Greater Mankato United Way, Life-Work Planning Center, Mankato Pediatric Respite, Miracle League of North Mankato, Minnesota Council of Nonprofits (South Central/Southwest Region), and YWCA Mankato, along with the Mankato Area Foundation. The building will be renovated over the summer and the first tenants should be able to begin moving in by early fall.

About the Mankato Area Foundation
The Mankato Area Foundation is your community foundation, connecting philanthropic interests with community needs since 1974 and enriches the quality of life in Greater Mankato through its various grant making programs. Over the past 40 years, the Mankato Area Foundation has committed nearly $4,000,000 in grants and scholarships to local organizations and students. About Ridley Inc. Ridley Inc., headquartered in Mankato, Minnesota, is one of the leading animal nutrition companies in North America, serving customers mainly in the United States and Canada. Ridley employs more than 700 people in the manufacture, sales and marketing of a full range of animal nutrition products under highly regarded trade names. Ridley’s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: RCL). Visit their website at