Jonathan and Ginger Zierdt Establish a Donor Advised Fund Committed to Community Awareness and Cancer Support


MANKATO, MN (March 27, 2017) – Jonathan and Ginger Zierdt have established a fund, the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund, through the Mankato Area Foundation aimed at increasing community awareness, supporting cancer patients and their families and changing the cancer journey in our community.

Jonathan was diagnosed with kidney and prostate cancer in November 2013.  While his kidney cancer is in remission, his prostate cancer has been a much stronger foe. The prostate cancer remains present but is considered stable. Throughout their journey, Jonathan and Ginger have been very public about his diagnosis and their challenges.  As someone holding a visible position in the community, Jonathan said he feels uniquely positioned to utilize his own story as a platform. For that reason, they have partnered with the Mankato Area Foundation to establish a philanthropic vehicle that will provide funding for projects and programs committed to community cancer awareness and support for both cancer patients and their caregivers.

“When Jonathan and Ginger first approached the Foundation about their idea to engage community in positively bringing awareness and support to a growing diagnosis for many families, we were happy to get involved to facilitate philanthropy – and in particular, charitable giving that will really make a difference.” explained Nancy Zallek, Executive Director of the Mankato Area Foundation. "The Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund has the potential to impact not only cancer patients and their caregivers but also the entire Mankato area – through awareness and support.”

“Both our board and the Foundation staff are dedicated to making this a success.  “We know the JZ team has some aggressive goals, so we’re prepared to support their efforts” said Andy Thom, the Foundation’s board chair.

 “While not having amassed the kind of wealth to support these efforts alone, Ginger and I acknowledge that we have been blessed with extensive relationships and connections and a story compelling enough to gather philanthropic support for the benefit of others,” explained Jonathan. “As a result, the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund has already undertaken a whisper campaign” and following the launch will continue raising funds, more visibly. In the not too distant future our Board of Advisors will direct those funds to change the cancer journey through our commitment to community cancer awareness and support.”

“I am confident,” said Zallek, “that the community will recognize the significance of the Zierdt’s dedication to this next phase in their cancer journey. With their passion, energy and love for this area, the Jonathan Zierdt Cancer Fund is a project our community can champion to positively impact cancer patients and caregivers!”

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.